Switzerland has a couple of hundred years holds primacy in the field of watchmaking art and the creation of expensive watches.
It is even possible that the history of Swiss watchmaking for a couple of hundred years older than assumed.
Excellence, innovation and creativity – just a few of the qualities that originate in the noble heritage of Swiss watchmakers.
Hours of this small country in the heart of Europe are strongly associated with the best watch in the world.
A place of their creation, as the Valley of the Jura, Valais de Joux and watch metropolis of Geneva and Biel – attracts crowds of pilgrims collectors.
But when we talk about Germany, we do not often think about the clock.
The label “Made in Germany” is usually associated with quality, good design, value and durability.
But the clock? .
Nevertheless, Germany, land of poets and thinkers, offers an amazing variety of watches of different styles and prices – from affordable to watches of the highest quality that can compete with any Swiss brand.
Germany ranks 5th in the world for watch exports, after Switzerland, Hong Kong, China and France.
More than 100 watch companies and about 4,000 employees spread across the country with the two main production sites: the south (Pforzheim / Black Forest) and the east (Dresden / Glashütte).
In 2016, the German watch exports amounted to about € 1.
7 billion, compared with Switzerland and its export volume of 19.
4 billion Swiss francs, Germany claims only a small piece of cake hour, but -.
With delicious frosting, when it comes to luxury watches from Glashütte.
The long tradition of watchmaking Glashütte – a small Saxon town in the Ore Mountains, on the border with the Czech Bohemia.
It is so small that it will be difficult to find it on the map – about 7 thousand inhabitants -.
But its contribution to the art of watchmaking has a more than 170-year history.
When you first visit the nearby Dresden, bustling and beautiful – a real gem of baroque architecture – a rich history of watchmaking, you might think that Glashütte has nothing to offer: a handful of restaurants and cafes, local kebab.
Is that an abundance of untouched nature, inspiring to hiking and mountain biking.
However, if you are interested in watches, you will find yourself in the right place.
“Time to live here” is written on the sign, standing at the entrance to the city.
And the time settled in Glashütte in the time of Ferdinand Adolph Lange.
A former pupil of the court watchmaker King of Saxony, Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkesa, famous for its five-minute clock for the Dresden Opera House (Semperoper), marked the beginning of the watch industry in Glashütte.
In those days, Glashütte was a city of silver mines and miners.
However, over 400 years of mining, the deposit is almost completely depleted, and the city became poor.
However, Ferdinand Lange already imagine how to turn the city into a highly specialized center for watchmaking, similar to those that existed in England, Switzerland and France.
After several years of apprenticeship in France, where he worked for the Austrian watchmaker Joseph Thaddeus Vinnerla and studied astronomy and physics at the Sorbonne, Lange visited Switzerland, where he had seen the practice.
In 1843, Adolph Lange Ferdinanad wrote a letter to the Saxon Royal Government a detailed plan – to open the watch manufacture in Glashütte and score students.
Unlike traditional German watchmaking Lange wanted his students worked on a narrow specialization.
I liked the idea of the government of Saxony, and Lange received start-up capital for their company.
With the financial support of the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Saxony in 1845 Lange managed to find a small shop, and December 7, 1845 to hire the first 15 students.
Since then, this day is considered the birthday of watchmaking in Glashütte.
Within 3 years of the first masters began to work on their own, supplying the necessary components Lange manufactory.
Genius Lange gave the world several innovations that are still used in watchmaking, including the famous three-quarter plate.
Being larger in size than a “bridge-fingers” that usually used in Swiss mechanisms, three-quarter plate can easily support the entire gear train thereby ensuring stable operation of the pinion.
He also made a revolution in the production of dividing operations expertise at every stage of the production process.
A modernization of equipment such as lathes treadle, improved the production of round parts such as hinges, gears and wheels.
In addition, Lange has developed a more logical and effective metric for watchmaking.
Lange was far ahead of his contemporaries not only in matters of accuracy and production methods, but also brought the education, employment and new perspectives across the region.
Over time, the masters of the art of Glashütte became so popular that he began to copy, including Swiss companies.
Workshops from other countries in order to sell more of their hours, they wrote “System Glashütte”.
In response, the Glashütte watchmakers began to add to their brands word «Original», to confirm that they really are made in Glashütte.
So there was an expression which has now become the name brand Glashütte Original.
City of inventors and visionaries Soon FA Lange has not only become the owner of the watch shop, but the mayor of the city of Glashütte.
And sleduyuschie18 years he supervised the construction of many streets, bridges, strengthening Müglitz shore of the river, along which opens more and more suppliers of parts, tools and watchmaking.
They made all the components, from engines to enclosures, switches and dials – everything you can imagine, was made in Glashütte.
Glashütte became completely independent of the Swiss-made, and was similar to the early Silicon Valley watchmaking.
In the 1850s settled in Glashütte many qualified watchmakers, Adolf Schneider, Julius Assmann, whose pocket watch soon gained worldwide recognition and received numerous awards at international exhibitions.
And Karl Moritz Grossmann, specializing in the creation of tools, triggers and pocket watches.
Grossmann also led the first school of watchmaking in Glashütte, which opened in May 1878.
More than 4,000 engineers and watchmakers released his school until 1951, ensuring continuity of watchmaking tradition, technical knowledge and skills from generation to generation in Glashütte.
Another figure closely associated with the history of Glashütte – Johannes Dyurrshteyn – merchant from Frankfurt hours, who founded the wholesale company, and then, in 1893, and own factory called Union, which still exists today, as related brand Glashütte Original (two owned by Swatch Group).
His watch Union Universaluhr, with 18 complications, for many years remained the most complicated watch in the world.
By the end of the XIX century, Glashütte deserved reputation for producing some of the finest timepieces in the world, as well as some of the finest in terms of finishing.
Highly prized as a pendulum clock from Glashütte, especially Strasser & Rohde, by Ludwig Strasser and Gustav Rohde.
They were used in institutes, observatories and other companies for time synchronization marine chronometers and pocket watches.
They helped in the navigation discoverers like Roald Amundsen and Alexander von Humboldt.
In 1910, the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen bought a watch Julius Assmann and went with them on an expedition to the South Pole.
Glashütte success continued into the first quarter of the new century, when the scene turned out even more well-known artists such as Alfred Hellwig, who also taught at the School of watchmaking.
Hellwig invented the flying tourbillon, earning widespread recognition for themselves and the school.
Its tourbillon looked flying, because it was fixed quickly, with only one hand.
Without the pressure of the upper bridge mechanism ensures accuracy better than other portable clocks.
By 1926, most large manufacturers have begun Glashütte difficulties due to inflation, the global economic crisis and the inability to timely switch to the production of increasingly popular watches.
But help came from Saxon Clearing House, which financed the creation of Commerce Company “Plant accurate clocks» (UROFA) and Public Company “All plant» (UFAG) under the supervision of a lawyer, Dr.
The two companies have launched production of the first German caliber for wristwatches, as well as the first wristwatch.
Since 1927 they have produced under the brand Tutima brand.
The history of watchmaking in Glashütte abruptly interrupted after the Second World War.
Once on the territory of the GDR and the Soviet-controlled much of the equipment was dismantled and removed, and all city companies left in a sorry state, were nationalized and merged into a single plant.
It is from this plant July 1, 1951 there was a public company VEB Glashütter Uhrenfabrik, which until the reunification of Germany in 1989 produced watches, and other mechanical devices for the countries of the Eastern bloc, as well as from time to time to export them to the West.
While under this name were merged several companies, which were later revived its name and independence: eg A.
Lange & Söhne and R.
Mühle & Son.
revival Glashütte After the reunification of Germany, the vision of another kind of master Lange helped restore watchmaking in Glashütte.
His name was Walter Lange.
Together with the cornerstone of the new factory, the great-grandson of the founder, Walter Lange, also a watchmaker, Glashütte brought in a new era.
“We have almost nothing at the moment – he says – there were hours that could be collected and sold, no employees, no space, no equipment.
All that we had this vision that in Glashütte again we will create the world’s finest watches.
” That is what they did.
Today watches A.
Lange & Söhne are among the best in the world, not only in terms of advanced technology, but also the intricacies of finishing.
Lange 1 collection, which since 1994 has become a symbol of a new era, legendary for its unique dial and includes proprietary signature brand, large date.
Also limited and very popular collection Pour le Mérite, including exceptional examples of Saxon haute horlogerie.
Lange & Söhne Perpetual Pour le Mérite, presented at SIHH 2017 combines the three elements of the complex watchmaking – tourbillon, split-chronograph and perpetual calendar – with intricate chain drive fusée-and-chain, branded signature collection.
This is a great example of the craftsmanship of the brand – after only 23 years after its revival.
Lange & Söhne has been the catalyst of the watch industry in Glashütte, although the first was able to enter the market of another watch brand.
It was from Nomos Glashütte wristwatch in the Bauhaus style.
In less than 25 years, the company, founded by Roland Shvertnerom, became the largest in Germany in terms of volume produced by high-quality mechanical watches.
Nomos Glashütte today continues to operate as a full manufacture.
Nevertheless, the success of A.
Lange & Söhne, which coincided with a new interest for mechanical watches, has prompted other companies to settle in Glashütte, moving on stage a lot of old and new names.
Watches from Glashütte Original, based on the remains of VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb (GUB), today also embody the best Saxon tradition of measuring time.
The brand demonstrated its skill in spectacular complications and subtle art.
In 2005, Wempe Jewelers in Hamburg, which is also historically linked to Glashütte, bought an abandoned observatory and, in addition to the deployment of our own workshop, created in her Germany’s first chronometer testing center.
Since 2006, Wempe produces two lines of watches: Wempe Chronometerwerke Glashütte i / SA and more accessible Wempe Zeitmeister Glashütte i / SA.
Carl Moritz Grossmann, founder and director of the German watchmaking school of the XIX century, which did not leave his factory, also received a new life.
Master Kristin Hutter successfully revived the pioneering spirit of the founding father of Glashütte in the luxury watch brand Moritz Grossmann.
The balance Grossman to violet-pink arrows – almost every part of the clock of the brand is carried out manually in the modern and well-equipped workshops.
There was also Tutima Unlike other brands, Tutima never completely disappeared from the scene hours Germany.
The company moved to West Germany and 1960 under the direction of Dieter Delekata produced mainly chronographs and pilot’s watch, in the community of Ganderkesee, Lower Saxony.
Legendary Military Chronograph Tutima Ref.
798 (the official watch of the NATO pilots since 1984), a good example of a brand’s popularity at the time.
The company’s return honor in Glashütte in 2011, Tutima watchmakers have created something special – the first minute repeater, entirely designed and manufactured on German soil.
Repeater, Tutima Hommage literally marked a new era in the company’s history, and soon after was followed by some amazing collections as Saxon One, Grand Flieger, M2 and Patria.
This family business is celebrating its ninetieth anniversary of the premiere of the T659 caliber – another mechanism, fully designed and developed in Glashütte.
Located in a quiet valley town of Glashütte again attracts collectors and fans, producing all kinds of large and small complication, along with designer watches and sport.
Skilled watchmakers Glashütte create mechanical wonders with unique features like three-quarter plate and decoration “Glashütte wave”, which is similar, but, nevertheless, differs from the “Geneva waves”, and demonstrate the unique quality of watches Glashutte worldwide.
To have the clock on the face of the label “Made in Glashütte” at least half of the added value of the mechanism must be made in the city.
So Germany retains the noble traditions and the historical significance of the city, offering an excellent alternative to the well-trodden path to the Swiss.
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