After the successful launch of Sixties Iconic Collection in 2015, German watch manufacture Glashütte Original takes its tribute to iconic ’60s design to a new level by introducing a special collection of five square chronographs featuring distinctive dials made by the Saxon manufactory’s own dialmakers in Pforzheim, Germany. The stunning colours and fascinating dial visuals take up iconic design elements first presented in a range of “Spezimatic” models produced in the 1960s.
In the mid-sixties, Glashütte’s watchmakers launched the Spezimatic in a series of versions destined to become lasting icons of style. Popular design elements of the time – the square cushion shape, domed dials, curved hands, idiosyncratic Arabic numerals – inspired the Sixties Iconic Square Collection. Five stunning colours give the models their names: Sixties Iconic Forest, Sixties Iconic Ocean, Sixties Iconic Graphite, Sixties Iconic Tangerine and Sixties Iconic Fire. All are powered by the manufactory automatic Calibre 39-34, featuring characteristic attributes of fine watchmaking in the Glashütte tradition.
The five new models feature exceptional coloured dials crafted in Glashütte Original’s own dial manufactory in Pforzheim, Germany. Made using original tools and authentic methods from the 1960s, they are the result of an extremely complex and time-consuming process. Glashütte Original’s expert dial makers pay obsessive attention to each of the labour intensive steps, in particular to the application of coloured lacquers to achieve the precise hues and shading, from light centres to dark perimeters, known as the “dégradé effect” – a lavish finish found on all of the five pieces.
To begin with, the dials are given a galvanic base coat; layers of coloured lacquer are then added by hand in a series of subsequent steps – a shimmering green (Sixties Iconic Forest), deep blue (Sixties Iconic Ocean), dark grey (Sixties Iconic Graphite) or intense, glowing red (Sixties Iconic Fire). In a final step, black lacquer is carefully applied to this ‘‘canvas’’ using a special spray gun — this technique produces, depending on the angle at which the gun is held, an individual colour gradient, known as the dégradé effect, which renders each watch unique. The unusual colour of the Tangerine dial results from an additional lacquer colour: The initial galvanic coating in gold is not only combined with a layer of black, but also red lacquer.
The lacquered dials are then fired in an oven to burn in the colours. With four of the five models in the Sixties Iconic Square Collection these uniquely shaded hues are combined with the sophistication of a refined sunburst finish, which enhances the dégradé effect.
The fifth model, the Sixties Iconic Graphite, features an elaborate imprint instead – achieved in a particularly interesting manner. Prior to galvanic nickel plating the dial blank is imprinted, with the help of a 60-tonne press, with the intricate filigree pattern of a guilloche stamp. Known as “dies”, stamps such as these, held in the archives of the Glashütte Original dial manufactory, are a further example of extreme authenticity.
The economic and political challenges that the watchmaking industry in Glashütte had to face back in the 1960s, led to remarkably innovative solutions, and exceptional creations such as the “Spezimatic” series of watches whose iconic designs served as a source and inspiration for today’s Sixties Collection from Glashütte Original. First Introduced in 1964, a number of Spezimatic models made use of dials manufactured by dedicated dialmakers in Pforzheim (West Germany at the time). The relationship with Pforzheim, which began more than 50 years ago, was reinforced in 2006 with the purchase of the dialmaker by Swatch Group, and strengthened again when Glashütte Original assumed direct ownership. Today, full integration of the dialmaker’s expertise allows Glashütte Original to develop exclusive, contemporary dial designs that meet the watchmaker’s extremely high standards of quality.
The five models in the Sixties Iconic Square Collection feature the distinctive square cushion shaped stainless steel case, measuring 41.35 x 41.35 mm, and the manufactory automatic Calibre 39-34 chronograph.
All are fitted with a matching Louisiana Alligator leather strap: brown for the models featuring forest green or tangerine coloured dials, black to complement the models with graphite grey, ocean blue or fiery red dials.
Production of the five models in the Sixties Iconic Square Collection is limited to 25 pieces each, available in Glashütte Original Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide.
Material: stainless steel
Dimensions: 41, 35 X 41,35 mm
Height: 12, 6 mm
Strap: 22/18 mm
Waterproof up to: 3 bar
Glass: Sapphire crystal, on both sides anti-reflective
Bottom: Sapphire crystal
Ø display 35.5 mm
– Sixties Iconic Ocean: Sun ray finish, blue and black lacquer with dégradé effect
– Sixties Iconic Forest: Sun ray finish, green and black lacquer with dégradé effect
– Sixties Iconic Fire: Sun ray finish, red and black lacquer with dégradé effect
– Sixties Iconic Graphite: Embossed, galvanic silver and varnished black with dégradé effect
– Sixties Iconic Tangerine: sun ray finish, galvanic gold, varnished red and black with degrade effect
White Arabic numerals, milled hour markers with luminous spots
Hands: some white gold some with Super-LumiNova
Dimensions: Ø 31.15 mm, height 7.2 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: 51 jewel bearings
Additional details: Automatic movement, central hour/minute/stop second, off-centre small second with second stop, 30-minute counter, exquisitely finished movement, bevelled edges, polished steel parts, Glashütte three-quarter plate with stripe finish, skeletonized rotor with 21-ct gold oscillation weight, swan-neck fine adjustment
Louisiana Alligator leather strap
Stainless steel buckle, 18 mm