Mühle Glashütte ProMare and Seebataillon GMT
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The brand Mühle Glashütte is the third brand from the tiny but extremely prolific town of Glashütte that I would like to welcome to our magazine. It is the third brand but not the last one that will be featured since, next time it will be the turn of another of those brands that I like to call “the four pillars of horlogerie from the small Germany town”. To be more precise there is also a 5th brand that is linked to the world of aeronautics and that I have been a big fan of since I was a child, there is even a 6th brand but it comes from another place, somewhere along the River Main nearby Frankfurt. Truth is that German people really know how to craft “precision instruments” the same way they know how to build cars with brands like M and AMG or acronyms like RS, but history usually points to Switzerland only when it comes to watch-making.
Of all the brands that were born and raised in Glashütte, the brand Mühle has the privilege to be the only brand that has been in the hands of the Mühle family since its funding, some sort of record in the watch-making industry where groups with a consistent bottom line have purchased the historic brands from this town. Mühle Glashütte and I are like two people that are chasing each other but never manage to meet, we have never had the pleasure to “bump into each other” in real life but I have to thank my friend Simeon Kremzow-Tennie and his pictures for giving me the chance to bring to Italy a bit of Glashütte and being able to share with you the recent achievements of the brand.
At a recent event, Mühle Glashütte presented its new brand image and virtually renewed its entire collections. I will only deal with some of those collections here as I am convinced that the best approach is to provide information and details about one or maximum a couple of timepieces rather than swamp our readers with too much information in one go. That’s the exact same approach that we use when we take part in the SIHH and the Baselworld event.
We can consider this brand as a company that is quickly reaching the status of “entirely independent manufacturer”, during its long and incredible history, it has “fallen” and rose again a thousand times and it is now in the firm hands of the family that created it in the first place. Mühle Glashütte has played a central role in the development of chronometry, in crafting extremely precise measurement tools, tachometers (Triumph and BMW have been customers of the brand since the beginning of last century) and so on. In a nutshell this summarizes perfectly well the great German tradition of mechanics and precision.
When it comes to these types of watches, the first difference that one immediately notices is the great attention to resistance and sturdiness that grace the precision mechanics. The Mühle Glashütte ProMare Chronograph for example is a two-counter-chronograph that, design-wise, reminds us of the first chronographs from the 80s despite its very modern size (the case measures 44mm). The ProMare is equipped with the (almost) in-house-built MU9408 caliber whose rotor has been designed in-house, same thing for the mainplate and the regulation system (the so-called “woodpecker neck regulation”). A semi-hidden button located at 10 o’clock on the case allows the user to quickly change the date. Just one step below is the date-only ProMare Datum that is equipped with a modified Sellita that sports the same regulation system of the balance wheel but whose dial is matted black rather than black and carbon-coated.
The Mühle Glashütte Seebataillon GMT is the proof that some of Mühle Glashütte’s timepieces are sometimes more real instruments than watches. It is a professional diver’s watch with the GMT function that is used by the Sea Battalion of the Germany Navy. Among its features are the crown (and the date) located at 4 o’clock; a choice that it shares with Japanese diver’s watches and the case made of a titanium that measures 44mm.
The Mühle Glashütte Seebataillon GMT is one of the brand’s trademarks, the diver’s watches collection is one of the most famous collections ever crafted by the brand. If I were to choose three words to define it, I would say that it sports a perfect mix between the dial and the light blue bezel, quite an original shape of the bezel because of its pronounced grooving and an unmistakable shape of the lugs too: they are edgy and extremely double. It shows its “tool watch personality” everywhere and the fans of this genre likes that a lot.
It is not easy to talk about a brand and its timepieces when you have neither seen its collections up close nor worn its watches. My opinion is solely based on what I could feel after taking a look at these pictures and reading about the brand on their website, and I can well say that Mühle Glashütte is trying to carve its niche by focusing on the tradition of the famous German watch-making school that derives from the experience, knowledge and tradition in mechanics; a field where German people were and still are a solid point of reference. Some timepieces, like the ProMare, represent a new creation, whereas others, like the Seebatallion are already iconic timepieces of this brand and quite appreciated by fans too. Both watches represent a brand whose offering is both interesting and intelligent, some of its new technical features are quite original in a market that has been hit hard by a lack of creativity and new ideas and that, lately, has been producing quite a lot references and models, some of which make absolutely no sense.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Simeon Kremzow-Tennie from 8past10, Mühle Glashütte)