Watch brands based out of Switzerland has the advantage of being automatically labeled with a high quality and high-end value. The European country is the home of almost every luxury mechanical watch brand. If not, the materials they use come from it. From geographical location, Union Glashütte already differs from a lot of its competition.
It’s proud of its “Made in Germany” trademark, which gives them an edge in the international market for the unique quality that you can’t get from a typical Swiss watch.
“The modern face of a long tradition”
With its beginning going back to more than 125 years ago, Union Glashütte planted its roots in the eponymous German town of Glashütte and has been established as one of the local watch brands during the prosperous time of watchmaking in the town.
Johannes Dürrstein, a watch dealer, saw that there was something missing from the market: a high-end timepiece made locally that can be accessible in terms of price to more people. The brand became the pioneer of the concept of affordable luxury in the place.
The Great Depression would force the brand to stop operations in 1926 but not without consolation through the merging of the remaining Glashütte brands years later. Union Glashütte joined the Swatch Group in 2000 and since then, it has established itself in its original hometown and has focused on creation of timepieces. The brand is driven by their goal to serve more than the elite while still delivering the best in craftsmanship, mechanical knowledge, elegance, and sportiness. It’s taken advantage of modern technologies but it always falls back on traditional and classic methods.
The manufacturing process
Union Glashütte watches are made with the best handmade treatment as every piece is tended to individually. The brand follows a distinct set of stages in the manufacture of their watches starting with component production. This usually starts with design because every material and mechanical object is made at this stage. They’re the basics of the watch, but they’re all crucial in making the watch work. At this stage, the rotors, the automatic and gear train bridges, and balance cocks are made. Sometimes, they’re added with perlage or the Glashütte stripe as finishing touches.
The movement assembly is the step where the components that make up the automatic movements are joined together by hand. This is when the watch starts to come together from the foundation. The watch is already inspected from this stage because after the movements have been assembled, the watch should be in sync to the Union Glashütte rhythm. The watch assembly stage ends up with an almost-finished output because after the movements, the dial and hands are attached and enclosed in the case. This is where aesthetic and beauty comes into play because the appearance that comes out of this stage is the actual one that would attract people’s attention.
The last stage is, of course, the quality management. The watches are thoroughly inspected by subjecting them to numerous tests for water resistance, rate, appearance, and function, and more depending on the specs they’re supposed to fulfill. If the watch is deemed good to go, only then will it be matched with a strap and additional accessories. This entire process shows the intricate care and expertise that goes into making Union Glashütte watches.
Some of Union Glashütte’s collections that exhibit the brand’s expertise and development are the The 1893, Noramis, Belisar, Seris, and Sirona.
The 1893 is the most distinguished of all because of the inspirations it took from the first timepieces made during the brand’s founding year. Mostly, they’re pocket watches with blue hands and off-center dials. Meanwhile, the Noramis feature a kind of contemporary elegance that gets its charm from retro aesthetics. It showcases the carefree and classy vibe of the ’50s and ‘60s, through the unconventional details of the convex glass cover and domed dial, while still delivering on the modern design trends.
The Belisar and Seris share the same sporty quality in appearance and specs, only the former is more for any person with an active lifestyle and the latter is specifically for the modern woman. The Belisar caters those who travel often to provide an everyday watch that’s able to go through all kinds of conditions, while the Seris watches’ greatest advantage is being one of the few chronographs for women, which is rare to come by.
Different from all the others, the Sirona collection also doubles as jewelry. It’s made to be worn by stylish women who doesn’t mind to show off a little bit with the flashy details of the glossy enamel, mother-of-pearls, diamonds, and 18-carat gold accents.
Today, Union Glashütte is renowned as one of the largest watch manufacturers in the world. Backed by one of the largest groups, the Swatch Group, we can expect more of what the traditional Glashütte watchmaking industry could offer while still getting some new and creative design options.