Original to the Last Detail

The brilliant horological achievement of the manufactory reveals itself in the characteristic design elements of a Glashütte Original, always visible through the sapphire crystal case back. Whether it is the traditional Glashütte three-quarter plate featuring its typical gold chatons held by three screws or the striking balance wheel with filigreed gold weighted screws in conjunction with the typical swan-neck fine adjustment or even the duplex swan-neck fine adjustment: the true art of watchmaking reveals itself in the details.

The fine decoration of the movement components, lavishly finished by hand, is a natural obligation to our demanding quality principles – completely in the tradition of the old masters. And this is why a Glashütte Original is more than a mechanical watch. It is akin to a work of art with a function, inducing its owner to pause and experience an everlasting feeling of joy when glancing at this beautiful example of fine mechanics.

  • Glashütte Three-quarter plateGlashütte Three-quarter plate

    Glashütte Three-quarter plate

    The wheel bridge used in Glashütte watchmaking since 1864 covers three-quarters of the movement’s surface and houses all the movable parts, from the spring barrel to the escape wheel.

    Thus, precision during production and assembly becomes slightly more complicated (the distances between bearing holes need to be more precise), but at the same time a much more stable construction is created.

  • Striped finishStriped finish

    Striped finish

    Glashütte ribbing is a fine, even, striped finish. This characteristic polish decorates the watch movement. During a lavish process, it is applied to plates, wheel bridges, and cocks. 

  • BevellingBevelling

    Bevelling

    This traditional horological process sees the edges of worked metal surfaces polished to an angle of 45° by use of a steel peg. This creates not only decorative, shiny edges, but the material is also made denser and thus more resistant to outer influences such as moisture.

  • Screw balanceScrew balance

    Screw balance

    The balance is part of the oscillation system and comprises the balance wheel, balance staff, plateau and balance spring. It is practically the beating heart of the watch and regulates the gear train’s processes by means of its oscillations.

    A talented watchmaker adds 18 screws with a thread of only 0.35 mm to the balance wheel of Glashütte Original’s screw balance with the aid of a microscope. After that, the balance staff is riveted and the plateau pressed on. After the ensuing poising of 2 µg/cm precision, a small groove is milled on the bottom of the balance wheel corresponding to the strength of the disequilibrium. The balance and balance spring are then classified according to their moment of inertia and elastic moment and paired off optimally.

  • Swan-neck fine adjustmentSwan-neck fine adjustment

    Swan-neck fine adjustment

    This fine adjustment mechanism, reminiscent of a swan’s neck due to its shape, comprises the index and a steel spring. Screwed onto the balance cock, the spring pushes against the index. By turning a screw set into the side of it, the index can be changed according to the desired rate. The spring creates the necessary return torque to precisely adjust the index.

    The swan neck spring – only 7.8 mm long, 3.4 mm wide, and 0.54 mm high – is mirror polished during a manual process called tin polishing that can take up to half an hour.

  • Hand engravingHand engraving

    Hand engraving

    Characteristic manufactory elements down to the last detail: each of the hand-engraved (balance) cocks and balance bridges are unique. This high art comprises engraving a design onto a minute space without the use of a pre-stenciled pattern.

    After the nickel-plating and ensuing gold-plating of the cocks, the tender valleys of the engravings are filled with a special protective varnish with the aid of a microscope. Rhodium-plating gives the parts their silver color, while the engravings retain their shiny gold color after the protective varnish is removed.

  • Blued screwsBlued screws

    Blued screws

    The tiny steel screws mirror-polished by hand turn yellow, brown, red, and violet tones when heated (tempered) and achieve the desired, permanent deep blue color at about 290°C.

    Simultaneously, the tempering is a protective oxide coating.

  • Screw-mounted gold chatonsScrew-mounted gold chatons

    Screw-mounted gold chatons

    On some movements in the luxury watch segment, pivot bearings, or jewels, are set in so-called gold chatons. The chaton is a bed made of 18-karat gold that is placed into special drillings in the wheel bridge and secured with two or three blued screws. Each chaton is fitted in height to its mounted position. It may not jut out from the surface and also not fall back into the drilling.

  • PerlagePerlage

    Perlage

    Perlage is a typical Glashütte surface decoration comprising overlapping, pearl-shaped circles that are made by a rotating rubber peg covered with a special diamond powder that is applied to the surface by hand. It is generally used where deep, flat surfaces are not to be found. These are for example the insides of wheel plates, or the outside areas of the base plate (dial side).

Traditional Features