One of the biggest reasons that the Rolex Submariner is the popular icon that it is, has to do with its ability to seamlessly go from sport to serious, and from casual to corporate. This gives it the ability to be worn in almost every occasion, but when it comes down to it, for most people the Rolex Submariner is the world's best know "casual sport" watch. I use this bar setting timepiece as a frame of reference to begin my discussion of the highly capable new Glashutte Original Seventies Panorama Date watch. A slightly different breed of casual sport watch, the Seventies Panorama date is a gorgeous example of modern sentiments and classic timepiece execution.
Glashutte Original overall has an excellent offering of new watches this year - actually one of the strongest collection that I saw at Baselworld 2011. The German (Swatch Group owned) brand is a watch enthusiast's favorite but often overlooked for some reason. They offer a solid range of sport and formal timepieces, with designs and an attention to comfort and function befitting their Germanic heritage. The top dog in their range for 2011 is the Seventies Panorama Date. The collection is a thematic followup to the Senator Sixties collection and attempts to promote the lifestyle and aesthetic of the 1970s versus the 1960s. The design is drastically different than the more sober lounge look of the Senator Sixties. The Seventies Panorama Date is, in my opinion, not just these three watches, but the start of a much larger timepiece family.
The basic look of the case is one with a "TV screen" cushion style face and metal bracelet. Offered in steel this year, the case is a 40mm wide square, and wears larger than its dimensions on paper might suggest. This is always the case with more square cases, and is aided by the thickness of the case as well as the wide lugs and bracelet. As to the thickness, it is only 11.5mm thick but seems to look thicker. The watch even looks large despite not having the thinnest bezel - I swear it feels like an optical illusion. Overall the look of the watch is deceptively simple. I at first was not all impressed by this design, and yet it ended up on my list of best watches for Baselworld 2011. How did that happen?
It happened when I got to play with the Seventies watch and wear it. Like all Glashutte Original watches the construction and design are impressive, but what was also impressive is how the watch not only fit great on my wrist, it also made me feel good. Here was a nice high-end watch that was neither pretentious or "stealth-wealth." The design is very versatile and causal, but in a mature way. You can be 30 or 70 years old and pull off this design easily. Sort of how Tiffany & Co. watches SHOULD be for women.
This effect isn't new for GO. They pulled of the same trick with another watch, one that I actually one, the Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch (that I reviewed here). Both watches actually share a lot in common. This includes more or less the same movement as well as the excellent micro-adjust deployment clasp on the bracelet. Both of these watches are sporty and sophisticated that suggest a style by aren't typecast in those roles. As far as the 1970s part of the Seventies watch - yea I can see that. The large bold case and bracelet are very 1970s. So is the use of metallic colors and sharp looking hands and hour markers on otherwise round or bulbous cases. This borrows a bit from the design of some 1970's era watches without needing to be labeled a retro style timepiece.
Glashutte Original will offer the Seventies Panorama Date with three dials to start. Speaking of starting, if the collection is going to be as successful as I anticipate, expect other complications and materials to be included in the Seventies collection soon. For 2011 you can get the watch with a dark gray, silver, or blue dial. Aside from the silver dial, the dials are richly sunburst polished. This lends itself best to the blue dial that plays with the light a lot and feels most like showy watches from the 1970s (no gradients though!).
The dial has sharp looking applied hour markers that look a bit like little arrow head. The hands are taken from other GO models, while spots of SuperLumiNova are placed outside of the hour markers and on the hands. On the silver dial version, the hour markers and hands are gold toned. Legibility is very good, and I appreciate the symmetrical placement of big date (which GO likes to call a "panorama date"). The cursive Glashutte Original logo never did quite look so nice on a watch face before. Over the dial is an AR coated sapphire crystal.
For the movement Glashutte Original uses their calibre 39-47 automatic big date. The decoration is attractive and the movement is visible through a sapphire exhibition caseback. The metal bracelet on the watch is fantastic. On the inside you can see its complicated construction, while from the outside it looks like a more standard, tapered three-link bracelet with a polished middle link. The entire watch actually plays well with alternative brushed and polished finishes. The bracelet integrates well with the case and comes together with a great push-button fold-over deployment clasp. It uses the same micro-adjust system that you can find on the Sport Evolution watch. Basically the GO logo on the bottom of the bracelet is actually a pusher. When depressed it allows you to pull or push the bracelet a few millimeters to make the bracelet fit best. This is not only good when trying to get a perfect fit overall, but also when your wrist naturally expands sometimes and you want to loosen the bracelet up a bit.
With most casual to dressy outfits the Glashutte Original Panorama Date watch will work very well. It is a "no brainer" style wear because it is comfortable, fun, still conservative, and easy to read. I am happy that even with the retro name, the Seventies is not a vintage style watch, but more an homage to the style and values that made watches a bit larger than life in that era. Price is $11,100.
Tech specs from GO - Seventies Panorama Date
39-47-13-12-14 (blue dial)
39-47-12-12-14 (grey dial)
39-47-11-12-14 (silver dial)
Central display of hours, minutes and seconds; second stop;
Glashütte Original panorama date at “6”
+ polished/satin-finished stainless steel case
+ 40 x 40 mm / height: 11.5 mm
+ sapphire glass at the front side (both sides anti-reflective)
+ domed sapphire glass and case back for perfect wearablility
+ screwed crown with double-“G” and crown protection
+ waterproof up to 10 atm !
+ hands made of white gold, inlaid with superluminova
+ wedge appliqués in white gold, luminous spots on the hours
+ flawlessly crafted four-link metal bracelet made of stainless steel
+ elements are screwed to one another with no room for interplay between them
+ patented, innovative closing and adjusting mechanism designed just for GO
+ comfortable fine adjustment (8 millimeter in 8 steps) by pressing the clasp’s button
+ double security mechanism with two buttons on either side
+ double â€žG“ at the clasp’s button
Automatic movement caliber 39-47
Dimensions: Ã˜ 30.95 mm, height 5.9 mm
Oscillating Frequency: 28.800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 40 hours (+/- 5 %)
Balance spring: Nivarox flat spring
Shock protection: Incabloc
Calibre 39-47: 39 jewel bearings
Finely finished manufacture movement,
Glashütte three-quarter plate with stripe finish,
skeletonized rotor with 21-ct gold oscillation weight,
swan-neck fine adjustment,
beveled edges, polished steel parts.