The philosophy of Glashütte Original
Under the sign of excellence and creativity
More than 170 years ago the first master watchmakers settled in Glashütte, and with passion, expertise and a wealth of ideas set about to develop the art of Glashütte watchmaking. In the course of many generations a culture of excellence and creativity was created that lends particular brilliance to the name Glashütte Original. This standard still inspires us today and drives us to continue developing our own new products.
Original to the last detail
The brilliant horological achievements of the manufactory reveal itself in the characteristic design elements of a Glashütte Original, visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
The fine decoration of the movement components, lavishly finished by hand, is a natural obligation to our high quality standards – in the tradition of the old masters.
Glashütte three-quarter plate
Unlike the Swiss watchmakers using different cocks and bridges, 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. This ensures a much more stable construction of the movement.
The Glashütte sunburst decoration dates back to 1868 and embellishes round and flat components that rotate while performing (ratchet wheel).
Tiny steel screws mirror-polished by hand turn their colour from grey to yellow, brown, red, and violet tones when heated (tempered) and achieve the desired, permanent deep blue colour at about 290°C. Beside a beautiful deep blue colour, the screw receives a protection against corrosion by polishing.
The balance is called the “heart of the watch“. It is part of the oscillation system and comprises the balance wheel, balance staff, plateau and balance spring. It regulates the gear train’s processes by means of its oscillations
• A talented watchmaker screws by hand and with the aid of a microscope 16 or 18 screws with a thread of only 0.35 mm to the balance wheel
• Afterwards 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
• The balance and balance spring are then classified accordingly to their moment of inertia and elastic moment and paired optimally
Characteristic manufactory elements down to the smallest 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.
Glashütte stripe finish
The Glashütte ribbing is a fine, even, striped finish. This characteristic polish decorates the watch movement. During a lavish process, it is applied to wheel bridges, cocks and the rotor.
Screw-mounted gold chatons
On some movements in the prestige 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.
Swan-neck fine adjustment
This fine adjustment mechanism has its origins in Glashütte since 1888 and serves to regulate the watch and reminiscent of a swan’s neck due to its shape. This fine adjustment mechanism comprises the regulator pointer and a stainless steel spring:
• Screwed onto the balance cock, the spring pushes against the regulator pointer to serve smallest corrections of the rate performance of the watch
• By turning a screw, set into the side of the spring, the regulator pointer can be moved accordingly to the desired rate.
• The spring creates the necessary return torque to precisely adjust the regulator pointer.
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.
Traditional horological process where the edges of processed metal surfaces are bevelled to an angle of 45°. This process creates decorative, shiny edges, but also a more resistant material by densifying the surface.
Perlage is a typical Glashütte surface decoration. It consists of 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. For example: the insides of wheel plates, or the outside areas of the base plate (dial side).
In constant progress
Discover the art of modern German watchmaking, which upholds the highest of standards.More about the Glashütte Original brand