Germans Do It Better? 5 High-End Watches Made In Germany

German watches are distinctively unique. Their design is influenced by the Bauhaus philosophy with a minimalist approach and the idea that form follows function. Great emphasis is placed on simplicity, symmetry, clarity and practicality. The craftsmanship involved is superb, sharp and distinctive, and it can easily stand toe-to-toe with the best of Swiss workmanship. The work on movements is often instantly recognizable, with characteristic features such as three-quarter plates, distinctive regulators, refined jeweling or the use of German silver.

So, without further delay, here are 5 remarkable high-end German watches that have been introduced over the past few months.

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar

Unveiled at SIHH 2017, the A. Lange & Söhne interpretation of this practical complication is stark, perfectly balanced and elegant. This handsome annual calendar is rendered in white or pink gold. It houses a new manual movement, the Lange L051.3 caliber.

This compact movement features a three-quarter plate and displays the brand’s traditional impeccable finishing with Glashütte stripes, gold chatons, blued screws, hand-engraved cock. The push-piece at 2 o’clock is a fast adjusting device allowing the wearer to collectively advance all indications if the watch has not been wound for a few days (recessed push piece allow separate corrections). Review here.

Quick facts: 40.00 mm gold case – hand-wound in-house L051.3 movement with hours, minutes, small seconds, annual calendar and moon phase indication. Alligator strap with pin buckle – EUR 37,500. For more information, visit www.alange-soehne.com.

Lang & Heyne Georg

Lang and Heyne is a niche watch brand based in Dresden, manufacturing only a few dozen timepieces every year. Introduced at Baselworld 2017, the Georg watch is an elegant, understated rectangular watch. It features a sloped bezel, triple lug case framing an elegant enamel dial with a pleasing, large, recessed small seconds indication at 6.

The rectangular movement is simply breathtaking with perfectly polished rounded steel bridges to hold each wheel (as well as the barrel and balance wheel). A Lang & Heyne signature, the end-stone for the oscillator is a diamond.

Quick facts: 32.00 x 40.00 mm gold or platinum case – hand-wound, in-house VIII movement with hours, minutes and small seconds. Alligator strap with pin buckle – EUR 26,400 in pink gold. For more information, visit www.lang-und-heyne.de.

Moritz Grossmann Atum rose gold

Presented at Baselworld 2016, the Atum by Glashütte manufacturer’s Moritz Grossmann is a quintessential dress watch. It comes in a 41mm case with a lateral pusher for disabling the hand setting mode and starting the movement. The lacquered dial is enhanced with baton-style applied hour markers and a recessed small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

The Atum is powered by the beautiful 100.1 calibre with hand winding. The large Grossmann balance wheel runs at a slow 18,000 and is held under a beautifully decorated cock. The 2/3 plate in untreated German silver is decorated with large Glashütte stripes and features 3 jewels held in raised gold chatons.

Quick facts: 41.00 mm pink gold case – hand-wound, in-house 100.1 movement with hours, minutes and small seconds. Alligator strap with pin buckle – EUR 26,000 in pink gold. For more information, visit www.grossmann-uhren.com.

Tutima Tempostopp

Unveiled at Baselworld to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the brand, the Tempostopp is a superb hand-wound fly-back chronograph. Although it comes from a brand known for offering ‘accessible luxury’ watches, it’s a great reminder that Tutima is also capable of manufacturing exceedingly refined high-end timepieces. It also constitutes further proof of how Tutima has invested in its development and manufacturing capacities.

Tutima Tempostopp Chronograph In-house - Baselworld 2017

33.7mm in diameter, the in-house chronograph movement is a superb traditional design with column-wheel and horizontal clutch. It is decorated with a matte sandblasted finish, gold plated bridges and main-plate. Review here.

Tutima Tempostopp Chronograph In-house - Baselworld 2017

Quick facts: 43.00 mm pink gold case – hand-wound, in-house T659 movement with hours, minutes, small seconds and fly-back chronograph. Alligator strap with pin buckle – limited edition of 90 pieces – EUR 28,600 in pink gold. For more information, visit www.tutima.com.

Glashütte Original Senator Excellence

Introduced in 2016, the Senator Excellence from Glashütte Original is a new take on the brand’s Senator collection. This elegant three-hander features a sleek dial with Roman numerals and blued hands (it is also offered in a more casual version). The 40 mm case is rendered in steel or pink gold.

The Senator Excellence is powered by the new caliber 36, a modern movement boasting a 100 hour power reserve and a silicon balance spring (light, antimagnetic, unaffected by temperature changes and corrosion resistant). 32.3 mm in diameter, the caliber 36 features traditional German design elements such as its three quarter plate, Glashütte striping and blue screws visible through a skeletonized 21K gold rotor. Review here.

Quick facts: 40.00 mm steel or pink gold case – automatic in-house caliber 36 movement with hours, minutes and seconds. Alligator strap with pin buckle – EUR 8,600 in steel and EUR 15,700 in pink gold. For more information, visit www.glashuette-original.com.

11 responses

  1. None of these five watches is influenced by the Bauhaus philosophy.

  2. The Lange, Lang&Heyne and Grossmann are in a different league. Very few brands can match their level of finishing and overall quality, but at their price point no Swiss brand can compete with them.

  3. Hi Xavier,
    thanks for the great article, seems like Germans do it really better and if I were swiss I would start to get worried about the competition….Germans, Japanese….How long will it take before China also will enter the luxury watches market ? It is just a matter of being educated rather than “marketed” in my opinion LOL

    Regards,
    slide68

  4. Xavier, as always thank you.
    Knew about Lange and Glashutte, but not the others.
    Even more watches I cannot afford, but at least I can dream.

  5. Thanks all for taking the time to read and for your comments. Sinn is another interesting German watch brand… and there are a few others. We do not aim here to be exhaustive and we focussed more on high-end while Sinn is more entry level accessible. Great product, stunning value but different price point.

  6. I like German watches more than Swiss ones. So I’ve owned a G.O.; soon will own a Moritz Grossmann and also consider one Nomos the next.

  7. Hi. Xavier, great article although I must admit; don’t recognize the Bauhaus style in any of them. Bauhaus or not, they are some magnificent timepieces. The Lange is a bit too much cluttered for my taste, I prefer timepieces with one max two complications that are then extraordinarily in execution like the Grönefeld watches.
    I would love to add a Glashutte Original to my collection

  8. For a Bauhaus-influenced German brand you would need to include Nomos.
    Another fine German watchmaker following a traditional path is Dornblueth.

  9. Xavier, thank you for the article. While I do agree that Sinn generally occupies other terrirory, they’ve made the first stap into haute horlogerie with Sinn 6200 Meisterbund. Same is relevant for NOMOS Lambda in gold, for instance.

  10. Japanese are also danger for Swiss. Grand Seiko offer exceptional level of hand finish in a segment where Swiss offer much much simpler stuff. Zaratsu mirror polishing, ideal brushing and katana-sharp hands. I was amazed that even under macro shoots GS didn’t reveal any flaws. How do they do it?

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