Review: hands on with the new Glashütte Original Sixties Small Seconds

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Glashütte Original extended their Sixties collection with a new model with small seconds recently. Here is our hands on comprehensive review.

Review: hands on with the new Glashütte Original Sixties Small Seconds

The Glashütte Original Sixties Small Seconds Ref 1-39-60-01-01-04 has a retail of SGD 25,200 inclusive of GST.

We covered the release notes with our commentary when the GO Sixties Small Seconds was released.

The case, dial and hands

The Sixties Collection is one of the which has been in the mainstay of the Glashütte Original lineup for a number of years. The classical looking watch is very elegant and has become a classic. We have covered various versions of the collection, including the Chronograph editions. But the collection has always have had the three hand watches with central seconds hand. For the first time, the watch is now available with a subsidiary seconds hand shown in a sub-dial at 6 o’clock. This makes for a much more traditional and classical look to the watch when compared to the more contemporary aesthetic of the sweep seconds hand.

The case remains the same, classical looking round case, with soldered lugs. The three piece case is finished in a high polish on both the sloped bezel as well as the case side.

The dial is in the of the Sixties. The a galvanic silver dial, made of brass. The peripheral is sloped away from the center to create a shape popularly known as pie-pan or bombé. The dial itself is a model of classical simplicity and beauty. The 12/3/9 hours are indicated in a stylised Arabic numerals which GO calls a typeface of the 60s. These are transfer printed in black, as are the brand markings and other nomenclature. The 5 second markers on the sub-dial as well as the minute markers on the main dial are also in black print. The minute markers are punctuated by white dots and indicated by appliqué rose gold bar markers at 5 minute intervals, which also serve as hour markers. The regular 6 numeral which is normally printed on the other center seconds versions is now replaced by the small seconds sub-dial, and a truncated bar. The small seconds sub-dial is sunken, and finished in concentric circles with 5 seconds markers in black print. All the hands are colour matched in rose gold with the hour and minute hands carrying an inlay of white for increased readability.

The overall aesthetic of the GO Sixties Small Seconds is one which exudes elegance, and a classical air. The watch does have the look of the 1960s era, and we think it is very handsome.

The movement

The movement is the brand’s in-house designed and manufactured Cal. 39-60. This is a rather smaller movement with a diameter of only 26.8mm than is normally indicated for a case size of 42mm. As a result, a large movement ring is visible from the display case back.

However, through the case back, the rotor with the signature double-G logo can be admired. The rotor is skeletonised and runs on ball bearings, and finished in Glashütte ribbing, akin to Côte de Genève used in Swiss watches. The rest of the movement is nicely finished, with bevelled edges, and polished screws. The balance is equipped with a swan neck fine regulation system, but the balance cock does not feature hand engraving.

Overall the finishing is judges to be very good, falling just a little short of top drawer haute horlogerie levels. This level of finishing is far above the engineering requirements for the movement.

Competitive landscape

Classical three handed watches are quite aplenty. The Glashütte Original Sixties Small Seconds lives in a very heavily populated landscape, with competition from all corners. From the Omega to Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Söhne.

We consider the Omega De Ville Prestige co-axial Master Chronometer Small Seconds (SGD 18.85k). It is cased in 18K yellow gold of 41mm diameter. The dial is similarly domed with a silvery crystal finish. But the Omega adds a date window at 3 o’clock, which will count as a positive to some, but negative to others. The movement is a more modern co-axial Master Chronometer movement, but the GO movement is more traditional, classical and arguably better looking.

At the higher end, consider the Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6119R (SGD 42.6k), which not only boasts of the credentials of being a Patek, with possibly higher value retention, but in a better finished movement, case and dial. But it comes at a rather large premium over the GO. Also in the same pricing bucket, so to speak is the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Ref. 87172/000R-9302 38 mm in pink gold (SGD 43.5k). Aesthetically the VC has its small seconds at the 9 o’clock position. The movement is the venerable C.2455 by VC, which is also used in the new Historiques Ref. 222 and can be considered to be finer finished than the GO.

We would consider the Lange Saxonia Automatic. But the price is now POA, and likely to be closer to the Patek than the GO. Thus, considering the competition, we would say the GO Sixties Small Seconds is well placed in terms of pricing.

Concluding thoughts

Overall, this is a beautiful watch. We did not think we would say this, but the bright green alligator strap does add considerable character to an already very fine looking timepiece. This is an excellent dress watch. Discrete, even though it is in solid pink gold. Very elegant and classical in its aesthetics. The small twist in the aesthetics provided by the typeface of the numerals goes beautifully with the Glashütte Original logo. Goes well together. And in our eyes, a surprisingly good value for this day and age with its attendant highly inflated pricing of good watches.