Top 10 Best Glashütte Watch Brands
Glashütte is the center of watchmaking in Germany, where the oldest German watch brands find their roots. Up to this day, Glashütte stands for top quality, close-to-perfection accuracy, and the constant pursuit of innovation. Here is our list of Top 10 Best Glashütte Watch Brands, where you will find a variety of exciting watchmaking companies from the region.
Do not forget to check out our collection of vintage German watches here.
Glashütte watchmaking history started in 1845, when Ferdinand Adolph Lange convinced the Saxon government that watchmaking could be a profitable business, which could slowly replace the town’s dried-up silver mining industry. With a risky loan and 15 watchmaker's apprentices, the first luxury pocket watches under the Lange name started to be produced.
By the 20th century, much of the town’s population worked in the industry.
Image Souce: The New York Times
Top German Watch Brands
In our list with the Top 10 Best Glashütte Watch Brands, you will come across the most renowned German watch companies such as A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte Original, NOMOS Glashütte & more.
Besides being the top German watch brands, all have one thing in common: the small town of Glashütte. The village also has a watchmaking museum and a school that trains master watchmakers.
1. A. Lange & Söhne
The company was originally founded by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in Glashütte, Germany in 1845, with a dream to transform this small silver-mining village of Glashütte into a watchmaking town. The company had to overcome many bumps along the road. In 1948, it even ceased existing, following the occupation by the Soviet Union after World War II.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the brand had to reinvent itself and come up with something that would propel them back in business. The Lange 1 is one of the first watch models introduced after A. Lange & Söhne trademark was re-established in 1990s.
The LANGE 1 TOURBILLON PERPETUAL CALENDAR “25th Anniversary”, was launched in April 2019, and marks the 25th anniversary of the original LANGE 1.
2. Glashütte Original
Glashütte Original is a prestigious German watchmaker founded in 1994 by the privatization of VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB), an East German conglomerate formed in 1951 from the watch companies based in Glashütte. The vintage watch models can be found marked with GUB or simply Glashütte on the dial.
The Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar is a beautiful example of the design, innovation and quality this German watch brand has to offer. With a price tag of around $10,000, the watch features an in-house built automatic movement, date & moonphase complications, and a rather unique dial.
3. NOMOS Glashütte
Founded in January 1990, two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall by Roland Schwertner, NOMOS Glashütte is another German watchmaking company based in Glashütte, Saxony, which specializes in artisan mechanical watches.
After only 30 years, Nomos is the largest producer of mechanical watches in Germany. It is said that 95 percent of the manufacturing cost of Nomos’s calibers is accounted for by in-house production at the company’s Glashütte manufacture. Despite these high standards, they produce some of the most affordable watches in Glashütte.
The NOMOS Glashütte Neomatik is a Bauhas-inspired timepiece, that easily underlines what this brand is about. Simple timeless design, in-house movement, and prices more affordable than the competitors. That is why this brand has gained so much populatiry and has grown in such a short lifespan.
NOMOS Glashütte Neomatik
4. Union Glashütte
On January 1st 1893 Johannes Dürrstein and Julius Bergter established the Uhrenfabrik Union in Glashütte. That exact year, Dürrstein presented and sold a Grand Complication watch at the Chicago World Fair. In 2000 the Swiss Swatch Group AG took over Union Glashütte, but the companies are ran separately.
With prices smaller or comparable to the ones at NOMOS, Union Glashütte offers some great budget timepieces for those who are interested in the German Glashütte signature. A great example is the Union Glashutte Belisar Chronograph, which features a see-through back, a Sapphire crystal, and an automatic movement.
5. Moritz Grossmann
In 2008 Christine Hutter (who had previously held positions at Wempe, Maurice Lacroix, Glashütte Original, and A. Lange & Söhne) founded her own luxury watch brand, Moritz Grossmann, after acquiring the right to use the name of 19th century founder and director of the German School of Watchmaking, Karl Moritz Grossmann.
In 2010 the first Grossmann watch model of the new era was unveiled: the BENU. In 2013 the BENU Tourbillon crowns the collection. With a limited production of around 200 pieces/year, they are harder to come across and one will set you back more than $20,000.
6. Wempe Glashütte I/SA
Gerhard D. Wempe, born on March 26, 1857, is regarded as a pioneer of the watch and jewelry trade in Germany. On 5 May 1878, he opens his first store, a small watch workshop that also sold watches, which was located in the house owned by his Aunt Caroline.
Although they are known more for their extensive chain of watch retailers & jewelry, Wempe have been also producing their own watches for quite some time. Here is an example of their 2021 release: the Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver.
Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver
7. Tutima Glashütte/SA
1927 is the birth year of Tutima. Thanks to their superior technology and craftsmanship, wristwatches by Tutima quickly gained an excellent reputation. In fact, the pilot watch model from 1941 became very well acclaimed.
New sports Tutima models can fetch upwords of $15,000, while pre-owned or vintage models have a value of about $1,000. The Tutima Flieger Chronograph is a more affordable model that keeps that pilot tool watch look. This is a homage to the original 1941 model.
8. Mühle Glashütte
Robert Mühle was born in 1841 in Lauenstein and completed a training as toolmaker at the watch manufacturer Moritz Grossmann, a name which is already familiar to us. In 1869 he founded his own company in Glashütte. He manufactured precision measuring instruments for the Glashütte watch company and the watchmaking school.
Mühle used in house refined Swiss movements for the production of watches, which caused a legal dispute from NOMOS, as 50% of the adding value of the movement had to be produced in Glashütte. The dispute escalated and Mühle had to file for insolvency in October 2007, but was later revived by Thilo Mühle.
In March 2011, they introduced the manual winding movement MU 9411. Today we can find some amazing timepieces from Mühle such as the Mühle Glashütte Teutonia IV Kleine Sekunde, which comes in gold.
9. Bruno Söhnle Glashütte
In 2000, marking his 60th birthday, the entrepreneur Bruno Söhnle establishes his own watch brand. In Saxon Glashütte, he starts with making classic wrist watches with quartz movements. The brand continues to grow. In 2008 they introduce the first mechanical movement, and in 2010 the first automatic movement.
They offer some of the most affordable watches made in Glashutte, with prices starting at around $300. One of the better known models is the Bruno Söhnle Glashütte Atrium Chronograph, which features a quartz movement and a Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside.
Bruno Söhnle Glashütte Atrium Chronograph
10. GUB (Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe) - current Glashütte Original
GUB (Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe) started in 1951 and the full name was VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe GUB, later "VEB Uhrenwerk Glashütte im VEB Kombinat Mikroelektronik".
After the re-unification of Germany the GUB became the Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe GmbH" in 1990. Models can also be found with Glashütte Spezimat Germany or simply Glashütte on the dial. In 2000 the Swatch Group AG bought Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH .
Finding these vintage timepieces is like browsing through the pages of history. Those models keep on gainng in value as the German Glashütte brands become more and more popular.
Vintage GUB Glashutte Watch
Vintage German Watch Collection
After living for over one year in Germany, we have managed to acquire some amazing vintage German watches from various watch collectors, watchmakers, or simply estate watch sales. We have hundreds of vintage genuine German watches so make sure to check them out here.
With brands such as Glashütte, Anker, Dugena, Junghans, Zentra & more, our collection caters for a variety of styles and tastes.
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