Watchuseek Blog

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Key to the future: New Glashütte Original manufactory

Like its renowned Saxony neighbours, A. Lange & Sohne, ‘Glashütte Original has just unlocked the doors to a brand new building which will serve as GO’s state of the art headquarters.

To celebrate, the Saxon watchmaker invited media and business representatives along with partners and friends of the company to an official opening ceremony, held in the atrium of the Manufactory.

Glashütte Original’s two managing directors, Günter Wiegand and Yann Gamard - also a member of the extended executive management team of Swatch Group - informed guests of a positive outlook for the years ahead.

Given the very positive situation with regard to orders worldwide and
the growing awareness and popularity of the brand in key markets such as
China, North America and the Near East, Glashütte Original is systematically
enhancing its production capacity, thereby laying the groundwork for continuing, long-lasting growth.

Official Inauguration at the Frühlingsweg site in Glashütte

Following the reception in the Manufactory, the new building in the Frühlingsweg, which is just a few minutes walk from the main building, was officially inaugurated.

Under sunny skies Yann Gamard, Günter Wiegand, UNION Managing Director Adrian Bosshard and Markus Dreßler, the Mayor of Glashütte, cut the ribbon and declared the production facility officially open.

The symbolic handover of the keys took place shortly afterwards, when project leader Björn Griemberg presented Günter Wiegand a large golden key.

After the official opening all guests were given the opportunity to take
a close-up look at the new workspaces and working conditions.

 Yann Gamard, Günter Wiegand and Adrian Bosshard led the guests on the tour and took advantage of the occasion to assure themselves of the high quality of the work undertaken.

Freeing up space for expanding production

In order to free up space for increased capacity in the high-end Manufactory’s
main building in the Altenberger Straße, Glashütte Original’s Customer Service department has been relocated to the new building in the Frühlingsweg. After only 10 months of construction, which began October 3, 2011, the first employees took their places in the new building on August 15th, 2012.

The new facility has a total surface of 4,550 m2 and space for around 80 persons. At present there are 50 employees working in the new building.

The new space will also host UNION Glashütte, one of Glashütte Original’s fellow Swatch Group brands.

In order to make available additional space for production in the main building, restructuring work has begun with the objective to free up 1,900 m2, to be used exclusively for production. A central cafeteria on the Manufactory’s roof will be completed by the end of the year.

Growing number of employees

The growing number of employees alone is enough to demonstrate that
Glashütte Original finds itself on a path of continuous growth: at the end of 2010 there were a total of 321 employees working for the company; as of September 2012 the number has already risen to 440.

Most of the new entries have joined the assembly and service areas of the company.

By the end of 2013 the Saxon enterprise plans to hire around 70 more employees,which will bring the number of Manufactory personnel to an expected 510 persons.

With that, Glashütte Original will take its place as one of the largest employers and educators in Glashütte.

Increased support for young watchmakers and toolmakers

In order to assure a sufficient number of highly qualified skilled craftsmen
and women in the future, the number of future watch and toolmakers accepted for training each year has been increased.

Until recently the Manufactory’s own Alfred Helwig School of Watchmaking
took in 12 watchmakers and 3 toolmakers each year; since 2011 the number
of future watchmakers has increased to 14 annually.

They are trained in the craft of watchmaking over the course of three years.
On completion of their studies, those who achieve sufficiently high marks
are offered a job with Glashütte Original.

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