History, tradition & innovation

Union Glashütte – the modern face of a long tradition.

The Union Glashütte brand remains as dedicated to fine watchmaking today as it was when it was founded more than 120 years ago. Its roots lie at the traditional centre of the German art of watchmaking, the small Saxon town of Glashütte. Its heritage spurs the team behind the brand on to great achievements. At Union Glashütte, the best workmanship and classic designs are combined with modern technologies and innovative ideas. Every timepiece and every movement is individually assembled, calibrated and quality controlled by hand. Their “Made in Germany” designation of origin and their famous home of Glashütte attest to a level of quality that sets standards on an international scale. The brand is driven by one main ambition: to manufacture high-quality mechanical timepieces that are not reserved only for an elite. After all, what would life be without dreams achievable through a little hard work?

One visionary points the way.

The very real dream of Union Glashütte began over 120 years ago. At the end of the 19th century, the renowned watch dealer Johannes Dürrstein was not only a true connoisseur of the international art of watchmaking but, as a successful businessman, also knew exactly what was missing from the market: a top-end timepiece of Glashütte quality that more than only a few people could afford – affordable luxury. This idea encouraged him to found his own watchmaking enterprise, “Glashütter Uhrenfabrik Union”, in 1893. This marked the beginning of a new generation of Glashütte timepieces. From then on, watches were produced under the Union Glashütte name, and these timepieces became renowned for their quality, at prices that nevertheless remained affordable. They made a name for themselves all over the world.

Grand ideas born in the picturesque Saxony home of Glashütte.

Production of Union Glashütte timepieces began at a time when the Glashütte watchmaking industry was experiencing a period of prosperity. The Saxon watchmaking trade, still in its infancy in the mid-19th century, began putting down deep roots in the region, grew and thrived, and its proximity to the bustling metropolis of Dresden, a centre of intellectual and cultural activity, bolstered the success enjoyed by Glashütte timepieces. However, it was above all the high quality and the typically German penchant for precision that formed the basis of their good reputation, with the result that they became coveted collectors’ items back then – and continue to be to this day.

Eventful times.

The Great Depression brought these successful years for Glashütte to an abrupt end. As was the case with many other brands, the Union Glashütte watchmaking factory had to stop production in 1926, and ten years later, the company was removed from the registry of commerce. In 1951, the remaining watchmaking companies were merged into “VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB)”, renamed “Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH” after German reunification and privatised in 1994. Three years later, when the domestic watchmaking industry was changing direction, “Union Uhrenfabrik GmbH Glashütte/SA” was created, as a subsidiary of “Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH”.

A new beginning with powerful partners.

In the year 2000, “Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH” and its subsidiaries including “Union Uhrenfabrik GmbH Glashütte/SA” joined the family of brands owned by the Swatch Group AG. The solid backing of a large organisation allowed the brand to reconnect with its founding ideals – of creating high-quality mechanical timepieces with a classically beautiful design, affordable not only for an elite clientele. As a fine German brand, and a place in the portfolio of the world’s largest watch manufacturer, a promising future lay ahead for Union Glashütte. The brand proudly reclaimed its traditional place among the renowned Glashütte watchmaking brands. 

Knowing what matters.

The long list of stringent requirements that proudly fuel every facet of production behind the Union Glashütte brand name is clear. From sheer elegance to dynamic sportiness, from classic retro character to feminine or decorative influences – the collection from Union Glashütte provides a wide range of different watches for every style or occasion. Part of the magic is revealed through the glass case-back of every watch, whose mechanical movement and exclusive, exquisitely finished rotor – signature feature of every Union Glashütte timepiece, will charm any true watch lover. Furthermore, all models are calibrated by hand and subjected to strict quality testing.

Today, Union Glashütte still conveys the essence of fine watchmaking as much as it did 120 years ago. The brand's timepieces, as modern representatives of their historical predecessors, display the very best workmanship, mechanical expertise, renowned quality and timeless beauty. They are the best example of “Made in Germany” watchmaking, creating a name for themselves around the world among timepiece enthusiasts who know what matters – time for the finer things in life.