Taking a plunge outside its regular pool of high-brow watches endowed with the traditional spirit of the German School of Watchmaking, Glashütte Original surprised us with the launch of a vintage-inspired dive watch in 2019. Christened the SeaQ, the watch’s ancestor emerged from the state-run Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb (GUB) chapter in the brand’s history and was modelled on the Spezimatic of 1969. First and foremost a dive watch, all the SeaQ models fulfil the ISO 6425 diver’s standard. The more luxurious branch of the SeaQ family was presented in more contemporary 43.2mm cases with superior finishings, an increased water-resistance of 300m and the brand’s signature Panorama Date. This more upscale branch of the Spezialist family has been selected to house a new chronograph complication. Meet the new SeaQ Chronograph, a versatile and robust all-terrain watch with an anti-magnetic movement, 300m water-resistance, a flyback chronograph and a handsome dark blue dial with the brand’s signature Panorama Date.
Diver and Chrono in one
Dive watches with chronograph functions became popular in the mid-1960s and are becoming coveted tool watches for those who want the practicality of a chronograph combined with the robustness of a dive watch. One of the challenges faced by the GO design team was to incorporate a flyback chronograph without compromising the impressive 300m (ISO 6425 and DIN 8306-approved) water-resistance of the 43.2mm case of the SeaQ. Using a derivation of the high-end automatic integrated flyback chronograph movement (calibre 37) developed by GO, the brand’s previous developments for the water-resistant case provide a robust, shock-proof environment for such a sophisticated movement. For one, the case had to be shock-resistant and withstand being dropped from a height of one metre. To avoid the buckling or warping of the dial or blocking the hands, GO’s designers inserted a hollow hexagonal socket screw above the hand shafts fixing the dial to the plate before the hands are mounted. You can read all about the tests performed on the watch in Brice’s article.
To ensure a uniform oscillation of the balance in every position and while the chronograph is running, the balance has been given more space, gaining a few degrees of valuable amplitude. The flyback function, allowing users to simultaneously reset and restart the chronograph with the push of a single button, is far more advanced than a regular chronograph. Furthermore, the SeaQ Chronograph has maintained the signature Panorama Date, now placed at 6 o’clock. To enhance user-friendliness, the crown in position 1 winds the automatic movement, position 2 corrects the date, and position 3 sets the time while stopping the seconds hand. This means that there is no date corrector on the side of the case that might tamper with the water-resistance.
Stainless Steel Case
Like the 1969 Spezimatic that influenced the design of the SeaQ, the case of the SeaQ Chronograph features the integrated lugs, the sharp, taut angles and the circular-brushed surfaces of the original. Given the premiere status of the 43.2mm models, the brushed surfaces are contrasted with polished bevels. As a certified diver, the unidirectional rotating bezel has a 60-minute diving scale and a dark blue ceramic inlay. The fluted and polished screw-down crown is protected by discreet crown guards and flanked by octagonal-shaped pushers.
Dark Blue dial
The domed handmade dial of the SeaQ Chronograph is dark blue (PVD) with a refined sunray-brushed finishing. The distortions and the exaggerated slope of the peripheral minutes/seconds track are due to the box-shaped sapphire crystal glass protecting the dial. Harking back to design features of the Spezimatic are the oversized Arabic numerals (even numbers) and baton markers, and the maxi arrow hand for the minutes. To differentiate it from vintage SeaQ, the indices are framed and applied to the dial, not printed.
The 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and running seconds at 9 o’clock truncate some of the indices and are slightly recessed, darker in colour than the dial and decorated with snailing. Now sitting at 6 o’clock, the brand’s signature Panorama Date has a bevelled rectangular aperture and features a dark blue background with white numerals to match the dial. As a high-perfomance dive watch, the hour, minute and running seconds hands, the triangle on the bezel and the indices are coated with Super-LumiNova.
This sophisticated automatic flyback chronograph movement -calibre 37-23 – is a derivation of the in-house calibre 37 launched in 2014, minus the 12-hour counter and power reserve indicator. Appearing in the traditional Senator line and the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date, this in-house integrated column-wheel flyback chronograph movement marked a milestone in the brand’s history. The silicon balance spring offers increased resistance to magnetic fields, consolidating its credentials as a resilient sports watch.
Turning the watch over, the sapphire caseback reveals the skeletonised rotor with a solid gold mass decorated with hallmark Glashütte stripes. The classic three-quarter plate, which houses all the movable parts, adds stability and is also decorated with Glashütte stripes. With a frequency of 4Hz, the movement delivers a robust power reserve of 70 hours.
Four different straps will be available: a dark blue rubber strap, a stainless steel bracelet, and two synthetic fabric straps made from recycled fishing nets in grey or blue.
Availability & Price
The SeaQ Chronograph will be available from October 2022 in Glashütte Original Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide. The models with rubber or synthetic fabric straps with a pin buckle will retail for EUR 14,100 (an extra EUR 300 for a folding clasp); the SeaQ Chronograph with a steel bracelet for EUR 15,300. For more information, please visit glashuette-original.com.