1994: Heinz W. Pfeifer founded Glashütte Original in Glashütte, Germany.

Glashütte Original, along with a handful of names such as A.Lange & Söhne, Tutima or Nomos, is symbolic of the rebirth of German fine watchmaking. Its modern history began in 1994 when Heinz W. Pfeifer bought Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH to then establish the Glashütte Original brand. Its origins, however, go back much further, to the very beginning of watchmaking in Saxony, in the middle of the nineteenth century. The brand, which joined Swatch Group in 2000, has brought manufacturing operations under its one roof, from developing movements to final assembly. Its production is characteristic of the region's particular style of watchmaking, whether in the architecture of its movements or the overall aesthetic refinement.

The history of Glashütte Original merges with the wider history of watchmaking in the Saxony region. When in 1949 the German Democratic Republic was established, all watch production was brought together into a State-owned enterprise. Technical and design innovation continued nonetheless; indeed, the brand has revived certain models from the past for its 20th Century Vintage collection. A page was turned with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Taking its name from an inscription once added to certain timepieces as a guarantee of authenticity and provenance, Glashütte Original patiently built up its collections. Since then it has developed a number of original movements, certain of which feature highly practical and refined functions. The mechanical alarm of the Senator Diary, for example, can be programmed up to 30 days in advance. The Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon offers, among other complications, a mechanism which memorises all 37 time zones to track time around the world. 

Key dates


With the fall of the Berlin Wall, VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB) becomes Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH.


The war and the end of the war force Glashütte's watchmakers to start over. Thanks to difficult political conditions, all independent Glashütte watch companies are combined into one: VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB). Mechanical watches continue to be invented, developed, produced, and assembled in Glashütte under the brand name Glashütte Original, which had been created in 1921.


Conveying knowledge: The international demand for precision watches from Glashütte makes more and more highly specialized experts necessary. Thus, Moritz Großmann's founding of the German School of Watchmaking represented a logical and economically founded step.


Successful renaissance of true manufacture production. They soon take over the world's markets.

  • Takeover by the Swatch Group AG, who sees an excellent addition to its brands in the fine manufactory. 
  • World premiere of the PanoRetroGraph, the first mechanical chronograph with countdown function, sectoral 30-minute counter, and triple repeater gong.

Inauguration of the company's own Alfred Helwig School of Watchmaking. 12 watchmakers and 3 tool makers are educated annually.

A new era commences for Glashütte Original with the inauguration of the new manufactory building.

  • World premiere of the PanoMaticChrono-the extravagant with automatic winding. 
  • Glashütte Original awards the SAECULUM Glashütte Original Music Festival Award for the first time, honoring an artist for his or her life’s work in the musical arts.
  • The PanoMaticChrono is awarded the Saxon State Prize for Design as well as the German readers' award Watch of the Year 2005. 
  • Introduction of new collection lines Senator and Sport Evolution. 
  • Premiere of the new women’s line Star Collection, a multifaceted collection.
  • Launch of the new customer magazine Momentum-Magazine for Contemporaries


  • Introduction of new collection lines Senator Karree and Senator Navigator.
  • German Watch Museum Glashütte-Nicolas G. Hayek foundation established.
  • Five of Glashütte Original’s exclusive models are awarded first prizes in national and international watch competitions.