Special Exhibition opens with guests from all over GermanyGerman Watch Museum Glashütte pays tribute to the Glashütte Supply System
June 5, 2014 saw the opening of a special exhibition at the German Watch Museum Glashütte, entitled “Glashütte Cottage Industry: A Flourishing Supply System”. More than eighty guests from the region’s political and business communities, representatives of the city of Glashütte and its watchmakers, witnesses to the history of watchmaking, lenders and watch connoisseurs from all over Germany followed the invitation of the museum.
With this special exhibition the Museum pays tribute to the numerous small firms and suppliers in Glashütte that contributed in a decisive manner to the development of the watch industry. In past decades they manufactured not only individual components for the production of watches, but also special tools and measurement instruments. In addition, some companies developed new techniques that made it possible to improve the aesthetic appearance of timepieces.
The exhibition presents 12 companies which together give an impression of the many different areas in which the Glashütte cottage industry (also known as a "supply system") was active. The dominant themes here are tool making, measurement instruments, watch components and decorative finishing.
The diverse types of specialist work are presented with the help of a historical screw press, an engine turning (guilloche) machine, a workbench in a gem polishing workshop, and instruments used to make watch hands and balances. Precision measurement tools, personal documents, photographs, drawings, individual components and numerous other objects round out the exhibition.
The exhibition presents a very thorough history of the company known as “Robert Mühle“, which was the only one to survive and continue operating despite all the historical and political changes. The family-owned company has existed for a total of 145 years in Glashütte. The firm still produces watches today, in the meantime under the name “Mühle-Glashütte GmbH nautische Instrumente und Feinmechanik“ (Mühle-Glashütte Ltd. Nautical Instruments and Precision Mechanics).
In addition, the "Traces of Time" tour of the town offers numerous other views of the multifarious production processes employed by the supply system companies in Glashütte. All over the town there are buildings that once housed small companies and workshops. Visitors can locate the 35 chosen buildings on their own or, with the help of a brochure available from the museum, look them up in more selective manner. The museum also offers interested visitors the opportunity to book a tour of the city and in this way to receive additional information.