Hands-On With The New Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph
With the SeaQ line, Glashütte Original released a collection of watches that I have really grown to love. The standard 39.5mm SeaQ in particular is an incredibly charming watch. Ever since the first SeaQ models were announced back in 2019, Glashütte Original has slowly expanded the collection with new models and colorways. The latest addition is the brand-new SeaQ Chronograph. It’s not often that we see a chronograph diver, so I was happy to take this new model home for a couple of days and try it out.
When the Glashütte SeaQ collection came out, I was immediately a fan of its looks. While the looks are certainly not unique, they are not very common anymore. There is a certain charm to the combination of a modest 39.5mm skin-diver-style case and a dial with oversized numerals. The SeaQ collection was inspired by the Spezimatic dive watch from 1969 as created by the then-East-German state-run Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb (GUB). It’s not a style we often see nowadays, making the SeaQ instantly recognizable in today’s watch landscape. Combine that style with the overall great movements and high-level brand quality, and the SeaQ is simply a great watch.
The Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph
A second model added to the SeaQ collection was the SeaQ Panorama Date. It has the same overall style but has a larger 43.2mm case and an oversized date window at 4 o’clock. It’s this watch that formed the base for the new SeaQ Chronograph. The new chronograph version also features a 43.2mm size stainless steel case. It was the canvas for Glashütte Original to integrate the chronograph. As a result, the design changed, and the dimensions also changed a bit, so let’s discuss the specs.
The new SeaQ Chronograph comes with a 300m water-resistant case that is, again, 43.2mm wide and 16.69mm thick. So it’s not a small watch by any means. It’s a big boy, and the moment you get the watch in your hands, you will notice that. Now, I am not often turned off by a thicker watch, especially chronographs. The same goes for the SeaQ Chronograph. I was somewhat surprised that it is almost 17mm thick. As you will see in the pictures, the thickness is partly increased by the boxed-shaped sapphire crystal
The functional aspects of the SeaQ Chronograph
It’s not just the domed sapphire that adds to the overall thickness. Glashütte Original wanted to create a special diver’s chronograph that does not compromise its functions and specs. Specifically, the brand wanted to combine a flyback chronograph without compromising the 300m water-resistance rating. As a result, the designers and engineers had to develop a case that could withstand the ocean’s depths and is shockproof to protect the anti-magnetic flyback chronograph movement at all times. As such, it was the answer to a functional question that resulted in a thicker case profile. And just like the other watches in the SeaQ line, the SeaQ Chronograph also performs according to the ISO 6425 diver’s standard.
With that information in mind, it is easier to understand why the watch is designed the way it is. On top of that, as we are used to from Glashütte Original, the case design of the SeaQ ensures that the watch wears very comfortably. The round case with its integrated, curved lugs ensures that the watch sits well on the wrist. After the initial impressions about the watch’s size, I have to say that — just like with the SeaQ Panorama Date — the watch wears a lot more comfortably than its dimensions would suggest.
It’s a matter of refinement
Another element that plays a big part in the watch’s overall presence is the refinement of the design and finishing. Leave it up to Glashütte Original to come up with an impressive watch in all its little details. The case features an overall brushed finish with beveled edges. As we know from the SeaQ models that came before, the brushed finish has a circular pattern on the face of the watch. It accentuates the round shape of the case perfectly, while the beveled edges emphasize its angles.
On the right side of the case, you will find the polished screw-down crown that is protected by humble crown guards. The octagonal pushers also feature a polished finish, resulting in nice contrast with the case. The SeaQ Chronograph comes with a beautiful dark blue dial and bezel. The ceramic bezel insert features a 60-minute diving scale to remind us this is not just a normal chronograph.
The design changes made for the SeaQ Chronograph
The biggest changes in the design can obviously be found on the dial. The integration of the chronograph elements has changed the design quite drastically. Nevertheless, the presence of the applied 6 and 12 Arabic numerals reveals that this is still a SeaQ. But to make space for the chronograph registers, the other numerals that define the SeaQ dials were sacrificed in favor of applied baton hour markers. As you can see in the picture above, it’s remarkable how much the 2, 8, and 10 numerals play a part in giving the dial of the Panorama Date its distinct look.
For the SeaQ Chronograph, Glashütte Original decided to integrate two large registers at 3 and 9 o’clock. Additionally, the oversized date window had to move from the 4 o’clock position to just above the 6 o’clock numeral. The central chronograph seconds hand features the signature double-G logo as the counterweight. If the central chronograph seconds hand is at the 12 o’clock position, quite a few elements are stacked along the vertical axis of the dial. From the 12 o’clock numerals, the brand name, and the center pinion to the double-G counterweight, the oversized date window, and the 6 o’clock numeral, there is quite a lot going on.
The SeaQ dial is a thing of beauty
When it comes to the art of dial making, Glashütte Original is one of the brands that do it best. And with the SeaQ Chronograph, the mastery is apparent. The domed handmade blue dial is a thing of beauty. The blue hue is vibrant and features a beautifully refined sunray finish. The box-shaped sapphire crystal causes distortions and an exaggerated sloped effect of the minutes and seconds track at the periphery of the dial. The visual effects of that become very clear if you look at the dial from an angle.
The two chronograph counters are slightly darker than the main dial color. These registers are recessed and decorated with snailing as well. As mentioned, the oversize date window is placed above the 6 o’clock numeral. The blue Panorama Date discs with white numerals match the color of the dial for flawless integration. I love the look of the SeaQ hands. They are straightforward in style and oversized in execution, resulting in superb legibility. The central hour and minute hands, the running seconds hand at 9 o’clock, and the hour markers are all filled with Super-LumiNova for great readability in lower-light conditions.
The Glashütte Original calibre 37-23
If you turn the watch around, you will find the in-house automatic caliber 37-23. This integrated column-wheel flyback chronograph movement is a thing of beauty. It is derived from the GO caliber 37 which was introduced in 2014. For the SeaQ Chronograph, the brand removed the 12-hour counter and power-reserve indicator. In order to achieve increased magnetic resistance, Glashütte Original also equipped the movement with a silicon balance spring. The movement operates at 28,800vph and provides 70 hours of power reserve.
As you can see, the movement features a skeletonized rotor. It features the brand’s instantly recognizable double-G symbol and a heavy rim weight made of 21K yellow gold. Both the rotor and the three-quarter plate are finished with Glashütte stripes, resulting in a movement that looks beautiful. In terms of functionality, Glashütte Original added extra user-friendliness to the crown. In the first position, when the crown is unscrewed, you can manually wind the movement. If you pull the crown out to the second position, you can correct the date. Pulling the crown out all the way to the third position allows you to set the time while stopping the small seconds hand. As a result of integrating the date correction, there is no date corrector on the side of the case.
Wearing the SeaQ Chronograph
Once on the wrist, the SeaQ Chronograph wears very nicely and has a great wrist presence. This is partly due to its size, of course, but the lively blue color and the overall great level of detail also ensure that you will peek at the watch often, even when you are busy. I did have to get used to the design a bit, as it loses quite a bit of the charm of the regular SeaQ that I love so much. But after a while, the design made sense, and I was reminded why the chronograph version of the SeaQ looks like this. With all the elements that the designers had to integrate, they chose the most logical design solution.
Operating the flyback chronograph reveals the incredible build quality of the movement. The pushers are easy to use, and a friendly but firm click confirms each step of the operation. When it comes to the strap, our sample came on a 21mm blue synthetic two-piece with a stainless steel folding buckle. I have to say that it fits the style of the watch perfectly and is a joy to wear. Glashütte Original also offers the watch on a similar gray synthetic strap, a black rubber strap, and a stainless steel bracelet. While I usually prefer a stainless steel bracelet, in this case, the blue strap adds a lot of charm to the watch in addition to great comfort.
Final thoughts on the SeaQ Chronograph
After wearing the Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph for a few days, I have to say that it is an impressive timepiece. Now, in all honesty, I did have to get used to its design and the overall dimensions for a bit. But once you understand what the brand had in mind while developing this unique diver’s chronograph, it is easy to see why the watch was created like this. On top of that, it has the technicality and presence to back it up. Glashütte Original’s eye for detail is outstanding, which had me appreciating the watch more and more as the days passed.
If you love the aesthetic of the SeaQ Panorama Date and like to see it combined with the functionality of a flyback chronograph, this could be the perfect watch for you. The SeaQ Chronograph is available for €14,100 on a synthetic or rubber strap with a pin buckle. For €300 extra, you can replace the buckle with a folding clasp. On the stainless steel bracelet, the watch will be €15,300. For me, the regular SeaQ is still the best model in the SeaQ collection. It has more character, is friendlier in size, and is one of my favorite dive watches out there. That said, while this chronograph version may lack the finesse of the smaller model, it still is impressive no matter how you look at it. As a diver’s chronograph, this is a quite unique addition to today’s watch landscape, and I love that.
What do you think of the Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph? Let us know in the comments below.