Rebuilding Glashütte

The watchmakers of Glashütte, Germany, are again producing the prestigious timepieces for which they are renowned, but with losses in the millions, it will be a long time before it's business as usual in this flood-ravaged town. Glashütte, a valley town of 2,500 residents, is located in the Erz Mountains south of Dresden, in the German state of Saxony. Upscale and luxury watch companies there include Lange Uhren (owned by the Richemont Group), which makes A. Lange & Söhne; Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb (owned by the Swatch Group), which makes Glashütte Original and Union Glashütte; Nomos; and Mühle. Glashütte became a watchmaking center in the late 1880s—even today, it's known locally as the "Valley of Watches"—and remained so until World War II, when Allied bombing destroyed most of its watch factories. What was left was taken over by the former Communist East Germany in t

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