Bold colours and textures. That’s how you could quickly sum up the Sixties collection that has been the vintage-inspired darling of the Glashütte Original lineup ever since they hit the scene. This year, the German-based manufacture has turned the volume down, opting for a much cooler and more restrained expression of the collection with glacier blue dials for the first time ever. Available in both time-only and chronograph formats, this could be a compelling collection for those who love the vintage cues of the Sixties collection but prefer to keep what is on their wrist under the radar a little more.
As with all of the references within the Sixties collection, we are offered a watch of restrained dimensions and faithfully executed design cues. The 39mm case of the three-handed watch keeps it at an extremely wearable size, with the chronograph only slightly larger at 42mm. Both keep a low profile, at a tastefully svelte 9.4mm and 12.4mm respectively for the time-only and chronograph.
The shape of the case is also a point of note, as it is generously domed on both sides of the watch thanks to the curved sapphire crystal that covers the dial and movement. This serves to add another nod to the past, as well as creating an uninterrupted flow from the top of the crystal to the ends of the lugs.
The real reason everyone is here, however, is the dial, which Glashütte Original are known for executing very well. The fumé effect, where the colour gradient of the dial grows gradually lighter as you approach its centre, is a challenging technique to master, and when combined with the radial brushing of the dial, really catches the eye as it plays with the light.
The shift in dial colour is achieved by first building a base colour through a galvanic coating process, before several layers of different coloured lacquer are applied. The dial is finished once it has been kiln fired to set the final colour. The cardinal points of the dial are marked with the stylised Arabic numerals that we have come to know and love, with the rest of the hour markers actually recessed into the dial.
As you would expect of watches from the Glashütte Original manufacture, these latest pieces from the Sixties collection are powered by in-house movements. The time-only reference contains the slim Calibre 39-52, and the chronograph powered by a movement with the same base architecture, the Calibre 39-34. Both movements deliver 40 hours of power reserve and are visibly well decorated through the domed sapphire caseback. The automatic rotor on both watches is skeletonised steel, however features a 21-karat gold rotating mass to increase its effectiveness.
Both new Glashütte Original Sixties blue references will arrive on a brown-grey nubuck calfskin strap that nicely complements the cool dial tone. Interestingly, rather than making the new collection limited in production numbers, Glashütte Original have opted to make them limited in how long they will be sold for — they are only available in 2020. The Glashütte Original Sixties blue time-only watch is AUD$10,100. The Glashütte Original Sixties blue chronograph is AUD$12,400.