Glashütte Original Adds a Dose of Colour to the Remake of an East German Classic

Combining the retro style of an East German horological classic with boldly coloured dials, the new Glashütte Original Sixties Iconic Collection is exclusive to the brand’s boutiques. 

Modelled on a classic of East German watchmaking, the Glashütte Original Senator Sixties takes after the Spezimatic wristwatch made by state-owned VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB). The Senator Sixties stays true to the aesthetic of the original, has the quality of a modern high-end timepiece, instead of a 1960s product of Communism. Originally available in the conservative colours of black, blue or silver, the Senator Sixties is now livened up with five new dial variants featured vividly coloured galvanic coating. Manufactured in Glashütte Original’s facility in Pforzheim, a city near the Black Forest that’s the traditional home of German clockmaking, the new dials feature what Glashütte Original terms a dégradé effect. French for “degraded”, it refers to the slightly aged look of the dials, an effect that requires multiple steps to achieve.

The dial blanks are first galvanised, then hand-painted with several layers of lacquer. Lastly, the finishing coat of lacquer is added with a spray gun for a graduated effect, most apparent in the striking colours of the Sixties Red (above).

Three of the dials – Sixties Golden, Sixties Aqua and Sixties Red – feature with a sun ray brushed finish. Sixties Brown and Sixties Grey are decorated with a stamped guilloche, applied with a 40-year old, 60-tonne press.

The rest of the watch is identical to the Senator Sixties watches in more sober colours. The case is steel, 39mm in diameter, with a domed sapphire crystal that successfully mimics the look of the Plexiglas on the vintage original. Inside is the calibre 39-52, an automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve that’s made in-house by Glashütte Original. The brand makes all of its own movements, its vertical integration a result its isolation from suppliers during the Cold War.

From left: Sixties Aqua, Sixties Brown, Sixties Golden, Sixties Red and Sixties Grey

All five versions share the same price of €6300 or S$11,400. They are also available as a five-piece set. The Sixties Iconic Collection will be available only at Glashütte Original boutiques and select Tourbillon boutiques (which are owned by Glashütte Original’s parent company the Swatch Group).

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Introducing the De Bethune DB27 D Polo Edition in Hardened Steel (with Pricing)

Conceived for polo players, the De Bethune DB27 D Polo Edition is made of DLC-coated hardened steel, a material resilient enough to withstand the rigours of a polo game.

While the DB27 Titan Hawk is De Bethune‘s entry level timepiece, the DB27 D Polo Edition is a decidedly more elaborate variant. Limited to just 10 pieces, it was made to mark the 2015 De Bethune Princely Polo Cup, a tournament held in Liechtenstein. The key feature of the DB27 D Polo Edition is the case, made from diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated steel boasting exceptional surface hardness.  While ordinary stainless steel typically has a Vickers value of just under 1000, and scratch resistant sapphire crystal measures about 1800, the DB27 D Polo Edition claims a surface hardness of 5000 Vickers. That’s because the case is made from steel treated to give its surface extra hardness, and then coated with DLC. That means the DLC adheres better to the steel below, since their hardness is similar. In ordinary DLC coated watches there is a disparity between the hardness of the coating and the material underneath. That often results in the coating coming off upon impact as the material below deforms more than the coating. Because the steel is polished before it is hardened and coated, the result is an entirely glossy finish. At the centre of the case sits a pink gold medallion features two hand-engraved polo mallets along with an inlaid white gold polo ball.

Beyond the case, the DB27 D Polo Edition also differs from the basic DB27 with its time display. Instead of hands, the Polo Edition has a jumping hours along with a minutes disc. The DB27 D Polo Edition also features De Bethune’s patented spring-loaded lugs that conform to the shape of the wrist effortlessly. Inside is the calibre S233D, an automatic movement with a five day power reserve that’s equipped with De Bethune’s proprietary silicon balance wheel with white gold weights. The price before taxes is SFr60,000.

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Lange Facelifts the Entry-Level Saxonia with a Dark Grey Dial (with Pricing)

The most affordable A. Lange & Söhne wristwatch just got a bit more interesting with the addition of two variants with grey dials exclusive to its boutiques.

Starting at well under US$20,000, the Saxonia is the entry-level Lange timepiece, equipped with the hand-wound L941.1 movement. And till now, the Saxonia was availably only with a conventional and modest silver dial in a smallish 35mm case. Now the entry-level Saxonia is offered in a larger, 37mm case with a dark grey dial that’s just been introduced at Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong.

The new Saxonia is available in white or rose gold, with both versions sharing the same specifications and movement. Slim and elegant, the case diameter is 37mm, with a height of 7.8mm. The hand-wound movement inside is one of Lange’s oldest movements, having been developed in 1994 when the company was first resurrected (the first two digits of the calibre number, L941.1, reveal the year).

Though entry-level, the dial is of the same quality as all other Lange watches. It’s made of solid silver, with a grey galvanic coating. The hour indices, as well as hands, are made of 18k gold.

The new grey Saxonia costs US$17,800 or S$24,900 in pink gold, while the white gold model is US$19,800 or S$26,700.

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Introducing the Panerai Luminor 1950 Titanium DLC Special Editions PAM617 “Logo” and PAM629 “California” (with Pricing)

Panerai has just announced a pair of Luminor 1950 wristwatches in DLC-coated titanium: the PAM617 with a "logo" dial and the first ever Luminor with a "California" dial PAM629.

Only just unveiled at Watches&Wonders 2015, the Panerai Luminor 1950 PAM00617 and PAM00629 are a pair of Special Editions (which mean limited edition in Panerai-speak) featuring titanium cases coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC). Both are heavy on vintage Panerai style but with a decidedly modern twist, continuing Panerai’s recent inclination of iterating elements from vintage Panerai watches in novel combinations. The PAM629, for instance, is the first Luminor model with a California dial.

The Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC watches share the same 47mm, DLC-coated case in lightweight titanium featuring a crown lever engraved with “1950”, a reference to the year the Luminor case made its debut (read our story on Panerai history for more).

Both have domed crystals, and solid case backs with the P.3000 movement underneath. It’s hand-wound with a three day power reserve. Both the PAM617 and PAM629 are limited to 300 pieces.

Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC PAM617 “Logo”

The PAM617 features the traditional Panerai dial with the twist of the “OP” logo at six o’clock, and once again embossed on the leather strap. Like many other modern Panerai watches, it has ivory-toned Super-Luminova on the dial and hands to mimic the look of a vintage watch.

Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC PAM629 “California”

Curiously the PAM629 combines the crown-lock Luminor case with a “California” dial that’s traditionally found only in the Radiomir (distinguished by its wire lugs). The dial is black, with faux vintage Super-Luminova and gilt hands. Traditionalists might not appreciate this pastiche.

Acquiring its nickname from the fact that vintage Rolex Bubbleback dials were refinished in vast numbers by a company in California back in the 1980s, the “California” dial has Roman numerals on the top half and arabic numbers on the bottom. This style of dial actually appeared first on watches made by Rolex, the same company that made the Radiomir cases for Panerai.

Both the Luminor 1950 Titanium DLC PAM617 and PAM629 are priced at S$16,800 including 7% tax. That’s equivalent to US$11,800.

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Lange Brings Back Honey Gold with 1815 Limited Edition (with Pricing)

An extra-hard yellow gold alloy exclusive to A. Lange & Söhne, honey gold makes a comeback with the 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” limited edition.

With 2015 the bicentenary of the birth of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, founder of the eponymous German watchmaker, A. Lange & Söhne has introduced not one, but two 1815 limited editions. The first anniversary edition was in platinum and introduced in February, and the second is a very similar 1815 in honey gold that just made its debut at Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong. Limited to 200 pieces, the 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” has a 40mm case made of honey gold. Used only once before in the 165th Anniversary “Homage to F.A. Lange” limited edition watches introduced in 2010, honey gold is an alloy that is harder than typical yellow gold, thanks to part to silicon mixed into the metal. And honey gold is also a paler shade than conventional yellow gold, hence its name.

The honey gold 1815 has a solid silver dial with a grained surface, similar to that found on vintage marine chronometers. The movement inside is the L051.1, a hand-wound calibre with a 55 hour power reserve, as well as all the hallmarks of a Lange movement like the three-quarter plate and engraved balance cock.

Each watch is engraved “XXX/200” on the back

The 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” in honey gold is priced exactly the same as the platinum edition at S$48,300, which is equivalent to US$33,900.

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