Since 2018 the Glashütte Original Sixties annual editions have been interesting to follow. From the extravagant green in 2018, and orange/red in 2019, the 2020 annual edition turns to sublime elegance: cool glacier blue lends the new Sixties a profound and impressive appearance. Two new watches form this year’s Annual Edition – an automatic time only version with sweep seconds hands and an automatic chronograph. We spent some time hands-on with both the novelties, and bring you this review of the Automatic first. The chronograph review will be published next week.
Glashütte Original Sixties Automatic Annual Edition 2020
The case and dial
The time-only model is housed in a polished 39 mm stainless steel case with a height of 9.4 mm. The signature features of its 1960s design – the domed sapphire crystals, curved hands and characteristic Arabic numerals – reveal a charm of their own. The hands are simple stick hands with an applied lume, slightly curved on the minutes and seconds hands to accommodate the curved dial.
While most brands use applied or printed indices, Glashütte Original is one of the few if not the only production brand that uses cut-out indices. The stick hour indices are actually cut at an angle on the dial and recessed, showing the silver base color of the dial material.
The cool shimmer of the dial is the work of experts in Glashütte Original’s in-house dial manufactory in Pforzheim, Germany. There the dial blanks are first given a delicate sunray finish before being pressed into their characteristic domed shape and given a galvanic nickel coating. To achieve the striking dégradé effect they are then sprayed with dark blue lacquer, which first gives them a dark edge. Then the entire surface of the dial is given a coat of glacier blue lacquer. This elaborate hand-crafting results in the individual colour gradient that renders each dial unique.
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. No cost is spared in the making of the case, considering the higher priced domed sapphire crystals on both the front and back.
The new Sixties 2020 annual edition is powered by the 39-52 automatic movement, developed and made by the manufactory. The automatic movement has an oscillating frequency of 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.
This is by far the best dial color the brand has used on its annual editions. While it does not have the pressed patterns as with the previous year models, the clean sunburst makes for a more visible fumé gradient.
A close relative with a similarly colored dial can be found on the Seventies Panorama Date. We did not have a side-by-side comparison, but the attractive blue-purple hue are very much alike.
The Sixties Annual Edition 2020 is priced at SG$10,500.
Next week: We examine the Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2020
Glashütte Original Sixties Annual Edition 2020 Specifications
Models with calfskin strap nubuck brown-grey
Case: Ø 39 mm
Height: 9.4 mm
Material: stainless steel
Strap: 19/16 mm stainless steel buckle 18 mm
Waterproof up to: 3 bar
Glass: sapphire crystal,
anti-reflective both sides
Bottom: sapphire crystal
Dial: glacier blue, varnished with dégradé effect, white Arabic numerals,
diamond-cut hour markers with luminous dots
Front view Ø: 33 mm
Hands: partially with Super-LumiNova
Dimensions: Ø 26 mm, height 4.3 mm
Balance: smooth balance rim
Oscillating frequency: 28,800 vph, equivalent to 4 Hz
Power reserve: 40 hours (+/- 5 %)
Balance spring: Anachron
Shock protection: Incabloc
Jewels: 25 jewel bearings
Automatic winding, hour/minute/second (central), second stop, exquisitely finished movement, polished steel parts, polished screws, plate/balance cock/rotor with Glashütte stripe finish, bevelled edges, skeletonized rotor with 21-ct gold oscillation weight, swan-neck fine adjustment