I never thought I’d get all that excited about an annual Glashütte Original release; the Saxon watchmakers never really caught my attention all that much, despite being objectively fantastic timepieces. But here we are, with the third instalment of the Glashütte Original Sixties series and, so as to not keep you in suspense, I love it.
When I first saw the announcement of the Glacier Blue I was a bit put out. Where was the bright, crazed colour of the previous orange and green numbers? You know, a flash of colour saturated enough to seem garish at a rave? Instead we have something that’s just as grey-blue as its name suggests.
Now, granted I still wish there were a brighter tinge to the dials, but evidently Glashütte Original was tired of the praise that mere novelty gets you. These pieces have a lot more to the dial than just colour.
The colour you see is the result of two distinct layers of lacquer. The first is a standard dark blue, the kind you see on plenty a watch face nowadays. Over that is painted a second, paler blue to give the shimmering, degradé effect before being burned into the dial. It’s stunning, and makes full use of the characteristic domed shape of the dial to catch the light.
The final touch dial side is the Sixties’ signature stylised numerals, subtle white against the grey-blue colouring, which are far cooler than they have any right to be. Sure it doesn’t have quite the impact of the 2018 and 2019 models and there are probably going to be fewer collectors going crazy for it, but the Glacier Blue feels like a more thought-out, considered and more wearable variation on the theme.
The big news of course is that the Sixties is now available as a chronograph. I can’t give you any more first-hand information there than that it exists, as we were given the time-only version. I would say that, given the choice, I’d still opt for the time-only though. I admit that the chronograph might make for a more casual daily-wear watch, but when the lacquer-work is the core of the watch, I’d want it completely uninterrupted.
Not all the action is dial-side though; the Calibre 39-52 movement is gorgeously decorated, with Saxon watchmaking’s signature Glashütte stripes across rotor and hallmark three-quarter plate. Inlaid with gold lettering and ever rotor edge bevelled, it’s a lot more opulent than you might expect from the restrained overall design. Still, if you can pull it off, go for it. Glashütte Original can definitely pull it off.
My only qualm about the new Sixties (other than it only being available for a year of course) is the strap. I’d have loved a dark blue to match that outer ring of lacquered underlayer, to really highlight the depth of colour across the dial rather than the fuzzy brown number it’s equipped with. Still, it’s not a deal-breaker as is and it’s an easy fix.
The Glashütte Original Sixties 2020 Annual Edition might not be the show-stopper that previous editions were, but it’s also less one-note. By pulling back a little on the novelty, the Saxon watchmaker has created a more considered and downright lovely piece. Get it while you can.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Glashütte Original Sixties Annual Edition 2020
Case/Dial: 39mm diameter x 9.4mm height, stainless steel
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre 39-52, in-house, automatic
Functions: Hours and minutes, power reserve
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 40h
Strap: Brown-grey nubuck calfskin, pin buckle
Price: £5,700, one-year production
More details at Glashütte Original.