The beauty of mechanical timekeeping Christine Hutter: Founder and CEO of Grossmann Uhren GmbH
It was in 1986, just after having earned a Bachelor’s degree, when Christine Hutter first discovered the beauty of mechanical timekeeping instruments. As she started her apprenticeship with master watchmaker Wilhelm Glöggler in Munich, he showed her old pendulum clocks, pocket watches, and chronographs with fantastic movements that had ranked among the best and finest calibres in the 19th and early 20th centuries. She was confronted with horological rarities like these in the repair workshop, where she began to restore old timepieces within a matter of months. She single-handedly crafted parts such as winding stems and also replaced teeth and pinions.
During this period, the market was dominated by quartz watches. While they were highly precise, their movements resembled modern electronic circuit boards rather than traditional calibres. Christine Hutter appreciated the special appeal of mechanical devices and wondered why modern consumers didn’t have a greater affinity with things mechanical. But the “mechanical renaissance” in watchmaking had already begun.
In 1989, the Eichstätt-born watchmaker completed her apprenticeship, as best in class amongst her peers in Bavaria. She was then recruited by Wempe, Germany’s largest luxury watch retailer. There, she made the acquaintance of many aficionados of mechanical watchmaking. Later, her career path brought her to Maurice Lacroix and, in 1996, to Glashütte – initially to the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb and finally to A. Lange & Söhne. There she acquired in-depth experience of marketing and communications, and created new distribution channels.
Over time, she began to nurture a growing desire to establish her own watch manufacture. Christine discovered the “Moritz Grossmann” brand heritage and with the help of her family, she acquired the rights to the venerable Glashütte marque. In the meantime, she was appointed general manager of Haute Horlogerie Schindler SA and moved to Switzerland. Here she forged many contacts with discerning collectors who shared her passion for horological values. Her plans began to mature. She drafted a concept, driven by the vision to launch an exceptional range of watches worthy of the Grossmann name. Her aim was to resurrect the brand heritage that had been dormant for 120 years, and thanks to the support of private watch aficionados, she was able to make her dream come true: On 11 November 2008, she founded Grossmann Uhren GmbH in Glashütte.