At the end of May, a new foyer exhibition opened at the German Watch Museum in Glashütte. It presents an impressive clock that has not been on public display for several decades. On the occasion of his 80th birthday on January 3, 1956, the then President of the GDR, Wilhelm Pieck, was solemnly presented with an imposing art clock that was commissioned by the GDR Council of Ministers with the participation of the VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (nationally owned company Glashütte watch factories). According to a description from that time, the watch represents a “place of socialist construction”. The time is displayed on numbered rings on a tower integrated into the work of art. When in operation, the refrain of the battle song of the working class “Die Internationale” is played by a musical work that sounds on every full hour.
Photos: Holm Helis
The key protagonists in the production of the clock were the Leipzig master goldsmith Gerhard Fraundorf, who was responsible for the artistic and detailed design, and Hans-Georg Belger, who at the time worked as a design engineer at the VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe. Based on an electrical Glashütte timer movement type 9091, Belger has translated the hands into a 24-hour display, integrated a day/night display and designed a control for the musical movement. Belger acquired the skills for this engineering achievement during his studies at the Specialist School for Precision Mechanics and Horology Glashütte (later School of Engineering for Precision Technology), where he was one of the first year of engineering students in 1951.
The new foyer exhibition is part of the upcoming special exhibition in the German Watch Museum Glashütte. Starting in summer 2022, this will deal with the engineers at the Glashütte school, their personal stories and lifetime achievements, as well as the general job profile of engineers. From 1951 to 1992 the school was an important facility for engineering education in East Germany. Since 2008 the German Watch Museum Glashütte is located in the former school building.