Hands-On With The Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date
Over the last year or two, Glashütte Original has slowly been expanding the SeaQ family of watches in a careful and well-executed manner. The original model has since had slightly new dial designs, diamond bezels, and now it has grown in size, had a larger ‘panorama date’ complication and received the precious metal treatment. It is these larger, panorama models I am taking a look at today.
Before I start, I want to say that I like the basic SeaQ looks. I think it is a handsome heritage design (originally known as the Spezimatic) and, with the current industry trend showing the popularity of reissues, an obvious choice to focus on for the brands dive watch offerings. According to the Glashütte Original website, there are currently 20 SKUs in the ‘Spezialist’ family, although this includes options for different strap choices, and different dial colours. The SeaQ Panorama Date accounts for 10 of these thanks to the use of varying amounts of precious metals. Let’s dig in…
The Spezimatic evolved
The case is a 43.2mm affair, and follows the same shape as the smaller standard SeaQ watches…just bigger, and fatter. The slimmer 39.mm model is 12.15mm thick, but the Panorama Date movement causes the case to beef up to 15.65. Thanks to the larger case diameter it all feels in proportion. It is well balanced and sits well on top of the wrist. Whilst the arm in the photos is not mine, I can say from first-hand experience that the height does not affect the stability. Tall watches can be difficult to balance but Glashütte Original has done well to consider this and negate the height with the case size and the lug design to ensure it confidently hugs the wrist and stays put. Bravo!
The warmer tones appeal to me…
As previously mentioned, the SeaQ Panorama Date sees the introduction of precious metals in the available case options. Stainless steel is joined by 18k rose gold. A full rose gold case, bezel and crown is available for the slightly more extravagant folks, or the bi-color iterations feature a stainless steel case with rose gold bezel and crown for a more understated opulence. I enjoy rose gold more than yellow gold. The warmer tones appeal to me a little more and look particularly classy on the bi-colour models. The hands match the bezels in as much as they use the same metal. Gold bezels are matched with gold hands, and steel bezels have steel hands.
Glashütte Original has built up a fair reputation for building beautiful watches which are a pleasure to wear and pleasure to look at. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the SeaQ is a somewhat demure offering in comparison to the rest of the brand’s repertoire, but there is more than meets the eye. This is a watch for the wearer to enjoy, for is it he or she who will notice and feel the quality up close on the wrist. The dial is no exception to this. At first glance it seems almost reserved, but look a little closer and there’s some real touches of class.
…It’s a really handsome combination.
The dials are all made in Glashütte Original’s own dial production facility in Pforzheim. All the colour variations feature a wonderful sunburst pattern. The colours available are grey (available only on the gold and bi-color models), black (available on all case materials) and blue (available only on the stainless steel models. The grey and black dials have black bezel inserts and the blue dials have a matching blue bezel insert. The sunburst works very well with all colors, but looks exceptional on the grey dials. Coupled with the bi-color metals…It’s a really handsome combination. Did I mention it’s my favourite?
…gorgeous applied indices…
There is another subtle difference between the dials of the gold and bi-color models and the stainless steel models. The stainless steel dials have all markers printed, whereas the models utilizing the gold have gorgeous applied indices and numerals, further enhancing the premium aesthetic. Lovely stuff. The printed indices are true to the original SeaQ watches from the late 60s and 70s, but the applied indices are just much nicer in my opinion.
There’s a party round the back
The movements from Glashütte Original are always a joy to behold and are typically German in their construction and finishing. Flawless, functional and yet still fancy. Fancy may not be the best word but I wanted to keep the alliteration there. Sue me.
…exquisitely finished movement…
The SeaQ Panorama Date uses the Calibre 36-13. It’s an in-house movement which goes a long way to justify the prices of these watches. The exquisitely finished movement has everything you’d expect from a German watchmaker: bevelled edges, polished steel parts heat-blued/polished screws, Glashütte-striped three-quarter plate, all topped off with a skeletonized rotor made of 21k gold. If that wasn’t enough, the rate is adjusted by swan-neck spring and holds a 100 hours of power reserve. As I said, this really is a joy to look at. Thankfully, Glashütte Original is keen for us to appreciate its hard work and beautiful movement, so it can be viewed through the sapphire display case back. Bravo again!
As I previously mentioned, there is 20SKUs for the SeaQ lineup, and 10 for the Panorama date family alone. These are largely down the case options, but also the strap options too. They are: a stainless steel bracelet, rubber
or a synthetic nylon 2-piece strap.
I seem to have been enjoying nylon straps on my watches lately…
The bracelet is only available on the full stainless steel models, which is fine as my favourite is the nylon strap option. The rubber is a modern style which is a little bit of a shame. The other, smaller SeaQ models are paired with a tropic-style rubber strap which would have looked much nicer than the generic option the Panorama Date is stuck with. The nylon straps are grey for the black and grey dials or blue for the blue dials. I seem to have been enjoying nylon straps on my watches lately so that may factor into this preference.
Form and function
I think overall this is a very nice addition to the Spezialist, SeaQ family from Glashütte Original. The German brand has done a fine job at resurrecting the Spezimatic design from 1969, and then bringing it up to its modern-day level of fine watchmaking. The use of precious metals, the stunning 36-13 movement and the superb overall finishing really make this the perfect option for the Glashütte Original collector looking for a dive watch that matches their ambition. Dive watches often suffer from the misconception that they are ‘tool watches’. Function over form, however the SeaQ Panorama Date proves that dive watches also have a place in high-end watchmaking. As a fan of dive watches and fine watchmaking, I say bravo Glashütte Original. Bravo indeed.
You can read more about the SeaQ watches from Glashütte Original on their website. Prices for the SeaQ Panorama Date start at £9,800 for the fully stainless steel model on the nylon or rubber strap, rising to £21,700 for the full rose gold model on the nylon or rubber strap.
Rob and RJ recently recorded a Podcast discussing another fine watch from Glashütte Original. It’s worth a listen and you can find it here.