Glashütte Original distinguishes itself by its markedly classic and stylish watches. The manufacturer produces their fine timepieces and in-house calibers in a small town that has been the center of German watchmaking since the 19th century.
No other German city has a closer tie to watchmaking than the small town of Glashütte. It may have only around 8,000 inhabitants, but it's home to A. Lange & Söhne, Nomos
, Union Glashütte, Mühle-Glashütte, Tutima, Moritz Grossman, and a few other watchmakers as well, including Glashütte Original since 1994. The company joined the Swatch Group in 2000.
The Showpiece: In-House Movements in Platinum Cases
The manufacturer separates their watches into four series: Art & Technik, Quintessentials, 20th Century Vintage, and Ladies Collection. The Art & Technik collection contains watches with sophisticated complications, such as tourbillons. A tourbillon is a characteristic mark of a high-quality mechanical watch. It increases accuracy by counteracting the effects of gravity on the watch movement.
The showpiece of the series is the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon, which enables the wearer to set and tell time in different time zones. The watch also has a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and power reserve indicator, and accounts for Daylight Saving (DST) or Standard Time (STD). The manual caliber 89-01 ticks away inside the platinum case, raising the Grand Cosmopolite Tourbillon's price to more than 300,000 euros. This price is comparable to the price range of elaborate watches from another German manufacturer, A. Lange & Söhne
The PanoMaticInverse offers a dial view of the duplex swan-neck fine adjustment, which is in the form of a golden, ruby-studded butterfly with blued screws. This design honors the collection's promise of uniting art and technology. The PanoMaticCounter XL model features a curious counter complication controlled by three pushers. One pusher moves the count forward, one backward, and another resets it to zero. The PanoMaticCounter XL is powered by the Calibre 96-01, a chronograph movement with flyback function.
Timekeeping Quintessence from Glashütte
The Art & Technik series is closely connected to the Quintessentials series. Watches in this collection also offer sophisticated features such as moon phase complications, Roman numerals, blued screws and hands, and golden cases - an opulently designed series overall. The skeletonized edition of the decorative and delicate Senator Manual Winding watch embodies the feeling of the collection. Some Quintessentials models, however, appear simpler and more streamlined, such as the Senator Hand Date with a stainless steel case, silver dial, and line hour and minute indices, or the Senator Observer, also featuring a stainless steel case, but with a black dial. It features a decentralized seconds in addition to the two main hands, as well as a 55-hour power reserve with an indicator.
Memories of the Swinging Sixties
The 20th Century Vintage series mixes the conservative, elegant look of the Art & Technik series with the sophistication of the Quintessentials series. The Sixties Iconic, introduced in 2015, adds a splash of color to the series, with versions available with blue or red/orange dials. These watches allude to the Spezimatic watches produced in Glashütte during the time of the German Democratic Republic. The Sixties Iconic is also available in more subtle versions with a graphite/black dial. In any version, however, the watch is still a simple, vintage-inspired three-hand watch with a 39 mm stainless steel case. Its price lies near the mid-four-figure range. Auto racing inspired the Sixties Square Chronograph and thus, the watch also appeals to fans of the TAG Heuer Monaco
. In addition to the central hour and minute hands, there is a stopwatch seconds hand. Two subdials are also on the watch, a small seconds at three o'clock and a 30-minute totalizer at nine o'clock. The watch is powered by the Calibre 39, an in-house automatic movement with a power reserve of 40 hours and 28,800 alternations an hour (4 Hz). This caliber also powers the version of the Sixties Chronograph with a round case.
Panorama Date Chronographs
As its name suggests, the Seventies Chronograph models itself after chronographs from the 1970s. Similar to the Square Chronograph, it also has a stainless steel square case. It is available with a large and easy-to-read Panorama Date at six o'clock, and its flyback stopwatch function can time up to 12 hours. In addition to second and minute totalizers, it features the unique touch of a numerical hour counter. Glashütte Original developed the Calibre 37 especially for this watch. The movement has a considerable power reserve of 70 hours and vibrates at 28,800 alternations an hour (4 Hz). The Sixties Panorama Date features a large date display as well, this time above the six o'clock position. In contrast to the watches from the sixties, this watch's round case is only 42 mm, although it appears larger. A slightly smaller version is available without a date display, measuring in at 39 mm.
Women's Watches: From Simple to Diamond-Studded
Glashütte Original's Ladies Collection features the models Pavonina, Lady Serenade, and the PanoMatic Luna. The Pavonina is available in a number of different versions: stainless steel or rose gold cases, bicolor or solid color, and with metal or leather armbands. Its case is quadratic and rounded, measuring in at 31 x 31 mm. In many versions, it's covered in diamonds. The Lady Serenade is also available with decorative diamonds on its bezel. It has a round, 36-mm case which houses its movement, the automatic caliber 39. The PanoMatic Luna is also richly decorated like many other Glashütte pieces. It features an automatic caliber, the 90-12, which enables a second stop, Panorama Date, and moon phase indicator. Like its siblings, the PanoMatic Luna is also available with diamonds. However, its case is a bit larger than the other watches in the collection with a diameter of 39.4 mm.
Exploring the South Pole with Roald Amundsen
There is so much more to Glashütte Original's history than just a founding date. The beginnings date back to 1845 when Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded the first watchmaking shop in the small German town. He was later joined by other shops taking up residence there. Glashütte soon gained a reputation well beyond the German border for producing first-rate watches. Production in Glashütte was seen as a sign of high-quality and an attractive selling point. Later, the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen used special Glashütte watches for navigation. One such watch is now on display at the museum dedicated to Norwegian polar exploration in Oslo, the Frammuseet (Fram Museum).
From a Publicly-Owned Company to a Market Economy
In 1916, Karl W. Höhnel marked the words "Original Glashütte" on one of his pendulum clocks, and in 1927, the words appeared printed on a dial of a wristwatch for the first time. After the end of the Second World War and the founding of the German Democratic Republic in the early 1950s, the Glashütte companies were forced to merge and nationalize under the name VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB). The GUB was state-owned and produced products for East Germany as well as for export. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH emerged as the successor to the GUB. Beginning in 1994, the new owners, Alfred Wallner and Heinz W. Pfeifer, began moving the company in the direction of luxury watches. In 2000, the Swiss concern the Swatch Group took over the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH.
A Manufacturer Central to German Watchmaking
Glashütte Original appeals to lovers of high-quality mechanical watches who have a taste for tradition and timeless, classic designs. However, they offer a wide range of watches: Their chronographs are sporty, and their 20th Century Vintage collection is targeted towards their young, and young-at-heart, customers. Produced in the home of German watchmaking, watches from Glashütte Original enjoy a high-level of prestige, in part thanks to their handmade, in-house calibers.