Saturday, June 20, 2015

Special Exhibition at the German Watch Museum Glashütte (Glashütte in the GDR Era - Watch Production between 1951 and 1990)

More than 120 guests followed the invitation of the “German Watch Museum Glashütte – Nicolas G. Hayek“foundation to attend the vernissage of the special exhibition “Glashütte in the GDR Era“on June 11. Amongst them were numerous contemporary witnesses. Markus Dreßler, the Mayor of the town of Glashütte, and Frank Kittel, Managing Director of Glashütte Original warmly welcomed all guests. After that, Reinhard Reichel, Director of the German Watch Museum Glashütte, invited everybody to join him and explore the exhibition that has been put together with great care and expertise.
25 years after the German reunification the German Watch Museum Glashütte is honoring the achievements of the former Glashütte designers, watchmakers, toolmakers and precision mechanics with this special exhibition. Despite the often difficult circumstances, these people managed to keep the tradition of watchmaking alive during the GDR era.
After the founding of the “VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe” (People´s Company Glashütte Watch Companies, VEB GUB for short), a new chapter began in the history of watchmaking in Glashütte. Between 1951 and 1990, the state-owned company manufactured numerous products and devices, used for science and everyday life. The special exhibition offers an idea of the broad range of products manufactured at the time such as: wristwatches, marine chronometers, special machines, wall clocks and different types of timers.
Until 1990, the GUB was the largest employer of the region. Because of that, it had to manage further tasks in addition to the production of watches and clocks: The training of talented people and the organisation of different leisure time activities are also shown in the special exhibition.
The museum presents a selection of former products and tools, special machines, teaching materials, drawings and a great number of historic photographs. Original advertising films and product brochures illustrate the ways of sales and marketing during the GDR era.
The special exhibition welcomes visitors from June 12 – November 1, 2015 at the German Watch Museum Glashütte. An exhibition guide in German and English is available in the museum shop for Euro 6.50.
Glashütte Original has been committed to the support and development of Glashütte watchmaking for many years. In 2006, together with the town of Glashütte, the company established the “German Watch Museum Glashütte– Nicolas G. Hayek“ foundation, which is responsible not only for the museum’s permanent exhibition, but also for regular special exhibitions focused on various topics related to time and history.
170 years after the founding of the watch industry in Glashütte and 25 years after German reunification, the current special exhibition pays tribute to the achievements of Glashütte engineers and watchmakers during the GDR period. As legal successor to the former state-owned conglomerate “VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe”, the Glashütte Original manufactory is proud to present this significant phase of its history to the public.

Today Glashütte Original draws on near-total depth of production and a high proportion of manual craft labour to make technically sophisticated timepieces that are received with great enthusiasm by connoisseurs in Germany and abroad. Since the year 2000, the Saxon manufactory has been a member of The Swatch Group, the world’s largest maker of watches.

The special exhibition “Glashütte in the GDR Era“ is one of a series of activities taking place during 2015. In February of this year, the film series “5 Perspectives“premiered, five short films highlighting the manufactory from different, very personal perspectives.

Another of the year’s activities is a multimedia road show whose first stop was in April at the Basel watch fair. Under the motto “360° Glashütte Original“, the traveling exhibition presents the firm’s rich past, today’s highly specialised watchmaking expertise and the training of tomorrow’s master watchmakers in the company’s own “Alfred Helwig“ School of Watchmaking.

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