Glashutte is a German watch brand that started in 1845, established by Ferdinand Lange (of the Lange & Sohne Co). He started the company as a manufacturer of components and complete watches and received a grant from the town of Glashutte to do so. Lange soon formed a solid watch brand and gained a reputation for quality high-end watches.
As with many watch manufacturers in existence before the First World War, they also suffered badly when war broke out. Despite ownership changes and rebranding attempts, the company continued to experience problems with running the business, however the quality of their watches were always of the highest quality.
In 1921 the company's fortunes began to change when Alfred Helwig formed a chronometer making workshop and gave it the name of 'Glashutte Original', a name that has remained to this day. In 1924 the company was split into a movement manufacturer and a watch assembler division in an attempt to focus operations.
The company continued until around 1945 when watch making in the town was severely affected by Russian bombs. In order to try to keep manufacturing alive existing companies and watch manufacturing industries were amalgamated to form the 'VEB Glahutter Uhrenbetrieb'. Under this new entity some 2000 people were employed who turned out many hundreds of thousands of watches per year.
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1990, the company was able to re-align its businesses and return to the old factories where it began production of some of the most spectacular watches ever made. New designs and complicated watches added further interest to the company's watches.
For the collector, older Glashutte watches are cheap when compared to the new models. Models like the 'Spezimatic' are quite often found at very reasonable prices. If you are looking for a more modern watch then go see the bank manager first as most start around the $4000 mark.
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