Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Union Glashütte was founded by Johannes Dürrstein in 1893 and initially named Glashütter Uhrenfabrik Union. The goal was to produce affordable watches within the more expensive Glashütte market, not by compromising quality, but by keeping movements relatively simple and removing precious metals. Working with master watchmaker Julius Bergter, Dürrstein also produced more premium and complicated pocket watches in limited numbers.

The company was successful for several decades, but things declined in the late 1920s and by 1933, Dürrstein closed its doors for good. Fast forward to 1996 and the Union Glashütte brand was revived as a subsidiary of Glashütte Original. Just a few years later in 2000, it became a subsidiary of The Swatch Group and was positioned as an attainable luxury watchmaker with prices generally between CHF 1,500 and 3,500. This maintained the original ethos of quality yet affordability within Glashütte.

Although a German brand, The Swatch Group provides Swiss ETA movements for the watches, but in 2008 a proper manufacturing facility was opened in Glashütte. Many German parts are now made in-house such as rotors, bridges and so on. German law states that a minimum of 50% of components by value must be produced in Glashütte to be designated as a Glashütte watchmaker, similar to Swiss laws for a “Swiss Made” designation. There are currently seven diverse collections in the brand’s portfolio and all are officially designated as Glashütte production.

History of Union Glashütte

Union Glashütte is founded by Johannes Dürrstein, initially as Glashütter Uhrenfabrik Union
The brand’s logo is trademarked - a stylized temple
A Grand Complication pocket watch is exhibited in Chicago with a total of six eventually produced
The brand moves to a more modern production facility
Marine chronometers debut
Hugo Bogusch becomes director
The brand closes its doors following years of decline
The brand is removed from the German Commercial Register
Union Glashütte returns as a subsidiary of Glashütte Original
The brand becomes a subsidiary of The Swatch Group
A new manufacturing facility opens in Glashütte
For the 125th anniversary (since the company’s founding), the German Watch Museum in Glashütte honours the brand