Glashutte Original v Zenith
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  1. #1
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    Glashutte Original v Zenith

    Interested to hear your thoughts about where these two brands stand in relation to eachother. They both make stunning watches. Is one more desirable than the other in terms of craftmanship, movement, and reliability?
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    v76
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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    This is how I look at it -

    Zenith
    Strengths:
    1. History of supplying high-quality movements to many other watch companies and great heritage with respect to movements
    2. The cal. 400 El Primero, enough said
    3. All their movements are inhouse, and pretty much all have proved their reliability and accuracy over a number of years.
    4. The legendary cal. 135
    5. Considering the quality and heritage that you get along with the purchase of a Zenith, I'd say it is great value for money.
    Weaknesses:
    1. I do not like a lot of their current designs, however, this may be purely subjective.
    2. They haven't shown a whole lot of activity with the production of new calibers and interesting designs the last few years, hopefully that will change soon.

    Glashutte Original
    Strengths:
    1. There is a lot of activity with respect to new calibers, product lines and designs. Many of their watches have an "old world" charm without giving anything away with respect to movement innovation and materials technology.
    2. A lot of their designs are very classic/timeless and some distinctive designs as well.
    3. A lot of research and development with regards new movements, case materials, etc. ... they're definitely on their way up.
    4. It seems like they have built a wider product range in a relatively short span of time (as compared to Zenith), also a lot of base calibers they can base new movements on.
    Weaknesses:
    1. They don't have the tried and tested calibers that Zenith has, only time will tell how reliable/durable/accurate their inhouse calibers are.
    2. I see a definite price creep ... this could reflect improvement increments in R&D, quality, innovation, materials used, etc. but I think they'll slowly price themselves to a level above Zenith.

    These are just my impressions from what I read and see ...
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  3. #3
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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    Not much to think about; GO.

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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    v76 - thank you for your highly informative post! And Watchbreath, thanks for weiging in.
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  6. #5
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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    While GO was recently reconstituted not too long after the fall of the wall, Zenith has been making the El Primero and many other in-house movements for years. I'd say they're roughly equal.

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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    I want an El Primero, so my opinion is biased

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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    i give the edge to zenith based on its history and the # of brands that used their movements.
    plus the port royal just kicks tail!
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  9. #8
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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    Apples and oranges in my book.

    Zenith is very much a heritage maker which has been in continuous production since 1865. Being in continuous production, they have established lines and models with decades of investment in market position and they are oriented to extending their existing market positions. They produce a wide range of variety within their product lines.

    GO is a reconstituted company/brand with a distant and less significant heritage than Zenith. As such, GO is more like a new maker, establishing new lines and models. Their product line is much more boutique and narrower than Zenith's. They have used a wide range of movements, some built off of ETA movements, as they have built up their in-house movements.

    In my opinion, GO ends up being much more exciting, but it is unclear how they will be seen across decades and centuries. OTOH, Zenith's position is significant in watchmaking history and well established, and it will take much ill fortune for it to ever be anything less.

    The unseen piece is what Swatch will do with both these companies as they rationalize their holdings. As a wider known brand, it is likely that Zenith will be a more mainstream brand oriented towards higher volumes, while GO will be positioned more as a boutique brand with a narrower lower volume product range.

    Of course, apples and oranges is exactly what Swatch wants, a watch for every taste.

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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    great points but zenith is part of lv group with tag.
    i met a gentleman at a high end ad in baltimore who stated rather candidly that go is an a lange & sohne wannabe and owes its success to marketing the glashutte local name.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Glashutte Original v Zenith

    Quote Originally Posted by novedl View Post
    great points but zenith is part of lv group with tag.
    i met a gentleman at a high end ad in baltimore who stated rather candidly that go is an a lange & sohne wannabe and owes its success to marketing the glashutte local name.
    Oops, senior moment.... D'Oh!!!!!

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