Glashütte Original is the most famous brand of watch manufactory “Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH” which is located at Glashütte, Saxony and belongs to the Swatch Group. Roots of the company go back to 1845 when Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded the first clock manufactory in the area. Due to dwindling silver ore findings, large unemployment hit the region. With a loan from the government of Saxony, Lange began to educate watchmakers to improve living conditions. A thriving watch industry began to develop around Glashütte. During WWII, watch production was expanded by war-related goods such as time fuses.
After the war, the Soviet occupation authorities dismantled all manufacturing facilities. In 1951, almost all independent watch companies merged into one large state-owned enterprise. The “VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe” (GUB) had to supply the German Democratic Republic and later the states of the CMEA with clocks of various kinds. At that time, it was best-known for its watches.
After the German reunification in 1990, “VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe” became “Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH” as the legal successor of all previous companies of Glashütte’s watch industry. Thereafter, the company produced mechanical watches under the brand names “GUB” and “Glashütte Original”. While for the brand “GUB” in most cases purchased Swiss movements (ETA) were installed, for the brand “Glashütte Original” the German mechanical caliber called “GUB 10-30” was developed and installed. At first, Glashütte Original watches were rather basic with the display of hour, minute, second and date only.
After 1994, the new owners Heinz W. Pfeifer and Alfred Wallner extended the product range and increased the housing quality. In addition, the company developed new movements: The caliber GUB 12-50 (hand winding) and the caliber GUB 10-60 (automatic). Existing movements were further improved, and new ones were added to offer watches with complications such as moon phase, power reserve display or perpetual calendar.
In 2000, the Swatch Group AG took over Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb.