• History

    The heritage of Glashütte Original


The roots of Glashütte Original reach back to 1845, the year in which the first master watchmakers settled in Glashütte. They realised their dream of an independent Saxon watchmaking industry. As a direct descendent of their art, today Glashütte Original carries their vision forth into the 21st century.

  • In the middle of the 19th century, in a little valley in the Ore Mountains only 30 kilometres from Dresden, the capital of Saxony, a unique success story began to unfold. Searching for new economic prospects for the region, whose name derives from ancient ore deposits, the government decided to undertake an ambitious enterprise: the deliberate founding of a watchmaking industry in the former mining town of Glashütte.

  • On the 7th of December 1845 the first residents of Glashütte began their apprenticeships as watchmakers, thus laying the cornerstone for a new kind of time measurement. The Saxon government's audacious plan succeeded, and by the beginning of the 20th century, the high quality of watches made in Glashütte had earned them a worldwide reputation for excellence.

  • In the decades to follow, the watchmakers' trust in their own strength, together with their determination never to give up in the face of difficulties, were to prove decisive. The course of history struck the little town with full force, leading finally in 1951 to the merging of the surviving Glashütte watchmakers into a state-owned company Volkseigener Betrieb, VEB.

  • Flexibility, the power of innovation and the nurture of tradition enabled the firm not only to survive the GDR years, but laid a foundation for further development.

  • Since 1994 the Glashütte Original brand has taken up this tradition in a seamless manner, assuming the heritage of the Glashütte watch companies from whose DNA it emerged following German reunification. Alongside the Swatch Group, of which Glashütte Original has been a member since the year 2000, the manufactory's watchmaking vision knows no bounds.