Glashütte’s horological foundation was laid in 1845, largely thanks to four very talented watchmakers, beginning with Ferdinand Adolph Lange and followed by Moritz Grossmann, Adolf Schneider, and Julius Assmann, whose work put Glashütte on the map as a serious force in high quality precision watchmaking.
Grossmann’s founding of the local watchmaking school in 1878 completed the necessary steps toward preserving their legacy for the next generation to build on. Watches from Glashütte became renowned for their high quality, and the name of the town became a seal of approval to many people in the market for a new watch.
As is so often the case with things that do well, watches from Glashütte began to be copied. To battle this, the firms began adding the word “Original” to their products. Glashütte and its watchmakers flourished until World War I and the ensuing depression, which had a large impact on the demand for the town’s quality products, yet this could still not compare to the times that were to follow.
During World War II, heavy allied bombing turned most of the buildings into smoking stacks of rubble. And to make matters even worse, after the war the town disappeared behind the iron curtain. Yet Glashütte’s watchmakers never stopped making watches. In 1951, the East German government united Glashütte’s entire watchmaking industry into a single, state-owned company: VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe, also known under the abbreviation “GUB.”