At the end of February 2018, just after the Chinese New Year, we were invited by Glashütte Original to Germany to participate in the Berlin Film Festival and visited the Glashütte Original Watch Factory. . Glashütte Original is one of Germany’s most famous watchmakers and a true heir to the long history of watchmaking in Glashütte. The town of Glashütte is located about 30 kilometers south of Dresden, the capital of Saxony. The town is not large, the landform is similar to a canyon, and the forest on both sides is very natural and quiet. However, this one is not noisy. The small town has more than 170 years of watchmaking history, and it also creates watch works that admire the world.
Those who know the history of Glashütte watchmaking know that Saxony was rich in silver in the early days. Its ruler was one of the seven ‘electors’, which is the candidate of the Holy Roman Emperor. . Several generations of Saxony electors have enthusiastically loved art, and the collection filled today’s ‘Green Dome Treasure Hall’ in Dresden, witnessing the region’s rich artistic traditions and accomplishments. However, it gradually declined due to the lack of advantages of other industries after the mining area was gradually mined. In the first half of the 19th century, the first watchmakers began to make clocks in the town of Glashütte. They laid a solid foundation for the Glashütte watchmaking industry. With the strong support of the government, they not only established brands and made clocks. Exported to other countries, trained local watchmakers, and ordered watch parts from them. Since then, Glashütte watchmaking has gradually formed an industrial cluster. More importantly, with excellent watchmaking technology, Glashütte Suti watchmaking gradually became famous and became a symbol of high-quality timepieces, while local watch brands were also happy to be named ‘Glashütte’ to reflect its precious value.
Adolf Franger, Julias Asman, Moritz Grossman, Adolf Schneider are undoubtedly pioneers of Glashütte fine watchmaking. They not only created the Glashütte fine watch industry, but also cultivated A lot of horological talents were created, and the unique style of Glashütte watchmaking was created: from 1850s to 1860s, the clocks produced by the town of Glashütte transitioned from 1/2 plywood to 2/3 plywood, then pushed The 3/4 plywood covers all moving parts from the barrel to the escape wheel, making the movement particularly stable. At that time, blue steel screws and gold sleeves were extremely popular as fixed bearings. From the 1840s to the 1910s, Glashütte’s watchmaking industry flourished and became famous overseas, and accumulated a wealth of watchmaking heritage. Even after the baptism of war, it always adhered to watchmaking and never stopped. In 1951, the East German government integrated the seven factories in the town of Glashütte and established the Glashütte People’s Watchmaking Factory. After the reunification of Germany, the People’s Watch Factory was reorganized into today’s Glashütte Original Watchmaking Company, which completely inherited the town’s valuable assets such as technology and craftsmanship since the establishment of the watchmaking industry in 1845, and merged into Sri Lanka in the late 1990s. The Woki Group. Therefore, when a watch lover set foot on the land of Glashütte, his heart was moved.
Glashütte Original Watch Factory
Glashütte’s original watch factory is a four-storey modern and transparent building, which is very conspicuous in those simple and quaint houses, showing its style as a modern watch manufacturer. Here has always been the location of the Glashütte People’s Watch Factory. In 2003, Glashütte Original renovated it and took on a new look. Entering the lobby of the watch factory, an impressive spaciousness is formed by the glass roof, and natural lighting is also very good. This is the headquarters of the Glashütte Original Watch Factory. All Glashütte original precision watches are produced and assembled here. The brand has 100% independent research and development capabilities, can produce more than 95% of watch parts, and controls complete watch manufacturing. The process, and more importantly, Glashütte’s original and highly representative works are also completed here. Of course, Glashütte Original also has its own dial factory, located in Pforzheim, 600 kilometers from the town of Glashütte, which was once the ‘Golden City’ of Germany, a mecca for top jewelry craftsmanship.
We know that modern clock manufacturing is no longer purely handmade in the past. With advanced equipment and scientific management processes, plus a lot of moving hand decoration and assembly, the clock has become so precise and exquisite. Glashütte Original has advanced clock making equipment. First, it cuts the raw materials to make the contours of the required parts, and then manually deburrs to ensure that the surface is relatively smooth. With multi-point mapping equipment, precision measurement of different parts and components is performed. In order to meet the design standards, the finishing process is performed after the blank parts are completed.
Finishing is mainly divided into several parts: plating, texture grinding, chamfering, hand engraving, screw baking blue and so on. Different processes must be controlled by an experienced watchmaker. The plating is mainly rhodium or zinc. The brass surface is coated with a protective color, which is beautiful and can prevent brass oxidation. Texture polishing includes Glashütte columnar patterns, pearl patterns, sun patterns, etc., which are decorative textures, which make the movement change the charming effect in the light and shadow. With different polishing equipment, the technicians operate with experience to ensure uniform texture. The shades are consistent. Chamfering and polishing seem to be simple, but they need to surpass the patience and enthusiasm of ordinary people. Only the gooseneck trimmer spring with the size of a small fingernail contains three different types of polishing, mirror polishing on the surface, brushed polishing on the side, and 45 degree chamfer polishing All are done manually by a technician. Hand-engraving is the symbol of Glashütte’s original fine watchmaking. Since the clock industry of Glashütte entered the glory in the 19th century, hand-carving has become the representative style of Glashütte’s fine watchmaking, and even later it was considered to be Germany The watchmaking style symbolizes that today, Glashütte Original still masters this craftsmanship, instilling the warmth of artisans in the cold metal.
When all parts are ready, they will enter the assembly process. One of the simplest movements also has more than two hundred parts, which need to be assembled for several hours to complete, while an advanced and complex watch requires experienced watchmakers to assemble over twenty working days . Unlike conventional brands, all Glashütte original watches are assembled by independent watchmakers. This requires the watchmaker’s extremely rich experience and accumulation to master this complete process. When everything is assembled, Glashütte Original will perform the most stringent tests on the watch to ensure that the watch has the highest standards of accuracy, water resistance, shock resistance and other properties. In 2016, Glashütte Original introduced its own certification standard on the 36-calibre series watch for the first time. It is a 24-day comprehensive test in a watch factory. The accuracy requirements are more stringent than the well-known observatory certification. Each Caliber 36 watch is engraved with a certification mark and is accompanied by an exclusive test certificate. The watch is delivered to consumers, and Glashütte Original also delivers a quality commitment.
Glashütte Watch Museum
From the Glashütte Original Watch Factory, go down to the left side of the building, not far from the German Clock Museum. The museum is a microcosm of history. Here, each exhibit tells you the past of the watchmaking industry of Glashütte. In order to preserve these precious historical heritages, Glashütte Original and Glashütte are jointly established. The ‘Glasutti Watch Museum in Germany-Nicholas Hayek’ foundation and built this museum, it is not very large, but it has preserved the ups and downs of the watchmaking industry in Glashütte, recording the once glorious culture. This building also has a long history. In 1878, watchmaker Maurice Grossman founded the first watch school in Glashütte here, and the inventor of the flying tourbillon, Glashütte watchmaker Alfred. Hevig is a school teacher, here is the cradle of Glashütte watchmaking.
The museum exhibits more than 400 unique exhibits, covering all periods from the 1840s to today, from early pocket watches, pendulum clocks, astronomical clocks, astronomical clocks to modern watches, from unique catches Longitudinal structure model, historical honor, patent certificate, watchmaking tool and balance spring structure, here tells you the history of watches and clocks, and also presents the history of watchmaking. There is no doubt that the museum is a monument of watchmaking history, guiding watch lovers to find the past, and enlightening watchmakers in the town of Glashütte, not forgetting history and creating greater glories.
Glashütte Watch School
If the museum is to let you see history today, then Glashütte Watch School is to lead the future. The initial success of the town of Glashütte is not only because of the gathering of outstanding watchmakers here. The more important reason is the cultivation of talents. Talented watchmakers will eventually grow old, and young watchmakers will Is the source of power to promote the development of watches and clocks. As early as 1878, in order for the Glashütte watch industry to be evergreen, Morris Grossmann decided to establish the first watchmaking school in Germany to train outstanding watchmakers. This initiative led the Glashütte watchmaking industry to brilliant. In 2002, in order to continue this tradition and cultivate a new force for the watch industry, Glashütte Original re-established the watchmaking school and paid tribute to the former pioneer of flying under the name ‘Alfred Hevig’. Pioneer of watchmaking for flywheels.
Here, hundreds of applications are received each year, and only 28 of them can participate in a three-year training course. The school provides them with theoretical and practical training, and 24 of them will have the opportunity to become real watchmakers. , 4 can become tool divisions. For watchmaking, tools are also very important. Glashütte Original has its own toolmaking department, which can provide watchmakers with handy tools for watchmaking, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of watches. They will be eligible to work directly in the watch factory.
Glashütte Original Watch Repair Workshop
In the past 170 years of history, time will wipe out a lot of things, and what is left is undoubtedly the most precious. If these precious cannot get the attention it deserves, it will be a great loss. Glashütte’s original antique watch and clock restoration workshop shoulders the mission of protecting history. Here, the restorationists not only maintain the collection in the Glashütte Watch Museum, but also accept the restoration of private collections. They are experienced and skilled, and Glashütte’s original inheritance of the entire Glashütte watchmaking tradition, drawings and parts allows them to face pocket watches, clocks, watches, etc. produced in Glashütte over the past 173 years. , Including Glashütte’s famous watchmakers.
It is difficult to imagine that in such a small and quiet land, there has been such a grand and legendary history. The town of Glashütte is the pearl of German watchmaking, while the originality of Glashütte completely inherits the watchmaking of Glashütte. Cultural traditions, the unremitting pursuit of watchmaking arts, the protection and development of watch culture, and the focus on the cultivation of new forces. Glashütte’s originality also reflects the humanistic spirit in German watchmaking.