For most of the watch enthusiasts, Glashütte Original means this – elegant, high-end watches inspired by the German School of Watchmaking. This would, however, be reductive, as the brand (and the entities that existed before) is also known for precise timekeepers and instruments, such as navigation chronometers. What fewer might know is the impressive collection of historical observation, pilot and diver’s watches made in Glashütte. Today, Glashütte Original capitalizes on this rich past to create a new range named “Spezialist” – and today we have the premiere model in this new collection, the Glashütte Original SeaQ, a vintage-inspired dive watch.
Let’s be honest, this new Glashütte Original SeaQ really came as a surprise. This was clearly not what we expected to see for the 2019 collection. However, looking back at older GO collections, you’ll see that it isn’t the first diver-inspired model created by the brand. Remember the Sport Evolution? For several years, the brand has focussed on elegant, typically German watches, however, the market for sports watches and vintage inspiration is hot today. Hence the creation of this SeaQ collection.
The design of the SeaQ doesn’t come out of the blue. We have to remember that, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the brand was under the control of the GDR and named Glashütte Uhren Betrieb, the production was focussed on utilitarian and rather accessible watches, and not high-end horology, as it is the case today. In this instance, the brand produced watches such as this one, which gave birth to the current Sixties. The collection back then was huge and comprised multiple sorts of pieces, such as the “Spezimatic Type RP TS 200”, developed specifically for sports divers and that gave birth to the SeaQ collection.
The new Glashütte Original SeaQ comprises three models, namely the 39.5mm SeaQ, a slightly vintage-inspired model, the 43.2mm SeaQ Panorama Date, with a more modern flair a more luxurious appeal, and finally a limited edition that replicates the old Spezimatic watch, the SeaQ 1969.
That being said, there’s a clear coherence in this collection, with all the models sharing common traits. The prevailing unity comes from the shape of the case, – whatever the diameter – which is shaped in a typically 1960s way, with integrated lugs and sharp angles. Note that this collection has been tested according to the DIN and ISO standards (the DIN 8306 and ISO 6425 to be precise) for dive watches. All versions feature a unidirectional, counter-clockwise rotating bezel with a perceptible click and a ceramic inlay with a clear 60-minute track.
As for the dial, all the models show historically relevant numerals and indexes, as well as oversized hands – with a clear distinction between the hours and the minutes hands, the latter being shaped like an arrow. All three models are available on rubber or synthetic straps, with a choice of pin buckle or fold fastener. With the exception of the vintage-inspired SeaQ 1969, which comes on a stainless steel bracelet with an 8-step fine adjustment mechanism.
All three watches are equipped with in-house automatic movements, however, differ depending on the model. Let’s now look at each of the versions in detail.
The Glashütte Original SeaQ
The first model in this new “Spezialist” collection is a reasonably sized, slightly vintage-inspired watch. The Glashütte Original SeaQ is housed in a 39.5mm case with 12.15mm height. The watch is water-resistant to 200m, features a screw-down crown and a plain steel caseback, engraved with a trident with the Double-G and 20 waves – note that the caseback is vertically aligned.
The dial of this “standard” Glashütte Original SeaQ makes a clear reference to the past model, with a date positioned at 3 o’clock and framed in white, as well as painted numerals and markers. The latter, as well as the hands, are filled with “old-radium” coloured Super-LumiNova. This model is only available with a galvanic black dial with sunray finish. Note the “Glashütte” inscription at 6 o’clock (a way to differentiate this one from the limited edition).
This 39.5mm version of the SeaQ is pleasant on the wrist and is available with either a rubber strap, a synthetic strap, each available with pin buckle or fold fastener, or a 3-link steel bracelet with fine adjustment.
Inside the case is the calibre 39-11, an in-house automatic movement, rather simple in its execution, with 40 hours of power reserve. It runs at 4Hz. This movement displays the hours, minutes and seconds (with second-stop) as well as a simple date. Prices will start at EUR 8,500.
Quick facts: 39.5mm x 12.15mm – stainless steel case, polished and brushed – unidirectional ceramic bezel – black galvanized dial – painted markers – 200m water-resistant – plain caseback – calibre 39-11, automatic with 40-hour power reserve – available on rubber, nylon or steel – reference 1-39-11-06-80
The Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date
The second model in this new dive watch collection by Glashütte Original is a more modern take on the concept. While the basic shape of the watch and the dial layout remain identical, the watch is both larger, more complex, equipped with a high-end movement and altogether, more luxurious.
The case of the Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date measures 43.2mm in diameter and 15.65mm in height. Multiple differences can be noticed, compared to the 39.5mm model, including its 300m water-resistance and a see-through caseback. The watch retains the same ceramic bezel with a 60-minute scale.
The dial of the SeaQ Panorama Date is also rather different, both in display and execution. First, the watch is available in two colours – galvanic blue with a sunray finish or galvanic black with a sunray finish. Secondly, the indexes and numerals are applied on the dial and not printed. Even though their shape is reminiscent of the old model, they are filled, just like the hands, with white Super-LumiNova for a contemporary touch. The other important difference comes from the addition of a signature “Panorama Date” between 4 and 5 o’clock, indicated as usual by two discs (matching the colour of the dial).
This version has a very different feel on the wrist, with more presence and a more robust feel. Thanks to short lugs, it remains comfortable. It will be available with either a rubber strap, a synthetic strap, each with either a pin buckle or fold fastener, or a 3-link steel bracelet with fine adjustment.
Under the sapphire caseback is the calibre 36-13, the same movement as found in the Senator Excellence collection, a high-end, chronometer-certified automatic engine with nice decoration. Considering that this watch will undergo a more active lifestyle than the Senator, a bayonet mounting ensures that the movement is anchored in the case for particularly effective shock-resistance.
This movement undergoes the same demanding 24-day test as all the other movements of the family and retains its comfortable 100-hour power reserve. Prices will start at EUR 11,000.
Quick facts: 43.2mm x 15.65mm – stainless steel case, polished and brushed – unidirectional ceramic bezel in black or blue – black or blue galvanized dial – applied markers – 300m water-resistant – sapphire caseback – Calibre 36-13, automatic with 100-hour power reserve and Panorama Date – available on rubber, nylon or steel – reference 1-36-13-01-80 (black) or 1-36-13-02-81 (blue)
The Glashütte Original SeaQ 1969 Limited Edition
Last but not least, as a flagship for the launch of this new collection, Glashütte Original also created a highly exclusive limited edition, even more faithful to the original Spezimatic Type RP TS 200, named the SeaQ 1969. Some preliminary advice… If you like it, you’d better be fast, as only 69 pieces will be produced.
The Glashütte Original SeaQ 1969 Limited Edition is based on the 39.5mm model, with which it shares its case and its movement. The differences are minimal and located on the dial and the caseback (which shows the unique number of the limited edition). Compared to the standard model, also note that this version will only be available on a rubber or synthetic strap, both available on pin buckle or fold fastener (no steel bracelet here).
As mentioned, the main difference of the SeaQ 1969 Limited Edition lies in its dial, which displays the same galvanic black colour with sunray finish, the same date window and the same painted indexes in “old-radium”, but with different hands (white luminous material) and different inscriptions. At 6 o’clock, you can read “25 RUBIS SHOCKPROOF” instead of “Glashütte”, a reference to the historical model.
The rest of the watch, including the automatic calibre 39-11, the 200m water-resistance and the bezel, remains identical. The price will be EUR 8,500.
Quick facts: 39.5mm x 12.15mm – stainless steel case, polished and brushed – unidirectional ceramic bezel – black galvanized dial – painted markers with old-radium indexes and white hands – 200m water-resistant – plain caseback with unique number – Calibre 39-11, automatic with 40-hour power reserve – available on rubber or nylon – reference 1-39-11-01-80
The Glashütte Original SeaQ collection will be available later this year (no more details yet). Prices will be the following:
- 39.5mm, rubber or synthetic strap, pin buckle: EUR 8,500
- 39.5mm, rubber or synthetic strap, fold fastener: EUR 8,800
- 39.5mm, steel bracelet: EUR 9,700
- Limited edition, rubber or synthetic strap, pin buckle: EUR 8,500
- Limited edition, rubber or synthetic strap, fold fastener: EUR 8,800
- 43.2mm, rubber or synthetic strap, pin buckle: EUR 11,000
- 43.2mm, rubber or synthetic strap, fold fastener: EUR 11,300
- 43.2mm, steel bracelet: EUR 12,200