History of Muhle Glashutte Watches

Muhle Glashutte is the only watchmaker still residing in the German town, Muhle to be run by a local, long established family. With a heritage of over 700 years, the Muhle Glashutte family has been working in the watchmaking industry for hundreds of years. Founded by Robert Mühle in 1869, Muhle Glashutte has specialised in marine timekeeping instruments for over 150 years. With roots in the German federal state of Saxony, the Muhle family lives by an ethos of “without hope, without fear”. Robert Muhle began his apprenticeship as a precision toolmaker alongside watchmaker, Moritz Großmann. It was here that Robert helped to create a measuring device for a pocket watch.

The "Robert Mühle Glashütte" precision mechanical workshop opened in 1869, where Robert began developing measuring instruments for the watchmaking companies based in Glashütte, as well as for the German School of Watchmaking. With instruments enabling the wearer to carry out precise measurements that were accurate to the nearest thousand of a millimetre, Muhle Glashutte was flourishing as a business by 1969. Paul, Alfred and Max Mühle, the second generation, expanded production and from 1919 onwards began specialising in speedometers, car clocks and rev counters. By adding these instruments to an already refined collection, Muhle Glashutte survived the Great Depression.

The company suffered some loss during and shortly after the Second World War but thanks to the family’s third generation, was able to survive and continued to create precise measuring instruments until Hans Mühle founded a new company in December 1945 named "Ing. Hans Mühle". When in 1972 the family company was expropriated for a second time, it lost its independence and was taken over by "VEB Feinmechanik Glashütte". Hans-Jürgen Mühle then directed the company, establishing the family company under the name of "Mühle-Glashütte GmbH nautische Instrumente und Feinmechanik".

Marine chronometers were in huge demand once again since Hans-Jürgen Mühle had already established a network of contacts containing shipyards and yacht manufacturers all over the world as part of his role as GUB Sales Manager for marine chronometers and marine time systems. The first two Mühle wristwatches available to purchase from the year 1996 were sports diving watches for use on ships to complete many time measuring tasks. In 2001, the fifth generation of the Muhle family, Thilo Mühle joined the company, eventually becoming managing director with his father.

In cooperation with the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS), Muhle Glashutte created the first S.A.R. Rescue-Timers and presented them to captains Erwin Borchardt and Lutz Griesberg in 2002. They have been used in the vessels of the DGzRS ever since. In 2003 Muhle Glashutte created its patented woodpecker neck regulation with a special shape that enables for sensitive adjustment of the watch, as well as boasting a shock proof and robust quality. Fast forward five years and Muhle Glashutte had created its first three quarter plate, fitted with the classic Glashütte click and a removable escape wheel bridge. Used for the chronograph watches from Muhle Glahutte’s catalogue, the three quarter plate was given its own name, the calibre MU 9408.

The MU 9411 is the first hand-wound movement to be fully designed by Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte from start to finish in 2011. It first featured in the Teutonia III Handaufzug. Two years later Muhle Glashutte celebrated its 145th anniversary, followed by its 150th year anniversary in 2019, marking the celebration with a third in house designed complication. With an up down display, the limited edition 42mm watch is made available in platinum, steel or rose gold with a moon phase display.