The uber-cool Sixties from Glashütte Original starts feeling blue this year...
Full disclosure first and foremost: I voted for the Glashütte Original Sixties Fiery Orange watch as my watch of the year in 2019, when we held an informal poll in the WatchGecko office before Christmas. So I’m perhaps not coming to this in the most objective frame of mind: it’s a watch that I’ve already fallen in love with.
Of course, this watch has plenty in common with its orange relative, but what’s very much new is the Glacier Blue face. It then comes down to whether you prefer blue or orange, which is about as unpredictable as asking someone if they prefer football or rugby. And then, of course, it’s entirely possible that you might not like either. In which case, this isn’t the watch for you (although it is for me).
The Glacier Blue version comes as two watches: a time-only model as well as a chronograph. As the name suggests, it sports an unashamedly 1960s look (somehow even more so than the Fiery Orange version) with the cool blue. It’s not a uniform blue: the kiln-baking process ensures that it’s lighter in the middle than around the extremities. It’s also not got the ‘cracked’ look of the Fiery Orange dial: in general it’s a little more restrained.
The chronograph is of course bigger than the time-only model, which is perhaps what makes the simpler watch look more of its era. This sports Glashütte’s in-house Calibre 39-52 movement, visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
What’s quite interesting is that these watches are presented in what Glashütte calls ‘an annual limited edition’. This means that it’s not a limited edition as such, but you’ve only got a year to get hold of one. Not the easiest of missions under the current restrictions!
The history of the Glashütte Original Sixties
Glashütte is very much a German company, named after the town in which is still based, after being founded more than 170 years ago. The Sixties edition is a much more recent arrival, with the first watches appearing in 2018 with a bright green face (time only, as well as with date). Next was the gorgeous Fiery Orange version available from last year, featuring the same degradé finish first seen in the green watch. Now it’s time for the Glacier Blue version, which like all these watches is a faithful tribute to the watches that Glashütte first produced in the 1960s (hence the name).
Now to look at the specifics:
- 42 millimetre case (chronograph) or 39 millimetre case (time only)
- In-house movements: 39-34 chronograph calibre with 40-hour power reserve (chronograph), 39-52 calibre with 40-hour power reserve (time only)
- Stainless steel case
- Sapphire crystal display case back
- Brown-grey nubuck calfskin strap
- 30-metre water resistance
- Annual limited edition, so these watches are only available throughout 2020
- Priced at €8100 (chronograph) and €6600 (time only)
Glashütte Original produce 95% of their watch components in-house and they are the epitome of German precision: there’s nothing to envy the Swiss for here. It’s hard to find a watch that evokes the 1960s more than this one, making it the perfect choice for somebody who likes vintage style but prefers to not to take a chance on a vintage watch.
Glashütte Original says:
“Following the extravagance of previous years, the 2020 annual edition turns to sublime elegance: cool glacier blue lends the new watch a profound but no less impressive appearance. Simultaneously with this model the German watchmaker introduces a new Sixties chronograph in the same colour, presented for the first time in an annual edition.
Setting eyes on alpine scenery and majestic glaciers, it is difficult to resist their charms. They have an incomparable aura of clarity, peace and strength and take on some of the most beautiful colours that nature has to offer. Glashütte Original’s watchmakers pay tribute to these moods with the elegant glacier blue of the new annual edition – and present two models that interpret the characteristic Sixties design in a discreet, yet powerful new way.”
Some personal thoughts:
It’s another winner from Glashütte Original, but just like the other watches in this series, it’s inevitably going to polarise opinion. In my view, it’s a beautifully-crafted, impeccable and fascinating watch that provides the greatest tribute to watchmaking in the 1960s that has yet been seen. Others may see it as garish and outmoded. I’d still choose the Fiery Orange model for myself – and take the classic simplicity of the conventional watch over the chronograph.
About Glashütte Original
The company has its roots in the 19th century, but the Glashütte Original name dates from 1916, when the German company adopted it to distinguish themselves from imitations. It’s a company that gives something back to the industry as well, thanks to its own watchmaking school.