In 2019, when German watchmaker Glashütte Original released its first SeaQ models, it marked a break from the brand’s more elegant, dressier timepieces. GO hadn’t put a rotating bezel on a watch in recent memory, and the new model came along at the peak of the vintage reissue craze. Were it not for the fact that GO introduced the SeaQ as part of a brand new, fifth permanent collection, one would have been forgiven for thinking the brand was just hitting on a hot trend. In the intervening three years, though, the brand has demonstrated its commitment to the Spezialist collection with an expansion of its dive watch offerings, and now has further grown the line with the addition of the Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph.
There’s nothing new about combining a chronograph and a dive bezel. In the late sixties, as watches tool watches became more and more popular, brands like Hamilton, Longines, and Doxa (among many others) started combining the two functionalities. The dual-style design has been popular, in waves, ever since. While there’s no indication that GO actually made a SeaQ chronograph in the 1960s (as it did the SeaQ diver), this watch is rooted in vintage watch design. The broad arrow minute hand, the stubby hour hand, and the hour markers (especially the open ‘6’) are taken directly from the 1969 Spezimatic Type RP TS 200 that inspired the SeaQ diver. The rhodium-plated applied hour markers and handset both feature Super-LumiNova. Two stepped subdials with grooving offer running seconds (at 9 o’clock) and 30-minute chronograph counter (at 3 o’clock). Take note of the lumed lollipop hand on the running seconds; including this allows the watch to meet ISO 6425 and DIN 8306 requirements for proper dive watches. The flyback chronograph hand (“flyback” meaning it can be reset without stopping the timer) is polished to match the hands and features the GO logo as a counterweight. OF particular note is the inclusion of GO’s Panorama Date at 6 o’clock, which features two concentrically mounted wheels that allow the display of the date on a single plane. This has been moved from its 4 o’clock position on the diver, lest it clutter or encroach upon the subdials. Underpinning everything is a brilliant PVD blue dial with a sunburst finish.
It’s not just the dial that pulls from vintage designs, though. While the 43.2mm case is undeniably modern in its attention to detail and finishing, the skin diver profile (defined by the squared-off lug box and uncomplicated faceting) and the pump pushers both harken back to watches popular in the ’60s and ’70s. Those designs have seen a resurgence of late, and GO has undoubtedly added a bit of its own taste to the model. The brushed top and sides are separated by a polished chamfer, while the pump pushers feature polygonal caps and the screw-down crown has the GO logo and helps the watch to achieve an impressive 300m water resistance rating. Further, the unidirectional bezel features a blue ceramic insert to match the dial, with a lumed triangle at the top. Furthering the vintage look is the domed sapphire crystal. That dome does come at a price though: the watch is a staggering 16.95mm thick, less than ideal for all but the largest wrists. For the 21mm lugs, the Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph comes with the buyer’s option rubber, a blue or grey synthetic strap made from recycled fishing nets with either a pin buckle or deployant closure, or a steel bracelet with a folding clasp and a toolless micro-adjustment mechanism (to adjust the fit, all one needs to do is push the double-G logo on the clasp—voila!).
On proud display through a sapphire caseback is the in-house Glashütte Original Calibre 37-23. This is exactly what you expect from Glashütte Original: striped 3/4 plate, swan neck regulator, and bimetallic oscillating weight with the double-G logo. The in-house movement features an impressive 70-hour power reserve while beating at 28,800 vph. Almost every component is made in-house, save for the silicon hairspring and a few other components requiring extremely precise manufacturing. This is an exceptional in-house, integrated column-wheel flyback chronograph, and appears just as attractive in photos as the dial.
It’s encouraging to see a brand not known for tool watches continue to commit to a sports watch line like the Spezialist collection. Glashütte Original has managed to infuse classic tool watch design with its exceptional finishing without making sacrifices to either. That said, Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph is a large watch, and will likely verge on unwearable for many. For those few who can manage such dimensions, it looks like a beautiful option. The Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph is priced from $13,600 to $14,800, depending on strap selection. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.