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Glashütte Original Sixties 2019 Edition

The art of colored dials
by Chester Lau on October 5, 2019

The Sixties line presents legendary 1960s design and embodies the art of Glashütte watchmaking, whose traditions date back to 1845. It was only in 2018 that the popular line saw the first of its striking annual editions. For its annual edition 2019, the German manufactory presents the Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date in multi-faceted orange.

The case and dial

The Sixties Panorama Date features a duo disc date positioned on the central vertical axis in the lower half of the dial. Both watches are mostly similar apart from the date complication, with the date model in a larger case size as compared to the time-only. The time-only model is housed in a polished 39 mm stainless steel case with a height of 9.4 mm, while the Panorama Date model comes in a 42 mm stainless steel case, with a height of 12.4 mm.

Comparing the two sizes, the time-only makes for a better dress watch, given its slimmer profile. That said, size preference varies from wrist to wrist and some may find the 42 mm Panorama Date to be a good fit as well.

The case is very attractive in design. It not only captures the ‘Spezimatic’ look with reference to the GUB Glashütte era, but also incorporates some intrigue, with a novel case back design. The movement is presented in a raised glass caseback, which serves the purpose of creating a visual illusion of a thinner case, while making enough room to house the movement.

Now to address the elephant in the room, the orange dial. Not the first time releasing a dégradé dial,  Glashütte Original has for the past few years released different color variants of the Sixties with the dégradé dial.

The “dégradé effect” sees the colour change gradually from a lighter centre to the darker, domed periphery of the dial. The dials also feature finely textured surfaces, achieved with the use of the original tools and methods from the 1960s. With the assistance of a 60-tonne press, a die is used to impress an intricate guilloche pattern upon the dial blank.

In a final step, the dials are heated in a kiln in order to burn in the colours.

The process begins with the application of a galvanic base coat, followed by several layers of coloured lacquer. In a final step, black lacquer is carefully applied using a special spray gun, which produces – depending on the angle at which the gun is held – an individual colour gradient, thus rendering each dial unique. The lacquered dials are then fired at high temperature to burn in the colour.

The final look of the watch is intriguing, a soulful reinterpretation of the iconic Sixties collection.

The movement

The new Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date are powered by the 39-47 and 39-52 automatic movements, developed and made by the manufactory. The automatic movements share the same oscillating frequency at 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 40 hours. A base calibre from the brand, the movement features machine-grade finishing, with Glashütte stripes, bevelled edges and a skeletonized rotor with a 21-ct gold oscillating weight.

Concluding thoughts

The Sixties are a staple for Glashütte Original. A time-tested design, iconic of a more turbulent time in modern history. For the more discerning, the notion of uniqueness can also be challenged with the prospect of new colours added to the collection each year. That said, a limited time to purchase the watch directly through retail may mitigate some of these concerns. Ultimately, the aesthetics of the dial is up to personal preference, after all, the watch speaks good value, for a unique artisanal dial, low production volume and in a historic case.

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