When Glashütte Original introduced the new Spezialist collection (which houses the SeaQ watches) in 2019, it was quite a surprise for us. Since the Sports Evolution collection was discontinued in 2011, the German watch manufacturer had focused on building its repertoire of dress watches. The reintroduction of a “sportier” line-up is a breath of fresh air for us.
Inspired by the brand’s historical diver’s watch that was made in 1969, Glashütte Original had launched the SeaQ series as an entire collection. We have previously reviewed the re-edition of the original Spezimatic, as well as a modern version in the form of the base 39.5mm SeaQ. And here we took the SeaQ Panorama Date in a two tone finish for a spin. Here is what we found.
Review: Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date
Retail price of the bicolor Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date is S$23,000 for the buckle variant, and S$23,400 for the fold fastener model. Available in either cloth or rubber strap.
Today, we will be taking a look at another SeaQ from the Spezialist collection. Unlike the previous two models that we have covered, this particular SeaQ is a little special. The SeaQ Panorama Date, as the nomenclature suggests, features the brand’s signature Panorama Date display. Also, it is a little more refined with the bicolour treatment.
Undoubtedly, these changes definitely command a premium. Hence, the important question for us will be this: Is the bicolour SeaQ Panorama Date worth the additional price? The review, hopefully, shall attempt to answer this pertinent question.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
The SeaQ Panorama Date is a relatively large watch at 43.2mm. Comparatively to its brethren (the base SeaQ), it is larger by a significant 3.7mm. This can be attributed to the movement, in which the Calibre 36-13 is around 6.3mm wider in diameter than the Calibre 39-11.
Naturally, its large case provides a good wrist presence. What surprises us actually is how comfortable we feel when the watch is worn on the wrist. This is due to two factors: mainly the short lugs, and the supple cloth strap. The watch doesn’t feel too heavy, and it wears slightly smaller than what its dimension suggests. In totality, over the few days that we have had this watch, the SeaQ Panorama Date works well in the different scenarios that it was given – from corporate settings to weekend leisure hikes alike.
For this particular review, we were handed the bicolour variant. This means that the watch is cased in stainless steel, and paired with rose gold crown and bezel. There are other rose gold touches as well, including the hands and indices. The use of different metals certainly add some vibrancy to the watch, which we think is a nice touch to the otherwise serious-looking tool watch.
Moving on, we have the stunning slate grey sunburst dial. The gold accents certainly work well here, with the dial providing the platform for these elements to shine. It also looks good under natural light, where the sunburst effect literally comes to live together with the gold bits.
Finally, the main highlight of the SeaQ Panorama Date lies in its namesake. The watch features the signature large date display at the 4:30 position. The function certainly improves legibility. Coupled with the clean and large indices, the SeaQ Panorama Date is certainly a user-friendly watch for many, especially for those who might find it difficult to read smaller fonts or have some form of farsightedness.
The Movement: Calibre 36-13
Powering the SeaQ Panorama Date is the Calibre 36-13, a refined movement that is also seen in the Senator Excellence collection. Naturally, as the flagship of the SeaQ collection, the finishing is pretty on par with some elements of haute horlogerie touches. This includes a large 21k gold rotor, Glashütte ribbings, chamfering, and blued screws.
In terms of the technical aspects, the watch boasts a decent power reserve of around 100 hours – achieved by a single barrel. It also features a silicon balance spring, which has anti-magnetic properties. In addition, the movement also features an incabloc to protect it against shocks, and it beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph (or 4 Hz).
Overall, we find that the movement is packaged pretty nicely. This is, of course, elevated by an intriguing domed sapphire crystal found on the caseback of the watch. Notably, the SeaQ Panorama Date is one of the few rare pieces that has a boxed crystal on the back, and although it pretty much serves no purpose, the concept itself is rather unique and we really enjoyed the theatrics provided by it.
The Competitive Landscape
The Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date is priced at S$23,000 for the buckle variant, and S$23,400 for the one with the fold fastener. The watch is also available in rubber strap, but of course the cloth strap certainly brings more style and character to this timepiece.
When it comes to diver’s watches, there is definitely no shortage of competitors. But how do they stand against the SeaQ Panorama Date?
The Rolex Sea-Dweller is an obvious contender. It is one of the icons in the world of watches, with a timeless design that is hard to beat. What is also interesting is that Rolex had also introduced a two-tone variant for the 43mm timepiece, which is a tad different from the usual Sea-Dwellers that we were used to. It is a nice and solid watch overall, although we reckon that it might be difficult to get one anytime soon due to the long wait-list. The two-tone Sea-Dweller (Reference 122603) is priced at S$22,890.
Next up, we have another iconic diver’s watch. The Blancpain Fifty-Fathom is often touted as the watch that started it all. Over the years, there are numerous variants available, with the latest “No Rad Tribute to Fifty Fathoms” (Reference 5008D-1130-B64A) being one of our favourites thus far with its vintage touches. The 40.3mm timepiece is limited to a production of 500 pieces, and they retail at S$19,500.
Lastly, we have the Seamaster 300 from the Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Edition series. This is another modern timepiece that pays homage to the original iteration, and we like how Omega had incorporated as much “patina” to the watch to give it the aged look. Frankly, the 39mm watch is stunning, and it is really a great addition to the wonderful Seamaster collection. The Seamaster 300 “Trilogy Limited Edition” is available with a total of 3,557 pieces (3,000 as standalone, 557 as a set with the other 2 Trilogy pieces), and it is priced at S$10,050.
The SeaQ Panorama Date is a great piece, and there are no doubts about that. In fact, it is definitely a much more accomplished piece as compared to its base-model compatriot with its Panorama Date display, and the additional exhibition caseback really highlights the watchmaking prowess of Glashütte Original.
There is also a hint of vintage charm on this piece, but with modern refinement and touches as well. The overall package is great, and it balances out pretty nicely especially for a timepiece that is meant for the 21st century. It does not just simply leverage on its past – it builds on the fundamentals to provide a modern interpretation of the original Spezimatic with refinement and quality finishing.
Now, to answer the question that we have posted initially: Is this worth the premium? We will say yes, as the additional refinement really took this watch up a notch (or two). It is a completely different watch from its siblings, and it certainly feels less industrial and more luxurious with the different tweaks that were applied. In short, this is certainly a brilliant attempt from the brand, and it is truly one of the pieces that we have really enjoyed during the loaner period.
The SeaQ was photographed in our studio. Hasselblad H3D-39 with HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 with H28 extension tubes. Profoto srobes.
A very nice review of an underrated watch. I was a little surprised to see the Omega Seamaster 300 1957 Trilogy Limited Edition 39mm being cited as a competitor. I think that watch is more a competitor to the smaller 39.5mm SeaQ. I would suggest that the new Omega Seamaster 300 41mm Bronze Gold is a more natural competitor to the 43.2mm SeaQ Panorama Date.
Absolutely, totally agree the SeaQ (entire collection) is under-rated.