Huey Lewis and the News sang it back in 1986: “It’s hip to be square.” That still goes today and the Sixties Iconic Square collection consisting of five square chronographs featuring distinctive dials made by the Saxon manufactory’s own dialmakers in Pforzheim, proves just that.
The stunning colours and fascinating dial visuals take up iconic design elements first presented in a range of “Spezimatic” models produced in the 1960s. 25 sets of the distinct Sixties Iconic Square Collection will be available in Glashütte Original Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide. Dynamic, distinctive, unforgettable, the 1960s made their mark with inspirational design in watchmaking, furniture, fashion and beyond, with geometric forms and innovative, colourful visuals.
In 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.
Authentic ’60s design makes for original dials
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 dialmakers pay obsessive attention to each of the labourintensive 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.
Competences in dialmaking for more than 50 years
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.