Spending time with the Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date, a Teutonic take on a diverFergus Nash
It almost seems that no matter the brand, a dive watch always feels somewhat humble. Even with lavish decoration, extra complications and precious materials, the utilitarian nature of their purpose shines through. The Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date is a dive watch of the rarest breed — one that retains a level of refinery and luxury that we expect of their dressier models despite its vintage skin diver charm and sporty capability. Whether that be an effect of brand power or some other imperceptible quality, the Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date commands respect.
The overall design of the Glashüte Original SeaQ range was rescued from their own archives, inspired heavily by the Glashütte Spezimatic diver from 1969. Much in the same fashion as many skin divers from the late 1960s, the case was slightly more shell-shaped as ‘50s designs yet not quite the full cushion of the ‘70s. Rather than copying the silhouette entirely, the SeaQ Panorama Date has been adapted for contemporary flavour and increased robustness. The diameter is impactful at 43.2mm, and the lug-to-lug length of 51.5mm doesn’t lend itself to smaller wrists without a degree of bravery. 15.64mm is a considerable thickness too, however that does include the domed sapphire crystal. The shape has also been altered to include crown guards, cementing a modern character entirely separate from its vintage counterpart.
In its stainless-steel case, the Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date still passes for a typical tool watch at a glance. Its brushed finishing, though fine and consistent, tames its luxurious qualities when not looking too deeply. Reinforcing the status of the watch is the option of an 18k red gold case, with the same finishing as the steel one only evidently more glamorous. It’s still just as capable with its 300m of water resistance, locked in with a screw-down crown. The final touch of elegance on both models is the ceramic bezel insert, offering a scratch-proof surface with a glossy sheen.
The case isn’t the only part of the Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date which has been adapted from the 1969 ancestor, however instead of modernisation the main change to the SeaQ is integration with the rest of the Glashütte Original catalogue. The German brand is perhaps best known for their daring yet classical Pano range, whose most notable feature is often the large Panorama Date display. The use of concentric date wheels within this large aperture helps the numerals to be closer together than some other big date watches, establishing a look that is both near-seamless and incredibly legible. The positioning at 4 o’clock could ordinarily look a little stunted were it a regular size, but here the weight of its presence gives it a belonging sense of substance.
The rest of the dial certainly reveals its ‘60s roots, with alternating baton indices and Arabic numerals with a vintage-style 6. The minute markers are easy to read around the dial’s perimeter, and the arrow hand set makes orientation easy. There is a subtle difference between the steel and gold models in the hands and metals surrounding the indices, granting that extra dressy touch to the gold reference.
The caseback of the Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date offers a wide view of the movement within, although not quite unobstructed as the domed sapphire crystal adds some lovely distortion around the edges. The Calibre 36-13 is an in-house effort of course, as Glashütte Original are vertically integrated. Even if it weren’t for the skeletonised rotor with the double-G symbol, you could guess at the Glashütte origin purely from the 3/4 plate layout and the heat-blued screws. With a silicon balance spring and adjustment possible without a regulator, the 36-13 boasts a power reserve of 100 hours even with a smooth beat rate of 4Hz. Details such as these are what separate Glashütte Original from its competition, ensuring incredibly high standards.
We handled the Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date on its black fabric strap, blending a casual look with one of high-end quality thanks to the solid butterfly clasp. It’s also available on a grey fabric strap, black rubber, or a solid brushed bracelet on the stainless steel model. A lug width of 21mm makes it slightly more difficult to experiment with aftermarket straps, however the stock options definitely won’t disappoint.
The Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date pricing and availability:
The Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date is now available from Glashütte Original retailers. Price: A$16,800 (steel) / A$17,250 (steel with butterfly clasp) / A$18,650 (steel on bracelet) / A$37,400 (18k red gold)
|Model||SeaQ Panorama Date|
|Case Dimensions||43.2mm x 51.5mm x 15.64mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel / 18k red gold|
|Strap||Fabric with basic or butterfly clasp, rubber, steel bracelet|
|Power Reserve||100 hours|
A$17,250 (steel with butterfly clasp)
A$18,650 (steel on bracelet)
A$37,400 (18k red gold)