As a watchmaking company that has stayed relevant and competitive throughout its long run, Glashutte Original is one of the big contenders in German watchmaking. It is a marriage of old tradition and contemporary design. And it has such a rich heritage further solidified by its core values. Find out this brand’s story and the best watches that bring pride to its name. This is your guide to Glashutte Original.
A Synthesis of Tradition and Modernity
In this section, we’ll look into this brand’s rich story. We’ll cover everything from its history, to its core values, and even dabble a bit in its amazing watchmaking school.
History of Glashutte Original
Although technically the current Glashutte Original was established in 1994, its rich history actually reaches back as far as 1845. At the time, Dresden, the capital of Saxony, was a thriving cultural hub. Meanwhile, 30 kilometers away at a valley in the Ore Mountains, the town of Glashutte wasn’t doing as well and was looking for opportunities for economic growth. On December 7, 1845, some Glashutte residents started their journey as apprentice watchmakers. This would lead the town to eventually bear its reputation as the center for quality watchmaking in Germany.
As one of the watchmaking companies that hailed from the town, Glashutte Original began to create a name for itself across Germany for its quality timepieces. However, history would play a big role in this company’s future. With the damage caused by the war, the state decided to merge the remaining Glashutte watchmakers into a single state-owned company called Volkseigener Betrieb (VEB). It was only after the fall of the Berlin Wall that the state dismantled VEB and the Glashutte watchmakers gained their autonomy once more. Thus, in 1994, Glashutte Original was re-established as its own brand, and since then, has continued to produce amazing timepieces that honour the Glashutte watchmaking tradition.
Glashutte Original: What Makes it Tick?
With its incredibly long run in the industry, Glashutte Original has, without a doubt, faced many changes. What has stayed constant through the years, however, are the brand values that Glashutte Original takes to heart and to practice.
As many great companies do, Glashutte Original strives for excellence. Their sense of excellence encompasses several aspects such as reliability, precision, and stability. They consistently uphold the high standards set by German watchmaking and deliver above and beyond.
At the time of its birth, Glashutte watchmakers were a scarcity. However, after a century, competition has become fierce, and watch companies are in abundance. While continuing and honouring the old tradition of Glashutte watchmaking, Glashutte Original stays competitive in the market by keeping up with modern watchmaking technology. Glashutte Original invests research and innovation to further the advancements in the field.
Glashutte Original watches are often a marriage of creativity and authenticity. Originality is definitely part of this brand’s identity — literally! It’s in the name. Glashutte Original thinks outside the box and welcomes all sorts of ideas to create truly amazing original pieces.
With the rich history behind Glashutte watchmaking, Glashutte Original makes it a point to honour and respect the centuries-old tradition that has made it what it is today. Through Glashutte Original and its watches, this old tradition of watchmaking lives on. It incorporates its heritage in its movements and mixes it with contemporary designs and technologies to create a truly unique experience for the watch enthusiast.
Glashutte Original offers its customers the feeling of prestige and luxury with its watches. Owning a Glashutte Original watch is an exclusive experience as the watch company only produces a few hundred pieces for each model every year. This sense of rarity makes Glashutte Original a sought-after brand.
For Glashutte Original, watches aren’t just contraptions that tell time; they are works of art. Glashutte Original pours so much effort into making every aspect of a watch beautiful. This is exhibited by harmonious designs and artfully placed decorations. The brand aspires to make every single watch a masterpiece of its own accord.
Glashutte Original Watchmaking School
Through its watchmaking school, the Alfred Helwig School of Watchmaking, Glashutte Original is able to preserve its rich heritage by transferring the knowledge and tradition of watchmaking to its aspiring watchmakers.
Glashutte Original acknowledges the importance of truly understanding the art, craftsmanship, and expertise behind the creation of a watch. It instills in its students the theoretical knowledge and hands-on training needed to become a watchmaker of the company’s standard. And what better place to learn this craft than in a building with as much history on its own.
The Alfred Helwig School of Watchmaking resides where the German Watchmaking School Glashutte once stood. This former institute was established in 1878 at the heart of Glashutte and has molded the minds of many watchmakers in its day. With this, the Alfred Helwig School of Watchmaking becomes a nexus for the past, present, and future. It holds the past through the history within its very walls and the age-old knowledge and tradition it passes down. It celebrates the present with its state-of-the-art facilities and watchmaking technologies. And, it nurtures the future with its batch of young minds ready to become the watchmakers of tomorrow.
Glashutte Original’s Best Collections
In this section, we’ll showcase the brand’s best watches. But first, we’ll be covering a bit of backstory behind each collection.
Glashutte Original Senator
This collection aims to capture the history behind Glashutte Original. It uses traditional design elements and incorporates mechanical complexity reminiscent of the Saxon art of timekeeping. You can expect nothing less than the highest standards from this series.
Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase Watch
This stunning watch is not only a feast for the eyes but also a testament to the Glashutte Original high standards. The Senator Excellence series undergoes a 24-day testing period under extreme conditions to ensure the best quality for its watches. Now, that’s quality control. Moving on, let’s talk about the craftsmanship put into this piece. Its moon phase display is carefully crafted at the company’s in-house dial manufacture in Pforzheim. There, they use diamond milling to make the rounded moon display.
This watch has an elegant black Louisiana Alligator leather band with a stainless steel buckle. It has a vibrant galvanised blue dial with an eye-catching sunray effect. The watch is decorated with luminous hour markers and white gold appliques, while its watch hands are plated with rhodium. For its added functions, it has a panorama date window in between the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions, and a beautiful moon phase feature.
Glashutte Original Pano
The Pano collection is marketed as the “contemporary face of Saxon watchmaking”. It veers away from the typical classic watch look and instead merges creativity and innovation in its design. This series definitely takes on a more modern aesthetic with its asymmetric dials and sophisticated technology.
One look at this PanoMaticInverse watch will take your breath away. Its eye-catching design is thanks to the inverse positioning of its components that often hide at the back. The dial has a beautiful Glashutte stripe finish that really adds a level of texture to the design. It is also decorated with a hand-engraved balance bridge and vibrant blue screws. The strap is made of the same Louisiana Alligator leather found in the Senator Excellence watch but in a dark blue. This watch incorporates an asymmetric design for its dial, with the main hour and minute watch hands located in a smaller subdial to the left. It also has a small, off-centre second hand below the hour and minute hands. In addition, it has a panorama date window at the upper right of the dial.
Glashutte Original Vintage
This collection brings the classic designs to the modern world. It takes inspiration from the ’60s and the ’70s and it interprets them in a more contemporary way.
Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date Watch
For the Vintage series, we have this sporty chronograph with a seventies design. It has a gray Louisiana Alligator leather strap and a stainless steel case. The dial sports a classy gray sunray design, matching the gray strap of the watch. Its dial has white gold scales and watch hands that are inlaid with Super-LumiNova. The watch has a 30-minute display chronograph, power reserve display, numerical 12-hour display, a seconds sub-dial, and a panorama date window.
How to Spot a Fake Glashutte Original
Every luxury brand has some sort of replica out there, and you can never be too safe when it comes to purchasing an expensive watch. In this section, we’ll show you some ways you can prevent mistaking a pretty convincing fake for an authentic.
1. Spot the too-good-to-be-true offers.
Sometimes you’d find yourself being offered a pretty good deal but then get that oh so familiar sinking suspicion. Follow your gut. If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is. And you might argue with yourself that sometimes these luxury watches can come at discounted prices, especially if it’s secondhand. However, it’s always important to note the extent of the sale. If it comes at an excitingly alarming range of discount, then it’s a bit fishy, to be honest. Be familiar with the usual price of the item, and if it’s at a price way lower than it usually is then you’ve probably got yourself a handsome fake.
2. Make a thorough inspection of the watch.
As a brand that holds itself up to the highest standard, you can expect that every Glashutte Original watch would have no detail out of place. So if you’ve found yourself in the presence of an iffy watch, take a closer look. Here are some things to keep in mind when inspecting a watch. Luxury watches are always made with the best materials so they’ll have a bit of weight to them. Fake metals are much lighter than authentic ones. Another thing to look at is the lettering. The alignment and spacing have to feel right and consistent. And lastly, don’t miss out on the details. Check if the finishing is properly executed. Examine the engraving to see if it is cheap work. Look at every screw, stud, or any piece of decoration just to be sure.
3. Buy only from reputable sources.
Get the lowdown on where you’re getting this watch from. If you’re purchasing online, do your research. Check out reviews other people have left for that particular seller. Search their name or username and see what the forums have to say about them. Make sure whoever this seller is that they are trustworthy and reputable.
Of course, the best way to ensure that the watch you’re getting is authentic is to get it from an authorised Glashutte Original dealer. Proceed to the next section to find out where to buy a Glashutte Original.
Where to Buy a Glashutte Original
There are a number of ways to get your own Glashutte Original watch. If you want to visit an official retailer, you can check out Glashutte Original’s “Find Your Retailer” function on their website. This page will help you find the nearest boutique or authorized retailer. You can either click on the “Geolocate Me” button which will use your pinned location to find the nearest store, or you could also type in your country or region in the search box. The page will then show you a map with the store locations marked to let you know your options.
If you prefer to shop online, you could go to Amazon and check out the watches Glashutte Original has up on that site. You could also check out our own store here at The Watch Company since we’ve got a few Glashutte Original watches in stock.
Glashutte Original’ Selling Points
There is a reason why Glashutte Original has stayed relevant throughout the years. This secret to success has many aspects behind it, but we are sure these three are part of the formula.
High Standard of Quality
As a prestigious institute, Glashutte Original prides itself on delivering the best and meeting the high standards it has set for itself. There is no doubt behind the quality present in each Glashutte Original watch. This company treats its watches not just as commodities but as works of art. They invest a lot of time and energy into ensuring that every Glashutte Original watch comes out as a masterpiece. And it has definitely paid off.
Traditional German Watchmaking
One of the things Glashutte Original definitely has an advantage over its competition is the years of expertise behind its name. You do not often find traditional watchmakers in the markets today. And thus, Glashutte Original uses this to its advantage. It makes use of its heritage and the knowledge it possesses, along with the advancements of modern times, to create outstanding timepieces that are carefully crafted. This pool of rich knowledge put at the well-practiced hands of its watchmakers makes Glashutte Original a watch brand to be sought after.
One of the things that this brand values is its exclusivity. And it is also something that makes the brand appealing to its consumers. By only manufacturing a few hundred pieces of each model every year, the company offers a certain prestige. And thus, Glashutte Original spreads a blanket of rarity over its name that makes watch enthusiasts and collectors everywhere giddy with excitement.
Glashutte Original truly brings together the rich heritage of its traditional Saxon watchmaking and the magnificent technology of the modern world. It always aims for the highest standard. And thus, it results in watches of the best quality. Glashutte Original watches are truly something to seek after and will remain relevant even in the many years to come.
If you want to learn more amazing stories from other watch brands, check out our guide to Roger Dubuis watches.