By Ted Stafford, Photographs by Alex Reside.
We're always on the hunt for unique timepieces, the types of watches that stand out among a sea of options today. And every now and then, one well-designed and meticulously crafted piece comes our way that elevates the accessory to a work of art. Right now, no timepiece is doing that better than Glashütte's Original Sixties watch, from the German brand's Sixties Iconic Square Collection. As the name implies, the lineup is inspired by the decade when pop art, The Beatles, mod everything—and a whole lot of social and political upheaval—hit critical mass. It's also the period when Glashütte first introduced its range of Spezimatic timepieces, a silhouette marked by its square shape and eye-catching dial design. The uncommon shape of the original, with its rounded-off edges, and other hallmarks (domed dial, curved hands) have been faithfully recreated, while a few key upgrades make the collection feel thoroughly modern.
When it comes to watches this well made, people tend to focus on what's under the hood more than anything. And make no mistake, Glashütte, like other German manufacturers known for their commitment to precision and craftsmanship, has put only the best into these Original Sixties timepieces. But while we could go into detail about the skeletonized rotors or the oscillation weights, the real stars here are the watches' stunning dials. They're richly colored and textured in a way that no other timepiece is right now, most likely because the process of making a watch this unique is about as laborious as they come. Each dial is handmade in Glashütte's own factory with the same tools and methods that were utilized in the '60s where colored enamels are layered one on top of another before a black lacquer layer is wiped over the finished product (not unlike the way some dress shoes are hand-burnished). That's what gives the dials their dégradé effect, where darker edges build to a brighter center. The Sixties Iconic Graphite version, above, comes with an equally show-stopping filigree patterned face (imprinted before the enamel process) that looks like a piece of sculpture sitting on your wrist.
If the dials are what onlookers will notice first, the finishing details—like the Louisiana-sourced alligator straps—will only keep them staring. These are timepieces that are minimalist and maximalist at the same time, sleek in silhouette but substantial in every other way, from the materials used to the execution of them by some of the most skilled artisans in the watch game. The only bad thing we might be able to say about this watch is that there aren't enough of them; only 25 sets of the colorful dial timepieces exist today and as you might imagine, they're selling out quickly.
$9,700 each. For more information, visit glashuette-original.com
This story originally appeared on GQ.
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