- Luxury watches with in-house calibers
- Retro designs from discreet to colorful
- Rose and white gold hands
- Three-hand watches with and without date display
- Chronographs with round and square cases
Based on the Spezimatic
The 1960s were a time of upheaval: The Berlin Wall, flower power, the Kennedys, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Vietnam War, and the Moon landing. Design trends in the Swinging Sixties were loud and bright. The watch industry couldn't avoid an upheaval, either: A few days before the end of the decade, on December 25th, 1969, Seiko introduced the first market-ready quartz wristwatch in Japan. Their innovation completely changed the industry, and quartz watches continue to be popular today.
In 1964, behind the Iron Curtain in the German Democratic Republic, the VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe introduced their first Spezimatic wristwatches
. The name was a combination of the German words Spezial
(special) and Automatic
(automatic). Over the following 15 years, more than 3.7 million Spezimatic watches were produced. Watches made by the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb (GUB)
are still available as vintage watches today. Most of them are affordable, but some well-maintained models with gold cases can cost over 2,000 euros.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the VEB became the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH. The company produced luxury watches that cost up to 300,000 euros. Since 2000, they have been a member of the Swatch Group.
The Sixties collection is Glashütte Original
's attempt to bring chic East German-style watches to the international stage. The retro-style watches have either a stainless steel or rose or white gold case. The watches in the Sixties collection are available as three-hand watches without a date display, with a panorama date display, or as chronographs with a square or round case.
Are you looking for a watch with nostalgic charm? The Sixties collection is based on designs from a decade with a special place in history. Many models in the series have a timeless look; they could easily be a part of Glashütte Original's portfolio in the 1960s, even without the explicit connection.
The Sixties Iconic has a 39-mm stainless steel case and is immediately recognizable as a retro watch. It has a rather expressive and colorful design for a luxury watch. If you're young or young at heart, then this simple three-hand watch without a date display is a good choice. Above all, the Sixties Red model stands out. The orange in the center of the dial fades to red and then red brown the closer you get to the dial edge, similar to the sunburst finish on a guitar. A sun-ray decoration gives the watch a more refined look, as the domed dial changes colors with the angle of the incoming light. The Sixties Aqua has a similar look, but in blue. The Sixties Brown, Sixties Gold, and Sixties Grey also use muted hues. The watches in the Sixties Iconic collection, which was introduced in 2015, are available for around 6,000 euros.
The Sixties is the Sixties Iconic's elegant sibling. Watches in this series also have a 39-mm case, but it's made of 750/000 rose gold. The dial is available in white, black, or dark blue. The Sixties series uses baton hands. Stick indices as well as Arabic numerals at three, six, nine, and twelve serve as hour markers. You can view the automatic in-house movement 39-52 at work through the sapphire glass case back. The same movement powers the Sixties Iconic collection.
Glashütte Original also has a version of the Sixties with a panorama date display. The panorama date display is located above the six o'clock position. The watch is powered by the caliber 39-47. The movement is produced in-house by Glashütte Original, as are the other movements that power the Sixties collection.
The Sixties Chronograph, with its 42-mm stainless steel case, has a sportier look than the Sixties, but still retains an elegant and classic feel. The variant with a white dial has rose gold hands, while the version with a black dial has white gold hands. The Sixties Chronograph can be labeled as a bicompax chronograph, a chronograph with two subdials at three and nine. The left subdial is the 30-minute counter. The right subdial shows the running seconds, while the central second hand functions as the chronograph second hand. New, this watch costs around 6,000 euros.
The Sixties Chronograph is powered by the caliber 39-34, which also ticks away in the Sixties Square Chronograph. If you prefer a sportier watch
in this collection, then look at the square chronograph
, measuring 41.35 mm x 41.35 mm. Like the round versions, the dial is available in white with rose gold hands or black with white gold hands. Furthermore, the bicompax display is identical. The Square Chronograph is a bit reminiscent of the racing watch Monaco
from TAG Heuer, which premiered in 1969. Steve McQueen popularized the Monaco by wearing it in the 1971 film Le Mans
. The Glashütte chronograph, however, has a more conservative style than the Monaco. The watch costs around 6,000 euros new
Movements with Golden Parts
The automatic in-house caliber 39-34, which powers both chronographs, has a power reserve of 40 hours. It beats at 28,800 alternations per hour (4 Hz) and has 51 jewel bearings. The movement 39-52, which powers the Sixties and Sixties Iconic watches, has 25 jewel bearings.
The in-house calibers are not only technologically sophisticated, they're also a treat to look at. They have the characteristic Glashütte three-quarter plate, which is decorated with a stripe finish, as is the skeletonized rotor. The oscillating mass is made of 21-karat gold. A golden "GG" logo also adorns the rotor. The edges of the movement are chamfered and the steel pieces are polished.
The automatic movements in the caliber 39 series have a diameter of 26.2 mm and are 4.3 mm thick. They have a stop-seconds mechanism, meaning you can pull out the crown to stop the second hand. You can then set the second hand to the exact correct second. It starts running again when you push the crown back down to its original position.