“Glashütte’s Original ‘Annual Edition’, the German Beauty King with a Price Tag of 70,000 Euros, Limited to One Year of Production”

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“Glashütte’s Original ‘Annual Edition’, the German Beauty King with a Price Tag of 70,000 Euros, Limited to One Year of Production”

[Watch Technology] Today, I want to talk to you about a German watch, the Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph 2023 Annual Edition. Why do I want to talk about this watch? It’s because ever since Glashütte Original started releasing colorful annual editions in 2018, I purchased the first one with a green dial.

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph, 2023 Annual Edition.

The Glashütte Original Sixties, annual edition, has been released in four different colors. The Glashütte Original Sixties, in specific years, will release a special color for the annual edition. Each color is only produced for that year and will be replaced by a different color the following year. Specifically, green in 2018, orange-red in 2019, blue in 2020, and gray in 2023.

Glashütte Original Sixties, annual editions of different years.

Among them, I have previously acquired the green dial from 2018 and the blue dial from 2020, and I have written about them. A few days ago, I received the gray dial of the 2023 edition, so I want to share it with you.

2018 Annual Edition, green dial.

2020 Annual Edition, blue dial.

The colorful dials of Glashütte Original are even more impressive than Swiss watches. There are currently three major trends in the world of luxury watches. The first is the popularity of sports style, the second is the return to reasonable watch sizes (slightly smaller), and the third is the popularity of colorful dials. For dress watches, their appearance is not as recognizable as sports watches, so in the past two years, including the new Patek Philippe 6007G and Vacheron Constantin 82172, they have added colorful dials to increase the recognition and fashion sense of dress watches. However, as early as 5 years ago, Glashütte Original had already demonstrated their expertise in colorful dials with the Sixties collection. The 2020 Annual Edition of Sixties featured a blue sunburst pattern, and this year’s 2023 edition returns to the floral pattern dials from 2018 and 2019.

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph, 2023 Annual Edition. It features a floral gray gradient dial.

This unique Glashütte Original pattern is stamped. For the Sixties annual editions, German silver dials are used. The dials are first stamped to create the floral pattern, then curved, electroplated with zinc (to prevent oxidation), painted with color, and finally, the edges of the dials are painted black to create a gradient effect.

Production process 1: Cutting the dial.

Production process 2: Stamping the pattern.

Production process 3: Creating the curved dial.

This year, the 2023 edition of Sixties Chronograph features a gray gradient dial with rose gold hands and hour markers. The three-dimensional floral pattern, combined with the rose gold accents, shines under different angles and lighting conditions. The raised dial and curved sapphire crystal magnify the effect of the pattern. In addition to its outstanding luxury, it has high recognition.

Dial details.

Why can Glashütte Original create such unique dials compared to other mainstream watch brands? It’s because Glashütte Original is one of the very few brands that has its own dial manufacturing facility. Most watch brands need to outsource their dials. In 2006, Glashütte Original acquired the T.H. Müller dial factory in Pforzheim through the Swatch Group (now known as the Glashütte Original dial factory). They acquired all the production equipment and techniques from the historical T.H. Müller dial factory (established in 1922). The “floral” dials on the Sixties annual editions are created using traditional craftsmanship from the 1960s. Currently, besides being used by Glashütte Original, the Glashütte Original dial factory supplies dials to many German watch brands.

Dial details.

In the previous editions of the Glashütte Original Sixties, there were two versions available: one with a three-hand movement and one with a chronograph. For the 2023 annual edition, only the chronograph version is offered. It still features a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42mm and a thickness of 12.4mm. The bezel and case are fully polished, and it uses the vintage-style “mushroom” pushers. The thickness of the Sixties Chronograph is well-controlled. With a thickness of 12.4mm, it is considered relatively thin for an automatic chronograph. Compared to other popular models on the market like IWC Portugieser Chronograph, Breitling Premier B01, and Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph, the Sixties Chronograph is slimmer. The thinner profile is attributed to both the movement and the “raised” dial shape, which helps to reduce thickness.

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph, with excellent thickness control.

The Sixties Chronograph uses the Glashütte Original 39-34 automatic chronograph movement. This movement is based on the 39 three-hand automatic movement, with the addition of a chronograph module. The Glashütte Original 39 movement was first introduced in 1997 and is mainly used in entry-level models and smaller-sized watches. It complements the higher-spec 36 automatic three-hand movement and the integrated 37 automatic chronograph movement offered by Glashütte Original.

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph, using the 39-34 automatic chronograph movement.

Although the 39 movement is considered an entry-level model in Glashütte Original’s lineup, it still maintains outstanding movement decorations. It features the iconic German 3/4 plate, swan-neck fine adjustment, automatic rotor decorated with 21K gold, and a power reserve of 40 hours. The movement’s main plate is decorated with Glashütte stripes and chamfered.

Visible features include the swan-neck fine adjustment and the 3/4 plate on the 39-34 movement.

In contrast to the crocodile leather and cowhide straps commonly used for the Glashütte Original Sixties, the 2023 edition comes with a canvas strap. This gives it a more casual and sporty feel.

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph, 2023 edition, with canvas strap and folding clasp.

In the wave of rising prices in the luxury watch market, Glashütte Original’s price increases are not too high. The 2023 edition of the Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph has a retail price of 70,000. After several rounds of price increases, automatic chronograph watches from brands like IWC, Omega, and Breitling in similar price ranges are already priced at over 60,000 to 70,000. With its complex and luxurious dial, the Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph offers a lower price compared to the Omega Seamaster 300M Co-Axial Chronograph with the 9900 movement. At 70,000, this Glashütte Original is truly worth it.

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph, 2023 edition.

From left to right: Senator series, Spezimatic series, and SEAQ diving watch series.

In my over ten years of watch collecting experience, I have noticed that Glashütte Original is one of the must-have brands for watch enthusiasts (there are actually quite a lot of collectors). The reasons are not difficult to understand; the Glashütte Original Senator, Spezimatic, and Sixties collections exude a distinct German style. As A. Lange & Söhne has continuously increased its prices in competition with Patek Philippe, it has become unattainable for most enthusiasts. In contrast, Glashütte Original has become the “fan favorite” among German watch brands due to its cost-effectiveness in the primary and secondary markets. If you want to experience German watches, Glashütte Original is the first choice. (Text/Photos by Yan Danping)

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