The 1960s were good years for the Swiss watch industry. The dawn of the leisure lifestyle—and its soaring demand for casual, sporty timepieces—ensured steady growth for the trade, while the looming quartz crisis of the 1970s was not yet a threat. It’s easy to see why mechanical watchmakers continue to indulge their nostalgia for the decade—Glashütte Original more than most.
In 2015, the company—which belongs to the Swatch Group—introduced the Sixties Iconic Collection, a subset of its Vintage line of 1960s- and 1970s-inspired timepieces. With their rounded forms and Arabic numerals, the Sixties models paid tribute to the Spezimatic, a cult classic produced by Glashütte Original’s predecessor, VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe, in 1964.
In the five years since its debut, the line has become a signature of the brand, thanks to beloved models such as the Sixties Panorama Date.
In 2018, Glashütte began making annual editions for the line. New for this year, the 2020 editions include a three-hand automatic Sixties model and the automatic Sixties Chronograph, both featuring striking glacier blue dials in elegant stainless steel cases. The former comes in a 39 mm case and is powered by in-house Calibre 39-52, while the latter comes in a 42 mm case and is equipped with Calibre 39-34.
Beyond their domed sapphire crystals, curved hands and aforementioned Arabic numerals, the Sixties watches, including the two 2020 editions, are best known for their distinctive dégradé dials, which are made in Glashütte Original’s in-house dial-making factory in Pforzheim, Germany. The process begins with adding a sunray finish to the dials, pressing them into their characteristic domed shapes, and coating them with a galvanic nickel treatment. To achieve the ombré effect, artisans place a layer of dark blue lacquer on the dial before coating it with a glacial blue lacquer and heating the dials to lock in their colors.
The Sixties model retails for $6,700 and the Sixties Chronograph for $8,300—both are available for a limited time only.