Glashütte Original Introduces the Sixties and Sixties Chronograph “Glacier Blue”

Dégradé blue.

A yearly tradition starting two years ago, the Sixties annual edition is a limited-production run of Glashütte Original’s well-liked, retro Sixties. In contrast to the sedate, Teutonic colours of the regular models, the Sixties annual editions are characterised by dials in bold colours and elaborate patterns, all produced the traditional way at its sister company located just several hours away.

The annual edition began in 2015 as an experimental collection of watches with dials in over-the-top colours, before becoming an annual edition, first with a green dial patterned after water droplets, followed by an orange version of the same motif last year. Now Glashütte Original has gone in the opposite direction with the Sixties and Sixties Chronograph featuring pale-blue, dégradé dials finished with a simple, radial brushing. Decidedly more restrained than the earlier editions, the new “glacier blue” dials are still nuanced and striking.

Subtle blue

As with all of the dials found on the Sixties annual editions, the new “glacier blue” dials are produced by the what was once the Th. Muller dial factory in Pforzheim, historically the heart of the German jewellery and clockmaking industry, and now owned by Glashütte Original’s parent company, Swatch Group.

The blue dials are finished in a dégradé, or graduated, colour that darkens towards the edges – an effect that requires multiple steps to achieve. It starts with a dial blank made of German silver that is first given a sun-ray finish using a rotating brass brush. The blank is then pressed to achieve a domed profile – a key element of the retro style – before undergoing galvanisation, a chemical process that gives it a protective, zinc-based coating.

Finally, to achieve the smoked finish, the dial is coated with dark blue lacquer that’s thicker around the periphery, giving it a darker edge. Then the surface is then coated with pale-blue lacquer, creating the distinct, two-tone finish. The finishing hour is engraving the hour indices with a milling machine, revealing the zinc-coated German silver beneath the blue lacquer.

Sixties Annual Edition 

The Sixties is a time-only automatic inspired by the Spezimatic produced by East Germany’s state-owned watch factory – the legal predecessor of Glashütte Original – that was first released in 1964. While the Sixties retains a lot of the original’s retro charm, its fit and finish is distinctly 21st-century, capitalist quality.

The case is stainless steel with a 39 mm diameter, making it larger than the vintage Spezimatic, but nonetheless a modest size by modern standards. Entirely polished, it is fitted with a domed sapphire crystal on the front to complete the vintage aesthetic.

Inside is the automatic cal. 39-52, an in-house but slightly dated movement with a frequency of 4 Hz and a 40-hour power reserve.

The architecture of the movement was descended from the East German Spezichron cal. 11-26 from 1978, but substantially improved over the decades. The calibre has been revised twice to create the latest-generation cal. 39, which has a higher jewel count, swan’s neck regulator, and is space-optimised to accommodate more complex modules.

The cal. 39 is equipped with a skeletonised rotor with 21k gold oscillating weight

Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition

The Sixties Chronograph measures 42 mm across but relatively slim at just 12.4 mm high, with a two-register layout.

The Cal. 39-34 inside is essentially a cal. 39 with a no-nonsense Dubois-Depraz module on top. As with all Debois Depraz modules, it is equipped with a vertical clutch, and like most modular chronographs, it relies on a cam in order to minimise its height.

While it is not an integrated chronograph, it is remarkably slim, measuring just 7.2 mm high. In comparison, the integrated and robustly-constructed Valjoux 7750 is 7.9 mm.

Because the chronograph module sits on top of the base movement, the crown sits one level below the pushers

Key facts and price

Glashütte Original Sixties Annual Edition 2020
Ref. 1-39-52-14-02-04

Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 9.4 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 39-52
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 40 hours

Strap: Nubuck calfskin

Availability: Only at Glashütte Original boutiques starting around May or June 2020
Price: €6,600, or 10,500 Singapore dollars

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2020
Ref. 1-39-34-04-22-04

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 12.4 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 39-34
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds; chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 40 hours

Strap: Nubuck calfskin

Availability: Only at Glashütte Original boutiques starting around May or June 2020
Price: €8,100, or 12,900 Singapore dollars

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