This new collection of five watches by Glashütte Original have the bright colours that are becoming a familiar trend in contemporary watches. Slim, circular, thin enough to be a dress watch, their 39 mm case diameter makes them a unisex watch.
Looking back to the Spezimatic
They combine engaging colour and design with interesting historical content. The collection is a reference to the Spezimatic watches made in the 1960s by the East German state-owned company VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB). The Spezimatic was launched in 1964 and went through a large series of designs up until 1979. Though it’s difficult to say just how popular the Spezimatic was in the German Democratic Republic, there is no doubt that the 1960s versions have become coveted collectors’ items. The GUB Spezimatic was a comparatively luxurious watch in East Germany, more expensive than watches by other East German brands such as Ruhla, though party officials preferred Western brands. The 1960s Spezimatic was based on the calibre 74 which was, at 5.05 mm, the thinnest automatic movement in the world at its appearance in 1964. Its prestige meant that it was used for higher-quality “Spezial” watches, the origin of the name, Spezial Automatic, which was contracted to Spezimatic.
The new Sixties Iconic Collection
In the new collection by Glashütte Original, the design of the numerals is derived from some of the many Spezimatic models that were produced, though generally these quirky numbers were used just for the 12, with simple batons for the other numbers. The colours are named Sixties Red, Sixties Golden, Sixties Aqua, Sixties Brown and Sixties Grey, and the dials all feature a shaded “degrade” effect created by Glashütte Original in their own dial manufactory in Pforzheim, Germany. The process is based on successive layers of lacquer, culminating by a final layer of colour applied by spray gun, artfully angled to create the colour gradient. This skilful, artisanal procedure means that each watch is slightly different from the others.
The Sixties Brown and Sixties Grey models also feature printed textures on the dial, die-printed filigree patterns made using dies about 40 years old, from the archives of the Glashütte Original dial manufactory. Sixties Brown has a rhombic patter, while Sixties Grey has a dewdrop effect.
All the watches have domed dials with slightly arching hour and minutes hands, with SuperLuminova on hands and hour markings. Cases are in stainless steel, 39 mm in diameter, with Louisiana alligator leather strap.
Like other watches in the Sixties line, these pieces are powered by the in-house automatic calibre 39-52, with a power reserve of 40 hours. The movement is 26.2 mm in diameter and 4.3 mm thick, and it can be seen through the sapphire caseback.
Price and availability
The Sixties Iconic Collection is available as from 2 October 2015 in Glashütte Original boutiques in Dresden, Paris, Geneva, Dubai, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macao and Tokyo, and in Swatch Group’s Tourbillon boutiques. The retail price for each of the 5 models is €6,300 EUR (inclusive of 19 % VAT), or US$7,500 (without VAT).