February 18, 2015
Swatch group’s Glashütte Original is sharing its heritage with consumers through a collection of five short films that were presented at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival this year.
The videos were released on the manufacturer’s YouTube channel on Feb. 11 and have also been shared on Facebook. The videos explore concepts ranging from the history of the Glashütte village in Germany to the fascinating compilation of sounds heard in the watchmaker's manufactory itself.
"Stories from third parties enhance credibility," said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami, FL. "Even the very finest luxury brands desire stories from outside sources to reinforce their DNA."
"Additionally, YouTube allows emotion and engagement unreachable in other media."
Mr. Ramey is not affiliated with Glashütte Original, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Glashütte Original was unable to respond by press deadline.
Glashütte Original selected the five films from friends and partners of the brand, who submitted their propositions and then created unique projects that took different approaches to exploring the watches. The five films came from around the world and are narrated in five different languages, showing the reach of the Glashütte name and its popularity in many countries.
The town of Glashütte, Germany is historically famous for watchmaking
The films were presented publicly for the first time at the Berlinale Festival that took place in the German city Feb. 5-15. "Living the Mechanical Dream," "Phoenix rising," "The Sound of the Original," "My Journey with Glashütte Original" and "Time Traveller" each shared a unique perspective on particular aspects of the brand.
Living the Mechanical Dream told the story of two Glashütte enthusiasts who traveled to the town and toured the famous factory, where they learned about the incredible detail that goes into the construction of each timepiece. Phoenix rising explored the history of watchmaking in the town, from its origins in 1845 through the two world wars and up to the present day.
Two Glashütte enthusiasts visit the manufactory in Living the Mechanical Dream
The Sound of the Original is a unique composition of the sounds that make up the watch production process, from the heavy machinery at the beginning to the tranquil quiet of the assembly. My Journey with Glashütte Original tells the story of a Chinese collector who has followed the brand since its return to haute horlogerie in the past few decades, as he shares pieces from his personal collection of limited editions and masterpieces.
Time Traveller takes the viewer on a journey with a Canadian watch journalist to uncover the history behind an individual timepiece and explore its ancestors in the Glashütte museum. Like the other four films, it includes footage of the Glashütte manufactory and the town in Germany.
An incredible amount of craftsmanship goes into each timepiece
Each of the five films shares an incredibly personal perspective of the brand, focusing on individuals with passionate love for Glashütte and the art of watchmaking. These stories emphasize the sentimental value of a fine watch and the incredible craftsmanship and heritage that go into making each piece.
This attention to the detail and labor required to create Glashütte watches helps the brand justify its prices to consumers who now have the opportunity to see what exactly they are purchasing. It also allows consumers to connect with the brand in a more intimate way by showing them the inside of the factory and museum that they may not otherwise have the chance to see.
All of the videos can be found on the brand's YouTube page.
The brand released a trailer for the five films on its YouTube page
Watch your step
Swatch group’s Glashütte Original has been revealing more about its watchmaking process in recent years. The brand expanded its apprenticeship program to 28 new students at the “Alfred Helwig” School of Watchmaking in Germany.
With a total of 70 students across the three years of the watchmaking school, Glashütte Original responded to a demand for skilled specialists by educating aspiring watchmakers. The apprenticeship program indicates the brand’s commitment to expanding the world of exquisitely made watches (see story).
It is important for watchmakers to stay in contact with consumers, as many of the products they offer are expensive and purchased by collectors. For the 25th annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, 16 of the world’s top watchmakers convened in Geneva Jan. 19-23 to unveil their most creative and avant-garde timepieces amid those who share a passion for horology.
Although the event is trade- and invite-only, social media has greatly improved visibility for participating watchmakers, and those that are not showing at SIHH, but want to capitalize on industry attention. Social media posts ranged from photos and videos of newly unveiled timepieces to cocktail party recaps to underscore the glamour of the industry, used as a way to virtually include horologists unable to attend the event in person (see story).
Glashütte Original's films worked in a similar way to promote the brand and increase awareness among consumers.
"The difference between promotion and testimony is who says it," Mr. Ramey said. "The latter is always more powerful."
Kay Sorin, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York