Who says that Germans are rigorous? If they are romantic, no one can stop them. Glashütte is a beautiful example of this beautiful ‘Legendary German Blue Blood’. There are not only world-famous Glashütte high-end mechanical watches here, but also beautiful scenery. Facing the dense mountains, you may occasionally see the castle-style villas hidden in the trees. Don’t forget the flowing river, which is deep and quiet. It looks like a background of a fairy tale that you have dreamed of countless times since you were a child, and it appears like a picture in front of you. The source of luxury is nothing more than a green hill, a house, and a small river.
German treasure house of bright metals
In German, Glashütte means ‘treasure of bright metal.’ In the town, some street-center sculptures and the walls of the house have cross hammers and silver sundial signs. The former represents the mining industry and the latter represents the watch industry. This is also the logo of Glashütte and this small The origin of the town.
The town where the silver mines were depleted was faced with a choice, and a local craftsman made a coincidence in 1845 that made Glashütte on the legendary path of the watchmaking industry. At that time, people did not expect that this small town with only 2,500 residents created the world-renowned Glashütte Original high-end mechanical watch brand. Its full range of watches are 100% loaded with high-end homemade movements, adhering to the traditional German manual watchmaking process. Each Glashütte watch is a unique work of art, conveying the noble taste of the wearer.
Glashütte adheres to the concept of producing genuine original watches, that is, conceived and designed by the original factory, 100% of the entire series of equipment is equipped with independently developed movements, adhering to Germany’s proud tradition of hand polishing and assembly, is truly original, high Quality mechanical watch. There are only a few watchmaking factories in the watchmaking industry that can meet this demanding requirement, and there is only one Glashütte watchmaking factory in Germany.
Glashütte has not only accepted the cultural beauty of Dresden as the ‘most beautiful city in Germany’, but also maintained the 160-year-old German watchmaking tradition, and put this brilliant technology in the politics of the two world wars, the separation of East and West, and other politics. Survived during the turmoil, it has become one of the world’s two major high-end watch manufacturing bases.
The town is located in the Müglitz valley to the east of the Oers Mountains. The air is fresh, the oxygen content is high, and the temperature is a few degrees lower than Dresden. The world’s two major watch and clock towns are hiding in the mountains with wonderful scenery-high-end watch making is not limited to an artistic creation, and watchmaking is a task that requires both brainpower and technology. Especially in the complex function production department, the watchmakers’ daily working hours are not too long to ensure that they are happy and will not make mistakes. At the same time, they need to stay away from the business environment that must be compared with Baht, open-minded, and focus on watch manufacturing. Surprisingly, after the heavy losses of World War II and the special historical and political conditions of Germany after the war, Glashütte still stands among the world’s top watch production places.
魂 The watch soul that is not destroyed by World War
World War I and the global economic crisis of the time were a huge blow to Glashütte’s watchmaking industry, but not fatal. Although some companies had to close, many watchmakers returned to the altar with watches produced by industrial procedures in just one year. In 1920, Alfred Helwig, the founder of the observatory and watchmaker, even improved the general tourbillon and created a ‘floating tourbillon’ known by experts as ‘the pinnacle of watchmaking art’. .
During World War II, all watchmaking companies in Glashütte had to produce ‘military items’, which directly led to the end of the war when Glashütte was heavily bombed by the Allies, just like Dresden City. Almost destroyed. After the war, Glashütte merged into East Germany, and the stationed Soviet army dismantled almost all the watchmaking equipment remaining in the watch factory and shipped it to the Soviet Union. The only thing watchmakers could do is to call upon artisans and mechanics to gradually resume production from the manufacture of machines and tools. In 1951, the then ruling party ordered the merger of seven independent watch factories in Glashütte, including A. Lange & Sohne, Felix Estler, Metechnik, Liwos, Feintechnik, Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte, and Uhrenfabrik Glashütte. The state-owned enterprise is called VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB), which means ‘People’s Watch Factory’. In the decades that followed, Glashütte was almost completely isolated from the Western world. The ‘People’s Watch Factory’ produced 100,000 watches with simple appearance and practical functions each year for the Eastern European Group countries.
In 1990, the reunification of East and West Germany also brought Glashütte back to life. VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb (GUB) ‘People’s Watch Factory’ was reorganized into Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH, which legally inherited all the original watchmaking enterprises in the town of Glashütti, and was finally privatized in 1994. Bavarian-born high-tech medical device entrepreneur Heinz W. Pfeifer successfully invested in the company and became chief executive. The company’s new goal is to launch truly original products. They use high-quality mechanical watches hand-crafted by traditional craftsmanship, and they are designed to be precise and practical, and they are rapidly rising in the global high-end watch market. In 1995, the company’s watches were named Glashütte Original. After many calamities, the name of this small town was finally engraved on the watch body of the top precision mechanical watch, shining with consistent high quality and extraordinary unique temperament.
Introduced in the spring of 1995, Julius Assmann 1 contains the outstanding craftsmanship of the perpetual calendar and the floating tourbillon. Julius Assmann is one of the most sophisticated and expensive watches in Glashütte history. Every year since then, the company has continued to innovate, and many of its watches have not only won awards at various watch exhibitions, but also won top-level watches worldwide.
Clock Museum: The Essence of Watchmaking
Two of the world’s great watch museums are the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, which houses antique watches, clocks, and jewellery designed in early Geneva and surrounding towns. The other is the Clock Museum in Glashütte. The former showcases Swiss watchmaking history and watchmaking technology, while the latter showcases the formation of the German watch brand ‘Glasutti’. It is a miracle that the watchmaking tradition in the region has not been fatally hit after such turbulent social environments as the two world wars, the merger of East and West, and Germany. This is in stark contrast to Switzerland’s 200-year-old, secure country, without war.
At present, the museum has two floors, covering an area of about 1,000 square meters, displaying more than 400 unique timepieces. At the same time, the exhibition uses a large number of multimedia languages, and you can admire works of pocket watches, wristwatches, pendulum clocks, etc. in the towns of Glashütte from various periods, and even precision timepieces for maritime affairs. And patent literature. There is also an exquisite metronome, which shows the application of clocks in music.
The theme exhibition is divided into two parts, ‘History Review’ and ‘Time Gallery’. ‘History Review’ shows the chronicles of the development of watchmaking in Glashütte, as well as the watchmakers who made the history of German clocks. ‘The corridor of time’ divides the history of watchmaking development into different stages to show the evolution of watchmaking technology. For example, a mechanical clock is completely disassembled into parts, allowing people to experience the charm of hundreds of tiny parts. At the same time, it also shows the evolution of the human-invented timer from ‘clock’ to ‘watch’ and from ‘pocket watch’ to ‘wristwatch’.
Dr. Frank Müller, President of the Glashütte brand, said at the museum’s opening ceremony: ‘The Glashütte Watch Museum in Germany plays a role in allowing people to experience the ‘world of time’, so it is not just for watches Lovers, but also designed for the general public, for young people. I also hope that this amazing museum exhibition can show the essence and aesthetics of watchmaking art, and can pass watchmaking related expertise to our next generation. . ‘
Famous watchmaking schools
In 1878, in order to meet the needs of the huge market and cultivate more professionals, Mr. Moritz Grossmann established the German Watch School in the town of Glashütte. Not only has a group of professional watch technicians been cultivated for the town of Glashütte, many of them have traveled around the country after their studies and carried forward German watchmaking know-how. One of the best is Alfred Helwig. After graduating from a German watchmaking school, he studied timepieces in many countries. After studying, he returned to the town of Glashütte to open an observatory watch factory. Superb tuning techniques and the invention of the floating tourbillon became famous, and later he joined the German watchmaking school as a tutor.
The master watchmakers in Glashütte have worked tirelessly to successfully create a number of ingenious works. German watchmaking is also the most brilliant gem in watchmaking.
At this point, the town of Glashütte has not only become a watchmaking center in Germany, but also one of the most important watchmaking centers in the world, and its status is comparable to that of Geneva, Switzerland. Its clocks are almost perfect with high-quality manufacturing technology and overall design, and they are tied with the top Swiss-made clocks.
车间 Glashütte watch making workshop: faith is in the movement
I followed the staff to visit the watchmaking workshops in the Glashütte company. Although they were only in the corridor, despite the large glass windows, they still felt the rigor and meticulousness of the watchmaking process.
The first floor is the Glashütte store, which is not big but the watches on display are of great value. This is one of six Glashutte Original stores worldwide, with five more in Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Beijing and Shanghai in China.
I heard that the clock mechanics in Glashütte did not specify the amount of work to be done every day. The boss expected them to treat the work as a creation and complete their passionate creation when the work was the best. In the production of top-level limited edition watches, it is done by an art studio. The watchmaker will finish the installation from the first screw to the last screw.
Many details are amazing. The gooseneck hairspring is polished by hand using a tin mill rod, and a fine wire of only 0.35 mm thick is used to manually attach the gold hammer screw to the balance wheel. The cut ruby is manually pressed into the gold seat plate Then, use a fine blue steel screw to nail the ruby to the movement plate.
Artificial, microscope, calculation down to the millimeter, so an artwork is born. The oversized calendar display, which may have two coaxial digital circles, is unique to Glashütte.
Therefore, in 1997, Glashütte’s exquisite mechanical watch was made of hand-painted enamel as thin as paper and paper by the top porcelain brand Meissen, as beautiful as a piece of art, and the price was as high as 370,000 yuan.
In fact, Glashütte is just an introduction to luxury goods. Exploring these brands, these values, is nothing more than to find an answer for its price. But first, we have been impressed by their ultimate pursuit and their spirit of continuous transcendence.
The guide card in the first floor of the Glashütte Hall ends with a phrase: Keeping faith in the mechanical watch, built by the best of hands using processes handed down through generations, result in time pieces that maintain their value-this is what watches by Glashü tte Original stand for. I think this is the persistence and soul of the Glashütte brand.