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.
- Luxury watches with in-house calibers
- Featuring complications like tourbillons and flyback chronographs
- Gold and platinum cases
- Retro models in the style of watches from the 60s and 70s
- Extensive collection of women's watches
Based in the Home of German Watchmaking
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 several other watchmakers as well, including Glashütte Original. The latter joined the Swatch Group
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 a young, and young-at-heart, clientele. 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.
The manufacturer has four watch series: the Art & Technik, Quintessentials, 20th Century Vintage, and Ladies Collection. The Art & Technik collection contains watches with sophisticated complications, including 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.
If you're looking for this manufacturer's masterpiece, then look no further than the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon
. This watch allows you to keep track of different time zones when you're on the road. Additionally, it features a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and a power reserve display. It also indicates if it's currently daylight savings time or standard time. The manual Calibre 89-01 powers the watch from within a platinum case, bringing the price of the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon to over 300,000 euros
. There are comparably priced watches also made in Glashütte, Germany from A. Lange & Söhne
The PanoMaticInverse watch features a duplex swan-neck fine adjustment visible from the dial side. Its presence defines the look of the watch; it resembles a stylized butterfly made of gold, rubies, and blued screws. The butterfly embodies the company's goal of uniting art and technology in their watches. A new PanoMaticInverse costs around 10,000 euros.
The PanoMaticCounter XL model comes with a rather rare counter complication. Two push-pieces are used to add or subtract from the counter and a third is used to set it back to zero. The PanoMaticCounter XL also features a flyback chronograph and is available new for around 17,000 euros.
Quintessential Timekeeping from Glashütte
The Art & Technik series is closely related 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, all of which make this an opulently designed series. The skeletonized edition of the decorative and delicate Senator Manual Winding watch embodies the overall 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. The latter features a decentralized seconds in addition to the two main hands and has 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 are reminiscent of the Spezimatic watches
produced in Glashütte in the German Democratic Republic. The Sixties Iconic is also available in subtler versions with a graphite/black dial. All versions, however, are simple, vintage-inspired three-hand watches with 39-mm stainless steel cases. Prices come in around 5,000 euros
. Car 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 a frequency of 28,800 alternations per 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 includes an additional unique feature: 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, which is located above six o'clock. In contrast to watches from the sixties, however, this watch's round case is a bit more sizeable at 42 mm in diameter. 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. Options include cases in stainless steel or rose gold, bicolor or solid color, and with metal or leather armbands. Its case is square with rounded edges and measures in at 31 x 31 mm. Many versions of this watch are 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 seconds stop, Panorama Date, and moon phase indicator. Like its siblings, the PanoMatic Luna is also available set with diamonds. However, its case is a bit larger than the other watches in the collection with a diameter of 39.4 mm.
From a Publicly-Owned Company to a Market Economy
There is so much more to Glashütte Original's history than just a founding date. Their origins date back to 1845 when Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded the first watchmaking shop in the small German town of Glasshütte. He was later joined as other shops began taking up residence there. Glashütte soon gained a reputation well beyond the German borders for producing first-rate watches. Production in Glashütte was seen as a sign of high quality and served as an attractive selling point. Later, the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen relied on 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).
In 1916, Karl W. Höhnel marked one of his pendulum clocks with the words "Original Glashütte." Later, in 1927, the words appeared printed on the 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's focus in the direction of luxury watches. In 2000, the Swiss concern Swatch Group took over the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH.