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One Brand, Three Watches - Today, Glashütte Original

One Brand, Three Watches Today, Glashütte Original

In this episode, we are Germany-bound, on our way to discover a brand with an eventful past and renowned qualities — just like its country of origin.

Do you know Glashütte Original? 

You may remember from a previous instalment of One Brand, Three Watches, dedicated to Graham, that I discussed the “other watchmaking country” — England, due to the numerous contributions of English watchmakers to horological history. Yet another country exists to challenge the Swiss hegemony in watchmaking today: Germany. Two of the best-known German brands in the world of fine watchmaking are associated with the same place in Saxony. One is A. Lange & Söhne. The other is Glashütte Original.

The brand is named for Glashütte, a Saxon mining town 30km from Dresden, in former East Germany. This town, despite its size, plays an outsize role in historical and modern watchmaking, comparable to the impact that La Chaux-de-Fonds, for example, has had in Swiss watchmaking. In 1845, a watch factory was established in the town of Glashütte. Over the years, numerous apprentices of this first factory started their own businesses, effectively planting the seeds of the German watch industry. At the beginning of the 20th century, watches from Glashütte were produced by a number of companies, and their quality was internationally known. After the Second World War, however, the communist regime of East Germany nationalised all these companies under a single state-owned entity — Glashütte Uhrenbetriebe (GUB). In 1994, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, GUB was privatised and renamed itself Glashütte Original. Why “Original”? The reputation of Glashütte-made watches was well established, and some companies with no connection to the town chose to misleadingly associate themselves with the name. Adding the word “Original” was a direct statement of provenance and legitimacy. Several features specific to the German style of watchmaking, such as the three-quarter movement plate, Glashütte waves and the double swan-neck regulator (pioneered in 1888), feature prominently in Glashütte Original watches.

Today, Glashütte Original continues to train young watchmakers in its school, transmission of knowledge being one of the pillars of German watchmaking. This ethos is further exemplified by the Glashütte museum retracing the history of the German watch industry. The manufacture continues the tradition of precision, reliability and robustness that is characteristic of German watchmaking. It favours craftsmanship, also embodied by remarkable finishes, all the while being on the cutting edge of technology. Glashütte Original is a true manufacture that takes pride in producing almost all the components of its timepieces in-house, with dials supplied by their own factory (located in Pforzheim).

The proof in three watches

1.Senator Chronograph Panorama Date
How not to love this high-performance chronograph, as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside?

Aujourd'hui, Glashütte Original

Senator Chronograph Panorama Date © Glashütte Original

The Senator Chronograph Panorama Date is one of the most emblematic models of the elegant and classic Senator line. It houses the brand's first integrated column-wheel chronograph movement with fly-back function, Calibre 37, which was launched in 2014. Robust and high-performance, it provides the watch with an impressive power reserve of 70 hours via a single barrel, with the power reserve indicated in the small seconds counter. The Panorama Date is a trademark of Glashütte Original. It consists of two separate discs bearing the two digits of the date. Located on the same plane, the discs display the date without separation. The Senator Chronograph Date Panorama is available in a 42mm pink-gold case with a white dial, or in a steel case with a white or black dial punctuated with sky-blue Super-LumiNova-coated indexes and hands.

2. Spezialist SeaQ 
A surprising break with the image we have of a Glashütte Original? Maybe not…

Aujourd'hui, Glashütte Original

SeaQ © Glashütte Original

In 2019, Glashütte Original launched their new Spezialist collection with the SeaQ diver's watch. While the launch of a Glashütte Original sports watch may have come as a surprise to some people, those who are familiar with the history of the German manufacture will recall that in 1969 it produced the Spezimatic Type RP TS 200, a sports diver's watch. The new SeaQ thus forms a firm link with the heritage of Glashütte Original, putting this link front and centre by displaying on its dial (just like the historical watch) “Rubis 26” — a statement of quality at the time — and “Shockproof”. Just like its predecessor, the Spezialist SeaQ also features Arabic numerals, beige hour markers and green hands — all of them luminescent. The SeaQ is water-resistant to 200m, with a screw-down crown and caseback, not forgetting the diver’s essential unidirectional notched bezel. With safety and reliability a priority for its designers, the SeaQ has undergone a battery of tests for water-resistance, underwater readability and resistance to impact and seawater.

3. PanoMatic Luna
We love this fine mechanical timepiece, just for ladies

Aujourd'hui, Glashütte Original

PanoMatic Luna © Glashütte Original

Our third choice of watch is addressed directly to ladies — because Glashütte Original knows better than to produce fine mechanical watches for men only. Gentlemen have the PanoMatic Lunar, and the ladies have the PanoMatic Luna. Smaller in diameter (39.4mm), with a diamond-set bezel and hour markers, embellished with a mother-of-pearl dial produced by the Pforzheim dial factory of Glashütte Original, the PanoMatic Luna is a successful example of a masculine watch reimagined for feminine wrists. It comes in a variety of creative shades such as red, pink, sky-blue and violet — refreshing and bright. The self-winding manufacture movement 90-12 displays the hours, minutes, small eccentric seconds, moon phase indication, Date Panorama and hacking seconds. The finely decorated movement, visible through the transparent caseback, complements the beauty of the watch.

 

Recommended reading

The brand

Glashütte Original is the rightful heir to Germany’s 170 years of legacy in the art of watchmaking. Glashütte Original is an authentic high-end manufactory that outfits all of its watches with in-house developed and made movements.

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