Biel / Bienne (Switzerland), October 9, 2000 – The shareholders and the management of Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH and the Swatch Group Ltd. agreed that the Swatch Group Ltd. acquires with immediate effect all the shares of the German watch manufacture Glashütter Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb, Glashütte (near Dresden, Germany). The Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb manufactures high-quality mechanical watches situated in the luxury segment of the “haut de gamme” watch market.
The brand Glashütte Original with its exclusive timepieces will be integrated into the existing range of watch brands of the Swatch Group. The considerable development potential of the Swatch Group, with its 155 production centers (factories) and its universal distribution network the largest watchmaker in the world, and the motivation of Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb to face the challenges of the 21 century within a strong and internationally active group led to the strategic decision of the pool companies Aureus Private Equity Ltd. to sell the company to the Swatch Group. An innovative spirit of their own is as much part of the products of the manufacture Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb as their appealing soberness, but above all they are the masterpieces of precision and sophistication of the German watchmaker tradition.
The Saxon manufacture Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb employs today over 150 persons – experts in various sectors and highly qualified watchmakers. The company will remain in Glashütte near Dresden and the staff is maintained by the Swatch Group.
History of the watch manufacture Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb
The Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb was founded in Glashütte in 1845 by Ferdinand A. Lange. With their stunning timepieces, Julius Assmann, Johannes Dürrstein and of course Ferdinand A. Lange, to name only a few of the master watchmakers in Glashütte at that time, were awarded numerous gold medals at world exhibitions and international competitions, thus laying the foundation of the internationally unique reputation of this town in the quiet valley of Müglitz. Through know-how and the spirit of innovation, the “Glashütter” achieved complete autonomy in the production of watches. Today the company has the worldwide reputation of a unique manufacture of luxury watches – made in Germany.
Luxury segment of the Swatch Group
With the Glashütte Original, an additional prestigious brand will join the sixteen worldwide known watch brands of the Swatch Group. It will enhance the existing prestige and luxury segment and the upper market segment of the Swatch Group, until now composed of Breguet, Blancpain, the new jewelry watch brand Léon Hatot, Jaquet-Droz, Omega, Longines, Rado and Swatch.
Structure of the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb
The new acquisition will be, according to the Swatch Group strategy, incorporated in the most suitable way in the structure of the Swatch Group, as for the all the other brands and profit centers. The previous shareholder and general manager Mr. Heinz Pfeifer will continue as General Manager of this separate profit center. Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb will thus be able to take full advantage of the Swatch Group’s resources and synergies in the worldwide distribution as well as in the development and manufacturing areas.