Glashütte - a Saxon small town in the Ore Mountains not far from Dresden - is regarded worldwide as Mecca of the finest German watchmaking art. Numerous nationally and internationally recognized manufactories and companies are based here today.
The name C. H. Wolf goes back to the tower clock factory founded by Carl Heinrich Wolf in 1868 which produced since 1872 under the adress Feldstraße 2, among other things, large clocks for churches and schools. From the turn of the century Wolfs sons continued the business and underwent the factory extensive modernization measures.
Since May 2016, Hendrik Klein is the new managing director of the watch brand C.H.Wolf. Together with a team of 5 passionate watch experts, he is working on the production of the finest watches. After extensive refurbishment work on the historic factory building, they will revive both the factory building and the C. H. Wolf brand in 2014. With unique watch creations, the company now combines tradition and modernity with typical Glashütte values.
In 1490, there were found large ore deposits in the area of this small town, about 40 kilometers from the place where the silver ore was discovered in 1168. The production of glass is gradually losing its importance and the age of mining and flourishing craftsmanship has begun.
A "Glaßehutte" refers to a production facility ("Hutte") for the at that time fascinating transparent material glass ("Glaß"). In 1445 "Glaßehutte" was mentioned documentary for the first time.
It is not possible today to state a definite hour of birth of watchmaking art. It is, however, known that in 1540 the first watchmaking association in Germany was formed as the germ cell of a orderly guild – namely in Dresden. These first watchmakers still belonged to the guild of smiths; because originally it were smiths and locksmiths who made timepieces.
It was Elector August (1526-1586), who helped the Saxons with political ambitions, as well as with numerous regulations and reforms, to an upswing. Like many monarchs of this time, he also discovered his passion for collecting. In 1560 he founded an art or "miracle chamber" in Dresden: it should be filled with everything that fascinated him and his descendants. Among them were pictures, weapons and jewellery, crafts, curiosities and utensils, as well as mechanical, astronomical and surveying instruments. This art chamber formed the basis for further collections and for the "Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments", which was separated out in 1729 and under Johann Gottfried Köhler became very important for the development of precision time measurement.
The "White Gold" was invented in China - and already Marco Polo brought first reports of a particularly noble, white material to Italy. But it was not until 1708 that Johann Friedrich Böttger and Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus succeeded in producing the first European porcelain: in the city of Meißen near Dresden. Two years later a porcelain factory, which was known world-wide, arised on the Albrechtsburg.
As "August the Strong" he shaped the Saxon history like perhaps no second: Prince Friedrich August I of Saxony (1670-1733) staged not only as an absolutist radiant ruler. He pursued his goals very consistently, and his benchmark was always perfection. This was demonstrated by the systematic administrative structure and the deftly economic policy, as well as Augusts promotion of art, architecture, craftsmanship and science. This distinctive passion could arise because as a second-born he was originally not intended for the throne. For this reason, the young Saxon prince was at first astonished at the world of the nobility. On his „Kavalierstour“ between the ages of 17 and 19 he traveled incognitively as count of Meissen through all of Europe and learned to know and love the life at all the important courtyards. When his older brother died, Frederick Augustus, at 24, unexpectedly entered the Elector's office.
August the Strong set widely visible signs: he transformed the Renaissance town of Dresden into an imposing baroque stronghold for art and culture. He gave the order to build the “Frauenkirche” and Japanese Palais as well as to expand the “Zwinger”. The country fell in love with theater and music. During this time also the hard porcelain was invented and the state manufactory was founded in Meißen. August the Strong celebrated legendary, elaborate festivals, which sometimes lasted for several months.
August was an enthusiastic and sometimes exuberant art lover and collector. The famous work "Hofstaat zu Delhi on the birthday of the Grandmogul Aureng-Zeb" of the goldsmith and court jeweler Johann Melchior Dinglinger was so expensive with 60,000 thalers that it corresponds to the present value of 1.2 million euros. August the Strong could not pay the sum immediately - but had to pay it for five years. But August did not collect art for his own: In 1724 he made the Green Vault publicly accessible to the residents and visitors of the city.
The art chamber, founded by Elector August 1560, was now full of pieces. Moreover, in this collection, the diversity and disorder which had previously been found interesting did no longer satisfy the new scientific requirements. Thus, August the Strong first let sort out the paintings and 1728 on the upper floor of the Dresden Zwinger he rerserved Pavilion rooms for a special "Mathematical Instrument Cabinet". In addition to earth and heaven globes, astronomical andgeodetic instruments, barometers, thermometers and detailed ornate instruments for calculating, drawing and measurements of all kinds, sundials from the beginning belonged to the showpieces of the "Cabinet".
But the world-famous collection is much older. For the first time, the stock was inventoried for Christian I in 1587: thousands of individual objects, including watches, were part of the inventory at this time. It must have been the Elector August, who from the very beginning had endeavored to find artful ornate objects, even used the objects and partly kept them in his private houses. He was probably also the one who commissioned Eberhard Baldewein in 1560 to produce a "Baldewein clock", now named after the builder. More than two centuries later, around 1800, the inventory of the "Cabinet" was once again listed: 1800 objects, including 35 mechanical clocks.
Carl Heinrich Wolf was born on 27 July 1844 in Reinholdshain (Dippoldiswalde). He attended the elementary school and later got married.
In 1845 Ferdinand Adolph Lange as the first watchmaker settled in Glashütte. He followed a call from the royal-Saxon government, of which he received 7'800 thalers (made of silver from Joachimstal, 1 thaler = 3 Reichsmark, Thaler is the origin of today's dollar) start-up financing. Lange began with the education of the first watchmakers. Despite considerable initial difficulties, the watchmaking and precision mechanics industry became the economic backbone of the city from around 1875 onwards.
At the age of 22, he became self-employed as one of the youngest entrepreneurs in Glashütte. In 1866, he founded a mechanical workshop in Glashütte for the production of tower clocks and drives, telegraph apparatuses and racks.
After the great fires in Glashütte towards the end of the 1860s, he built new workshops for his company diagonally opposite the German watchmaker's school, today's Glashütte Clock Museum. In 1871 he settled down in the “Feldstrasse 2”. In the main line, the company was a supplier of telegraph apparatuses, drive and registration works of all kinds; One of the most important clients was the Berlin-based company Siemens & Halske, as well as many other of the world's most prestigious companies.
A well-known tower clock of the company adorned since 1883 the local church of the town Wehlen in the Saxon Switzerland. The here shown tower clock of the town church of Wehlen was manufactured in 1883 by the Glahütter company "C. H. Wolf ". The robust mechanics has already been in operation for remarkable 130 years, showing the municipality the time. It withstood the German Empire, the First World War, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, 1945, the zero hour after the Second World War and the GDR. In the Federal Republic of Germany it was refurbished in 1999 and retrofitted with a "force-saving" electric weight lift, which triggers every 6 hours, at 3, 9, 15 and 21 o'clock. A button on the striking mechanism is actuated each time the last hour is reached, and the weights are applied one after the other. Between 10:15 pm and 06:45 am, the hammers who perform the full hour Strike are automatically pulled up to ensure the night rest. The clock is in an excellent condition and works reliably, hopefully for a very long time, to the delight of Wehlener citizens and their guests
The here shown, functioning and preserved in the original, clock tower of the company "C.H. Wolf” No. 71 from the year 1885 still shows the time in the village church of Possendorf (Bannewitz) in the district “Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge” after 127 years. It is one of the few preserved tower clocks from Glashütter production.
In 1900, at the turn of the century, Carl Heinrich Wolf laid the fate of the company in the hands of his son Heinrich Georg Wolf. When his two sons, Ottomar and Georg, joined the firm as a partner, the company was named "C. H. Wolf & Söhne / Glashütte". The Wolf family lived in the house Ortsl. No. 110 (today, “Hauptstrasse 18”), on the site of which also the workshop and later the factory building were located. With the merger of the workshop with LIWOS the family moved to the location of the new company. Carl Heinrich Wolf lived at the “Markt 17” for the last years of his life. Today the watchmaker C. H. Wolf is located in the main building.
"Mr. Mechanic and Royal Peace Justice Carl Heinrich Wolf, Glashütte Founder of the company C.H. Wolf, Workshop for Fine Mechanics" celebrated fifty years of professional activity.
On June 26, 1925, at the age of almost 81, Carl Heinrich Wolf died in Glashütte. One of the main pioneers of the Glashütter fine mechanical industry had completed his busy life.
Revival of the C.H.Wolf brand in the same company building with the newly founded "CHW Glashütte in Sachsen GmbH"