Glashütte Original “Impressions” in LA
About a year ago, Glashütte Original contacted me regarding a book they were working on, that will present the DNA of this German brand through stories from experts and friends of the brand. As a Canadian blogger, it was very exciting for me to be part of this project, especially that I always admired the beauty, the ingenuity and the original(ity) of GO watches.
You can imagine that I was really curious to see the end result and this week the wait has finally come to an end. The Glashütte Original brand book, entitled “Impressions” has finally arrived in North America, launched at a private event at MILK studios in Los Angeles.
Yann Gamard, CEO of Glashütte Original has welcomed the guests, collectors, business partners, journalists and influencers to an exhibition of historical timepieces and artifacts mentioned in the book.
To better grasp the amount of work that goes into such a watch, there was a watchmaker on place explaining the inner workings of the movements, giving also a unique opportunity to take a closer look through his loop at the Haute Horlogerie decoration of the Calibre 65-01, powering the PanoReserve collection.
At another table, we could see Anika Herzog, an experienced dial maker, presenting the different steps that transform a mundane metal plate into an elegant dial. The evening’s special guest, Joel McHale even tried out his hand at placing the tiny indexes on a dial, but he was quick to let Anita do the job.
We were then invited into a separate room where the public reading part of the evening was taking place. First, it was Cara Barrette, from Hodinkee was reading from the “Three Kings”, an essay presenting the Senator Diary, PanoMaticCounter and Senator Ratrapante. She was followed by the famous German watch journalist, Gisbert Brunner who took the audience into the whirlwind of the tourbillon, and finally, Joel McHale lightened up the atmosphere with his emblematic humor, sharing with us his journey to discovering Glashütte Original.
Just like the dial of a watch that has 12 indexes, the 250 pages book is structured into 12 chapters or 12 impressions, each one shedding light on a unique aspect of this Saxon watchmaking company with 170 years of uninterrupted history.
The first chapter, entitled “Originality”, answers the question: “What makes a Glashütte Original truly original?”
Here is a short expert from the answer:
Glashütte watches did not obtain their global reputation for extraordinary quality and fine technologies overnight. Their good name is backed by tradition. By the end of the 19th century, just a few decades after the watchmaker’s craft took hold in the Ore Mountains, the little town had already established its reputation fo quality far beyond the country’s borders.
At the outset of the 20th century, watches from Glashütte were already so popular that many watch manufacturers, mainly in Switzerland, began to produce and distribute their own pocket watches marked as “System Glashütte”. The construction was superficially based on the principle of the Glashütte watch, but they were sold at a much lower price than the originals. The irony? The Swiss watch industry, which had once served as a model for Glashütte, was itself now imitating the younger recipe for success from Germany — confirmation that the watches from Glashütte were competition that had to be taken seriously. But success always brings with it plenty of envious admirers and those who would profit from the work of others. Fraudulent companies started to operate in Glashütte and imitators threatened to jeopardize the hard-earned reputation of local watchmaking. The Saxon watchmaking industry was forced to react.
It did so through word and deed. And so it was that in 1916, Karl W. Höhnel watch factory first used the term “original” to more clearly differentiate its labeling and set the true work apart from the copies. Up until 1936, the company produced numerous precision pendulum clocks with the imprint “Original Glashütte” gracing their dials — one of them can be admired today in the German Watch Museum Glashütte.
The other chapters talk about Community, Excellence, Consistency, Creativity, Resilience, Flexibility, Beauty, Devotion, Balance, Heritage and Perspectives. But in the end, as Yann Gamard would put it, “Impressions” is about the people:
“It is the people – the engineers, precision mechanics and watchmakers, all the friends, business partners and companions of Glashütte Original – who transform our watches into veritable collector’s items. We wanted to give them a platform. As a result, IMPRESSIONS is not only a portrait of our manufactory, but a tribute to the rich history of the region and the outstanding skills of the people who work and live here. We take a precise and personal approach in everything we do at Glashütte Original and revel in moments when we can celebrate our work and history with our community like we did in Los Angeles during our presentation of Impressions“.
For anyone, who loves watches, this will be a fascinating read. For those that are fans of German watchmaking, it is a must have, and finally, for the collectors of Glashütte Original, Impressions will be the cornerstone of their collection.
To get your hands on the book, visit the nearest Glashütte Original boutique.
For more about the “Impressions”, the Glashütte Original book, click here.
You will find more pictures from the event at our dedicated Facebook photo album: