Hands-On With The Union Glashütte Belisar Date Sport Pro
Sadly, I’m a tad too late with this review. The summer is over, and unless you are lucky enough to enjoy warm weather much more south or west of where I live, you will be testing this German diver next year. Then again, who said that a dive watch could only be worn during the hot months from June to August, right? Either way, I have the Union Glashütte Belisar Date Sport Pro here.
It’s smaller than the regular Belisar Date Sport and has a better depth rating. It also carries a higher price tag, but let’s not jump the gun. Here are the details.
If I need to bring you up to speed, here are a few facts about Union Glashütte’s past. Johannes Dürrstein founded the original company in 1893, though he had been in the watch business since the 1870s. It was a thriving business until the Great Depression hit Germany, and the company eventually went out of business in the early 1930s. After World War II, the part of the country where it was located, Glashütte, fell under Soviet control. It became part of the GDR (German Democratic Republic), also known as East Germany. As a result, all the watch companies there were combined into one group called GUB (Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe, “Glashütte Watch Companies”).
GUB was privatized after the reunification in 1990, and Union Glashütte was refounded in 1996. Since 2000, it has belonged to the Swatch Group alongside its sister brand Glashütte Original. Swatch Group repositioned the brands, making Glashütte Original the superior entity and Union the accessible brand with watches ranging from around €1,000 to €4,000. Every Union Glashütte watch is made in Germany, just like back in the day. They represent extremely high value and quality, especially for the price. But let’s look closer at the Belisar Date Sport Pro now.
Belisar Date Sport Pro
The Belisar family has many models, ranging from chronographs to GMTs, calendars, and divers like the Belisar Date Sport Pro. Regarding dive watches, you could choose between two similar model lines, though they have some major differences. Belisar Date Sport watches are 45mm wide and are water resistant to 200 meters. However, thanks to the rubber flanks screwed to the sides of the case, the watch does not appear 45mm wide at all. While the movement in the Date Sport is the same as the one we find in the Date Sport Pro, the latter has an upgrade here. I’ll tell you more about it in a moment. First, let’s have a look at the outside of the Union Glashütte Belisar Date Sport Pro.
For the Pro version, we have a 42mm case, which measures 12.3mm thick. At 48.9mm, the lug tip-to-lug tip length is substantial, and the watch takes a 22mm strap/bracelet. The flanks on the side are polished steel. They do not make the Belisar optically bigger. Nevertheless, if this model also came with rubber flanks, the visual could be even more favorable for watch lovers with smaller wrists. Overall, the Date Sport Pro feels evenly balanced on the wrist. Thanks to its steel bracelet, you can enjoy the heft of the timepiece on your wrist, but if you’d like to throw it on a rubber strap, that’s also possible. Thanks to the quick-release spring bars, it only takes a few seconds.
Black or blue?
The Union Glashütte Belisar Date Sport Pro comes with either a black or blue dial. For the review, I opted for the blue version on a steel bracelet. However, I’m sure it also feels great on the rubber strap. Not to mention, black rubber and a black dial make for a killer combo. As you would expect from most dive watches, the Belisar Date Sport Pro is easily legible thanks to the prominent Super-LumiNova-filled indexes and hands. Both the Belisar Date Sport and Date Sport Pro have a date feature. While the latter has the window at 3 o’clock, it is at 6 o’clock on the former. I prefer this version. Compared to the Date Sport’s approach, I find that the date on this one looks classier. Another significant upgrade of the Belisar Date Sport Pro is its water resistance, as shown on the dial. Yes, it’s rated at 300 meters, which is 100 meters more than the Date Sport.
Movement and more
Inside the watch beats (almost) the same UNG-07.S1 that is in the other model, but there is a minor upgrade here as well. A silicon balance spring inside reduces the chance of magnetization, protecting the Belisar Date Sport Pro’s accuracy. It is a self-winding mechanical caliber with a 60-hour power reserve and 21 jewels. It beats at a 25,200vph frequency, and its base movement is the ETA 2892.
As the Union Glashütte Belisar Date Sport Pro is a diver, it has the features that a watch of this caliber should have. We have a 120-click unidirectional bezel and a screw-down crown. While most bezel inserts are ceramic or aluminum, this insert is sapphire glass, and the first 15 minutes have Super-LumiNova markings. The steel bracelet also features a diving extension to ensure comfortable wearability over a wetsuit.
Let’s look at the Union Glashütte Belisar Date Sport Pro’s details again. At 42mm in diameter, this watch is smaller than the 45mm Date Sport. Furthermore, we have a greater 300m depth rating and a silicon balance spring in the movement to protect it from magnetization. You can opt for a rubber strap or a bracelet and choose between two colors. On the bracelet, as seen here, the Belisar Date Sport Pro costs €2,850. If you want it on a rubber strap, it’ll be €100 less. Now, in this price range, the Belisar Date Sport Pro has a lot of competition, especially from Switzerland. So why should you go for this one? If the above facts have not persuaded you, here’s my suggestion. If you want a quality, German-made sports watch that gets the job done, you should consider the Belisar Date Sport Pro.
For more information, check out Union Glashütte’s website, and let me know what you think of this piece in the comments.