Glashütte, a small town in the eastern past of Germany, is probably best known for its watch manufacturers. Glashütte Original, Lange & Söhne, Union and Nomos are all watch brands from Glashütte that have earned their spot on the horological map and are taken very seriously by their Swiss counter-parts.
Founded in 1845 as the Glashütte Uhrenbetrieb (GUB), Glashütte Original has a long and special history. With the split-up of Germany in 1951, the watch factory became a company owned by the state. After the reunion of East and West Germany in 1990, Heinz Pfeiffer (a.o) bought the company in 1994 and gave it the name as we know it today, Glashütte Original. The new management of Glashütte Original went back to the drawing board with respect to a new vision, strategy and product lines. Glashütte Original had to become a manufacturer of prestigious timepieces that could compete with high-end brands from Switzerland. They succeeded in doing so, by designing and manufacturing the finest timepieces with complications such as chronographs, power reserve indicators, perpetual calendars and moon phases.
In 2000, the Swatch Group bought the Glashütte Original company and added them to the list of their high-end watch brands (Breguet, Blancpain and later on, Jaquet Droz).
Fast forward 10 years, Glashütte Original has become unanimous with high-end German watchmaking and is well respected amongst watch connoisseurs from all over the globe.
In 2010, after 165 years of fine watch making, Glashütte Original introduced a watch called the PanoMatic Counter XL. This watch has a very unusual complication, a counter. The digital display shows numbers from 00 to 99 so the owner of the watch can count and keep track of things in that range. The counter is operated by three pushers on the left side of the PanoMatic Counter XL case – one for counting up, one for counting down and the center one to reset to 00. The other side of the watch case has two pushers to operate the chronograph and a crown to correct time and date.
This Glashütte PanoMatic Counter XL has, as the XL implies, a large watch case of 44mm in diameter. Inside, the mechanical automatic caliber 96-01 (based on caliber 95) movement does all the labor. Besides the counting mechanism, the PanoMaticCounter XL also features a column-wheel fly-back chronograph mechanism.
It seems that each year, Glashütte Original is surprising watch collectors and aficionados with new and ingenious complications and designs like the PanoMatic Counter XL. MotoringExposure looks forward to seeing their new models at the BaselWorld 2011 show.
Glashütte PanoMatic Counter XL Gallery