Glashutte Original Watches: 5 Most Popular Movements

Glashutte Original Watches: 5 Most Popular Movements

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In watch, Published On
November 4, 2023
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At the center of every great timepiece is a great movement. A beating heart of marvelous innovation, one in which artisanship, technology, and passion prove that the CPU at the core of your Apple Watch (see what I did there?) can’t hold a candle to the beauty and romanticism of a mechanical timepiece.

For those new to the world of watches there are three primary types of movements that you will encounter in your watch collecting journey: a mechanical movement, also known as a hand wound movement, an automatic movement, and a quartz movement.

All have their place in a collection, but for some horology diehards, mechanical and automatic timepieces will always win the spot on their wrist due to their love for the craft.

At its core watchmaking is an art form. A craft that takes patience, skill, and precision. Watchmaking requires paying immense attention to detail, which is why those artisans who create timepieces and more specifically, the watch movements, for the brand Glashütte Original, are held in such high regard by the watch enthusiast community.

Quick History

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The Glashütte Original story starts way back in 1845, in Glashütte, a town in Saxony, a region in Eastern Germany, when the first watchmakers came to Glashütte to manufacture both watches and watch parts.

These watchmakers began to train those living in Glashütte in the art of watchmaking, who in turn became independent watchmakers leading to the city of Glashütte becoming known as the birthplace of German Watchmaking.

Soon the Glashütte name became synonymous with precise and elegant craftsmanship and in 1878, to preserve the knowledge of fine watchmaking for the future, the German School of Watchmaking Glashütte was founded.

Both WWI and WWII impacted Glashütte in ways that most wars do, but due to their adaptability and respect for the tradition of watchmaking, German watchmaking continued to evolve and in 1951, a merger of all existing Glashütte watchmaking companies took place creating what we know today as Glashütte Original.

Acquired by the Swatch Group in 2000, Glashütte Original is now part of the largest watch group in the world, allowing the Glashütte Original name to be known internationally as some of the finest in German watchmaking.

With that said, it should come as no surprise that Glashütte Original is renowned for their incredibly well finished and supremely precise movement. So, without further ado we will discuss five Glashütte Original movements and what makes them so wonderful.

Glashütte Original Movements

Glashütte Original, like many German watchmaking brands, is known not only for the accuracy and innovation of their movements, but also the beauty. It is no secret that some of the finest finishing on mechanical movements comes from Germany, a great example is A. Lange & Söhne who is known for some of the most beautifully finished watches in the world, but Glashütte Original can also be added to that list.

With an extreme commitment to precise innovation and beauty, Glashütte Original individually finishes their movements and adds a certain craftsmanship to every piece that we will see as we discuss some of their movements.

Glashütte Original GO 39-50

Glashütte Original Movements

To start off our list we have the GO 39-50 which is an in-house, automatic movement, meaning that it has a central semi-circular rotor which powers the timepiece as you wear it throughout the day. The rotor in the GO 29-50 is made of 21K gold.

The GO 39-50 has a power reserve of 40 hours. For those new to watches, this means that when the movement is fully powered, either by the rotor movement or hand winding, the watch will run for 40 hours before stopping.

When discussing movements, it is important to discuss the jewel count. The jewels in a timepiece are tiny translucent stones, usually pink or purple, that when combined with the proper amount of lubricant, act as bearings in your watch movement to reduce friction. They also help keep a watch accurate and increase the overall longevity of the movement.

So how many jewels does the GO 39-50 have and does more jewels mean a better watch?

To start the GO 39-50 has 48 jewels, but more jewels doesn’t always mean a better watch. Generally, a watch has more jewels if it has more complications, or any function that is added to the timepiece outside of normal time telling, for example something as simple as a date function, chronograph function, or something a little more special like we have in the GO 39-50 a perpetual calendar function.

The perpetual calendar function tracks the day of the week, date of the month, leap years, and a moonphase.

Glashütte Original GO 90

The next movement on our list is the Glashütte Original GO 90. This movement much like the GO 39-50 is an automatic movement with a 21k gold rotor. But, what sets this movement apart from the GO 39-50 is the placement of the rotor.

The skeletonized rotor, sporting the “Double G” symbol, is an off centered rotor. The of center rotor give the wearer a better view of the detailing and finish work that goes into the movement.

In the case of the Glashütte Original GO 90, we are able to see the beautiful finished double swan-neck regulator. The regulator of a watch effectively defines at what speed a watch movement runs.

The GO 90 has a beat rate of 28,800 or 4Hz per hour. This means that the movement beats or rather vibrates 28,800 per hour which gives the second hand the smooth sweep that we see in automatic and hand wound watches.

The GO 90 is a beautifully finished movement that offers a 42-hour power reserve with the same perpetual calendar functionality we saw in the GO 39 50.

Glashütte Original Caliber 61

Glashütte Original Movements

The Glashütte Original Caliber 61 is the first movement on our list to be manually wound (hand wound).

As briefly mentioned earlier, this means that the power of the movement is produced when the wearer winds the crown of the watch as opposed to having a rotor wind the movement powering the timepiece.

For some, a manually wound timepiece is a little antiquated, maybe even a bit of a nuisance.

But, for others, it is a way to connect to your timepiece, a way to be part of a ritual like so many have before you. The hand wound movement is generally part of watch enthusiasts’ mornings, part of the routine and a way to start the day that puts you in control of the time.

While it is easy to wax poetic about the sentimentality of a man and his watch, it is important to note that a manually wound movement is also a beauty to look at due to the absence of the rotor and the Caliber 61 is just that, a beauty to look at. The finish work is beautifully done and is only topped by the last movement on our list (Spoiler, it’s amazing, skip ahead if you’d like).

The Caliber 61 is also the first and only movement on our list to feature a chronograph function which allow you to measure elapsed time while simultaneously indicating the current time. The chronograph is a stopwatch for the wrist.

Glashütte Original GO 100-07

If it isn’t obvious yet, Glashütte Original has a penchant for creating perpetual calendar movements.

While the Glashütte Original GO 100-07 is yet another automatic perpetual calendar movement, it does boast the highest power reserve on our list and when cased in the Glashütte Original Senator Navigator Perpetual Calendar watch, it certainly is the most handsome and traditional of Glashütte Original timepieces.

The Glashütte Original GO 100-07 has a power reserve of 55 hours and much like it’s automatic brethren, sports a 21k gold rotor.

Glashütte Original Caliber 66-12

Glashütte Original Movements

Finally, we reach the movement on our list that is sure to knock your socks off, the Glashütte Original Caliber 66-12.

This movement is nothing short of spectacular. But how can a simple time only movement be that impressive? Well, it isn’t the complications that make this movement so amazing, it is the finishing and design.

The Caliber 66-12 acts as both the movement and the dial of the watch and takes the design to a whole new level with the entire movement being laser engraved into a “cityscape”.

The Caliber 66-12 is a true piece of art that shows just how innovative Glashütte Original really is. They even engraved the required movement specifications into the movement as signs on the buildings. Along with a few other quirky touches, like a graffiti artist “tagging” a double-g logo and some window washers, the 66-12 might just be the coolest movement design ever.

Parting Thoughts

For anyone looking to get into the world of watches it is easy to get lost in the hype and buzz words used by marketing departments to push their products. But, if you are interested in a

brand that is a bit off the beaten path and makes some truly unique timepieces with precise and beautiful movements, Glashütte Original is definitely a brand to check out.

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