The Glashütte Original SeaQ has been the mainstay in the German manufacturer’s dive watch offerings since the introduction in 2019. This year, they added a red gold version. We had one for a week on loan to wear and examine, and to discover its charms.
We covered the SeaQ in its launch and subsequently in a detailed review here:
The launch models were both in stainless steel, and was available as a historically accurate SeaQ 1969 (limited edition, now sold out) and a modern interpretation SeaQ. Now, joining these two watches is this red gold edition.
Review: new Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date in red gold
The retail price for the Glashütte Original SeaQ red gold is SGD 34,700 inclusive of GST with the fold fastener in either the black rubber strap or synthetic grey strap.
The new SeaQ is the same watch as the re-interpreted, non limited edition version in stainless steel released at launched which we reviewed here with the exception of the red gold case.
The case, dial and hands
The case remains the rather nicely sized 39.5mm diameter and 12.15mm high dimension as the steel version. As a recap, two models were introduced in 2019. The first is the SeaQ 1969, which a faithful reproduction of the original, limited to only 69 pieces. And the second is a more modern re-interpretation. Both are almost the same and have a case diameter of 39.5mm and a closed caseback. Both versions carry the same retail price of SGD 13,900. This new red gold version is now an addition in precious metal, and available in the rubber strap of the SeaQ 1969 as well as in a synthetic grey strap. Both red gold versions have the same price of SGD 34,700.
The watch carries the same unidirectional rotating bezel with a black ceramic inlay. The case is tested to meet DIN 8306 as well as ISO 6425 specifications for Diver Watches, and rated to 200m water resistance. Although a gold case is a rather unusual choice for a tool diving watch, the 5N red gold chosen by GO is finished in a matte finish and is not shiny at all. The overall look is perhaps more akin to the utilitarian aesthetic of a bronze or brass case, with the added luxurious touch of gold with its attendant denser feel. Gold’s inert chemical properties is also an advantage which renders the case with a non-tarnish non-patina finish.
The dial design is typical of a diver watch. Highly legible and clearly laid out. This no-nonsense approach makes legibility excellent. The combination of large arabic numerals with bar indices work well with the huge, thick hands.
And in the dark, the SeaQ rewards the owner with a beautiful blue-green luminescent glow. Legibility is excellent.
The dial is manufactured in-house at the GO Dial manufacturing facility in Pforzheim, which we detailed here. The SeaQ dials start as brass blanks. After the essential openings are created for the hands and the date aperture, the dial is ground and polished before it acquires its deep black finish in galvanic process. It is then finished with a clear lacquer protective layer. The appliqué numerals, indices, logo, lettering and additional details are then attached.
The movement: Calibre 39-11
The movement in the SeaQ Panorama Date is the Calibre 39-11, which is used in all the SeaQ series since launch. The movement has proven its worth as a reliable workhorse fully capable of the rigours of a tool and diver watch. For the first time, the case back is now fitted with a sapphire glass display back to showcase the movement, which rewards us with its good looks. The steel models all were fitted with a closed case back with engravings.
As mentioned, the case back has a porthole in sapphire glass and the entire movement is visible. Adorning the main real estate’s place of pride is the large 21k gold rotor, decorated with piercings to reveal the double G GO logo, and ruled with Glashütte ribbing fausse côte. The ribbing is repeated on the three quarter plate movement in its signature German Silver. However, it is interesting to note that the movement does not carry the traditional GO hand engraved cock. GO explained that this is purely an aesthetic choice for their workhorse movements in tool/diver watches rather than a cost saving exercise. Otherwise, the finishing is very good. Not quite the lofty haute horlogerie levels for example achieved by GO’s Excellence series, but very fine, especially if we consider that this is a diver/tool watch.
A gold dive watch is often a luxury variant of the standard tool offering by most maisons, as is the case with this SeaQ in red gold. And is sometimes a bit odd to see a shiny gold watch being pressed into tool watch duties. However, the SeaQ in red gold, due to its matte red gold finish manages to straddle the luxury world and tool world rather successfully. At about SGD 34k, its pricing is also rather in the middle, with competitors, mainly from the sister Swatch Group companies.
Surveying the competitive landscape, a good option might be the Blancpain Fifty Fathom Automatique which retails for CHF 28,300 (approx SGD 40k). The Blancpain is also cased in a solid red gold case and ceramic bezel, and carries the in-house blancpain Cal. 1315. It has a deeper depth rating of 300m, but the case is significantly larger at 45mm, and may be a barrier for the average sized or smaller wrists.
Another might be the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer. The case is 42mm in Sedna gold, and rated to 300m, carries the Master Co-Axial chronometer movement. The Omega retails for SGD 35,650.
At 39.5mm, the GO SeaQ is a nicely size, and wears nicely. However, as the watch case is in solid red gold, the watch wears with some heft, which in our view, is a very nice weighty feel on the wrist. As discussed, the matte finish gives it a utilitarian look, not likely to attract attention as much attention as a shiny gold case usually does. The watch looks in its element in casual or sporty professional environments, but when called for is able to comfortably maintain the luxury and sporty elegant aesthetics to pull off nicely under the cuff of a bespoke shirt and suit. A versatile divers watch.
In terms of pricing, we think for a solid gold watch, the asking price is fair. And should be part of the consideration for one looking for a watch which transcends sporty and tool uses, to the luxurious and elegant.
We had the Glashütte Original SeaQ red gold on loan to us for about a week. The photographs were made in our studio. Fujifilm GFX 50S II with Hasselblad HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 + H26 attsched via the H Adapter G. Profoto strobes.
Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date in red gold technical Specifications
Model name: SeaQ
Launch year: 2022
Reference number: 1-39-11-17-91-33 (with black rubber strap) / 1-39-11-17-91-34 (with grey synthetic fabric strap)
Movement: Calibre 39-11 automatic, finely finished movement
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Special features: tested to meet DIN 8306 and ISO 6425 standards for diver’s watches
Frequency: 28,800 A/h, equivalent to 4 Hz
Case: Red gold 5N, rotating bezel with black ceramic inlay,
engraved case back with sapphire crystal, water resistant to 20 bar
Dimensions: Diameter: 39.5 mm, height: 12.15 mm
Dial: Galvanic black with sunray finish, applied numerals and indexes with Super-LumiNova® inlays
Hands: With Super-LumiNova® inlays
Straps: Black rubber or grey synthetic fabric strap, both with butterfly shape folding clasp in red gold 5N