The Glashütte Original Senator Sixties line was first presented in 2007 as a contemporary interpretation of timepieces from the 1960s era, specifically inspired by historic GUB Automat and Spezimatic models – paying homage to the brand’s rich German heritage.
Prior to becoming Glashütte Original, Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB) was formed in 1951 as a fusion of a number of nationalized watch, clock and instrument companies from in and around Glashütte. As with other state-owned conglomerates in East Germany, the Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb was a “Volkseigene Betrieb” (VEB), which translates more or less to “People’s Company.” GUB eventually privatized in 1994 and became Glashütte Original/Union (both owned by the Swatch Group).
The modern Sixties models from Glashütte Original come in two versions: with or without date. The Senator Sixties (without date) is available in a 39-mm-diameter case and the Senator Sixties Panorama Date is available in a 42-mm-diameter case. Both are available in steel or rose gold with the option of a black, blue or silver dial.
(Editor’s Note: It is worth noting that all Glashütte Original timepieces are now 96% made in-house at the company’s manufacture, located in the mountain town of Glashütte in the German state of Saxony.)
Interestingly, the Sixties domed dials are galvanized at Glashütte Original’s own dial manufacture (in Pforzheim) and given a sunburst finish, which is notable considering that most watch companies outsource this task.
A curved dial and lightly arched hour and minute hands distinguish this elegant retro-modern timepiece. The hour indexes and Arabic numerals (at 3,6, 9 and 12 o’clock) are precisely milled. The hour and minute hands feature a luminous treatment. A printed minute track with luminous dots for the hours, populate the outer ring.
An open caseback with a semi-domed curved sapphire crystal offers an expanded view of either the Sixties model’s Caliber 39-52 automatic movement or the Caliber 39-47 in the Sixties Panorama Date. Both movements feature a power reserve of 40 hours.
Glashütte Original movements are made in-house, and are finished to high German watchmaking standards. The Glashütte three-quarter plate, bridges, and even the rotor have beveled and polished edges along with Glashütte ribbing (stripes). Steel components are polished, one of the wheels features a Glashütte sunburst decoration (swirl pattern), and the skeletonized rotor features a 21k gold weight.
The Sixties models are paired with a matching Louisiana alligator leather strap in blue or black, with a pin buckle in matte stainless steel or rose gold, depending on the case material.
(W13952060204 / steel blue dial): $7,500.00 **launched in 2013**
(3952040204 / steel black dial): $7,500
(3952010204 / steel, silver dial, red gold hands): $7,500.00
(3952010104 / red gold silver dial): $15,000.00
Sixties Panorama Date:
(W23947060204 / steel blue dial): $9,300.00
(W23947030204 / steel black dial): $9,300.00
(W23947010104 / red gold silver dial): $19,200.00
(W23947020104 / red gold black dial): $19,200.00
Glashütte Original recently opened a special exhibit at the German Watch Museum Glashütte dedicated to the manufacturing activities in Glashütte during the GDR (German Democratic Republic) era (1951-1990). At the exhibit are a large number of historic timepieces, instruments, original photographs and audio recordings, including several which, as I mentioned above, served as examples and inspiration for the designers of the contemporary Sixties line.
According to the manufacture, “The “Spezimatic” was one of the most widely known and popular of the watches made at the time by the state-owned VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe. Its name derives from its “special automatic” winding mechanism, a novelty of the period.
The exhibition by the “German Watch Museum Glashütte – Nicolas G. Hayek” foundation celebrates the achievements of the designers, precision engineers and watchmakers who rebuilt the watch industry in Glashütte after World War II and ensured the survival of the town’s watchmaking traditions during the GDR period. This special exhibition is open until November 1, 2015.