Glashütte Original shows us that Sixties design is not just defined by quirky looks and bright colors. With the release of its new Sixties and Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2020, the Saxon brand shows us that sixties looks and smart color choices can lead to stunning results.

Whenever we think of Sixties design, we tend to think of weird shapes and bright colors. Whether it’s clothing, furniture, or cars, those two characteristics seem to come back all the time when discussing designs from the sixties. Although it is hard to disagree with those observations, adding a “groovy!” or “Yeah baby!” to that and the tone almost starts to become unwantedly funny. Mocking, even. I guess we can thank Mike Myers for that.

But we cannot forget that the sixties did bring us some seriously cool style. From James Bond to Audrey Hepburn, from the Porsche 911 to the Aston Martin DB5, from Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia to the famous Egg chair by Eero Arnio. All those products can be characterized by their round shapes, flowing lines, and often remarkable colors.

Although East German watch design in the 1960s wasn’t what we could call iconic, the Glashütte Sixties models do fit the description of the 1960s design perfectly. Based on a classic 1960s design from a Glashütte Uhren Betrieb (GUB) hand-wound watch, the Glashütte Original Sixties is a perfect example of what iconic Sixties design looks like. Add a stunning “Glacier Blue” dial and we end up with two seriously cool watches.

Glashütte Original Annual Edition

Glashütte Original first introduced the “Annual Editions” back in 2018. It’s a series of limited edition watches that showcase the talent and craftsmanship of the people at the Glashütte Original Dial Manufactory. In a previous article, we discussed the quality and craftsmanship of the in-house produced dials for the SeaQ models. The Annual Edition models take it a step further and show dial making on another level. The brilliance of those plying their trade in GO’s dial manufactury in Pforzheim, Germany, is on full display.

The first two Annual Edition watches, the Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date, were introduced at Baselworld in 2018 featuring an incredible textured green dial. 2019 followed with the same two models featuring a Fiery Orange dial. Both showcase perfectly that a combination of bright colors and intricate details fit perfectly with the overall retro looks of the Sixties models. The results are bold statement timepieces that didn’t go unnoticed by the press nor public.

A change in color and models

Glashütte Original decided to make two big changes for 2020 with the Annual Edition models. The first is the dial color. For 2020 the Saxon brand chose to go for a stunning “Glacier Blue” as the color for the dials. And the second change is that they decided to swap the Sixties Panorama Date for the Sixties Chronograph. I think it’s a clever choice as these two models are a bit further apart in terms of design and functionality and therefore they create a better overall offering.

The dial production

The overall idea for the dials is inspired by the alpine scenery and different shades of natural blue of glaciers. The dial color is achieved through a number of steps. First, the dial blanks get their sunray finish before being pressed into their domed shape. After it is pressed into shape, the dials are given a galvanic nickel coating. The dégradé effect is achieved by spraying the dials with a dark blue lacquer, creating the dark edges.

After that, the dial is given a coat of glacier blue lacquer. Because this elaborate process is all done by hand, every individual dial has its own unique color gradient. In a last and final step, the dials are heated in an oven to burn the colors. Once done, the incised indexes are sculpted into the metal, the Arabic numerals are printed on the dial and the Super-LumiNova is applied.

What we end up with are beautiful blue dials for both the Sixties and Sixties Chronograph. The design of both watches consists of a combination of round shapes and fluid lines with quirky details. The domed shape of the case and the ultra-curved sapphire crystal that follows the curvature of the dial and hands express this perfectly. Combine those elements with the quirky Arabic numerals and we end up with two models that are the perfect modern-day representations of the 1960s.

The Sixties Annual Edition 2020

The first of the two Annual Edition models is the regular Sixties model. It’s a model that has been part of the Glashütte Original collection since 2007. The 39mm three-hander features a polished stainless steel case, the stunning blue dial and a brown-grey nubuck calfskin strap with lightly contrasting stitching and a pin buckle. The combination of the blue dial color and the brown-grey strap creates a very nice aesthetic. It is crisp. It is clean. And it is most definitely welcome.

Caliber 39-52, an in-house automatic movement, drives the Sixties model. The movement has ticks at 28,800vph with a 40-hour power reserve. The nicely decorated movement features a three-quarter plate with stripe finish, swan-neck fine adjustment, beveled edges and a skeletonized rotor with stripe finish and the characteristic double-G logo.

The Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2020

The Sixties Chronograph that replaces the Sixties Panorama Date is also a regular model in the current Glashütte collection. It’s slightly larger than the regular Sixties model. The polished stainless steel case comes in at 42mm. Equally defined by its round shapes, the Sixties Chronograph features vintage-inspired pump pushers. The blue dial features two large sub-counters. These indicate the running seconds and minutes. The watch also comes with the brown-grey nubuck calfskin strap with lightly contrasting stitching and a pin buckle

The in-house produced Calibre 39-34 movement power the watch. It is based on the caliber 39 platform and has an added chronograph module. Just like the three-hand model it has an operating frequency of 28,800vph and a 40-hour power reserve. The finishing of the movement is equal to that of the regular Sixties model.

Prices and availability

The new Glashütte Original Annual Edition 2020 models are available now through Glashütte Original Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide. The watches will be available for one year only. The Sixties Annual Edition 2020 is €6,600 and the Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2020 is €8,100.

In the first two years of releasing the Annual Edition models, Glashütte Original chose to create something bold and spectacular. For this year’s Annual Edition models the brand chose a different aesthetic. Although you could call the watches understated at first glance, the color combination and the intricate details of the dials create two timepieces that are at least as stunning to look at as their predecessors.

For more information, you can visit the official Glashütte Original website