Introduced in 2019, the Spezialist collection brought a new breed of highly capable sports watches to Glashütte Original. The collection is split between vintage-inspired pieces with the SeaQ and SeaQ 1969, and contemporary references within the SeaQ Panorama Date series. Today, we take a closer look at the SeaQ Panorama Date and the all-new in-house testing procedures Glashütte Original implemented to assure real-world performance meets refinement in these new models.
The SeaQ Panorama Date is a multifaceted timepiece that merges distinctly different watchmaking disciplines while maintaining the manufactory’s exemplary dedication to their execution. For one, it is a most elaborately crafted watch that displays Glashütte Original’s case-, dial- and movement finishing techniques in their every detail. These trademark levels of refinement are now combined with the sort of robustness and sports-capabilities whose return to Glashütte Original has been highly anticipated by the watch enthusiast community.
While the exquisitely decorated Glashütte Original Manufactory Calibre 36-13 is revealed through the sapphire crystal caseback, the 300m/1000ft designation on the galvanic blue dial serves as an ample reminder to the robust construction of the SeaQ Panorama Date. To test the SeaQ collection’s claims to durability and dependability, a host of rigorous new testing procedures have been introduced, and these we will discover in great detail shortly.
Glashütte Original is, beyond its numerous horological achievements and competences, celebrated for its unique ability to balance between elements of refinement specific to Saxon watchmaking, and strongpoints relevant to one’s everyday lives, such as versatility and functionality, wearing comfort, robustness and, last but not least, perpetuity in aesthetics.
At this point, the versatile nature and comfortable fit of a well-designed sports-diving watch like the SeaQ is well understood within the global community of watch enthusiasts. The SeaQ Panorama Date stands out exactly through its blending of engineered robustness and functionality with Glashütte Original’s pre-eminent focus on quality of execution.
For each of its watches, the manufactory promises the highest quality in terms of precision, stability, running time and timelessly beautiful design. To this end, the Senator Excellence line and now also the SeaQ Panorama Date models fitted with the Calibre 36 in-house movement undergo a comprehensive 24-day test that is even more thorough than the stringent German Chronometer test. Following this 24-day test, the new SeaQ Panorama Date diver’s watch then undergoes additional, newly introduced testing for water resistance.
Safeguarded by a combination of delicately finished stainless steel, specially curved sapphire crystal and a bezel insert in especially scratch-resistant ceramic, the 43.20mm wide SeaQ Panorama Date is engineered, tested and certified to withstand pressures up to 30 bars — which is equivalent to 300 meters deep under water.
To support this claim, the SeaQ Panorama Date is a DIN and ISO certified diver’s watch that meets the most rigorous German, as well as international quality standards. Glashütte Original has dedicated uncompromised attention to implementing a set of excessively detailed testing procedures to ensure the collection lives up to these standards not only in design and construction but on an individual basis, as well. Let us now discover the exact in-house quality control tests that each and every SeaQ Panorama Date that leaves the Saxon manufactory has passed with flying colors.
First, let us focus on the 24-day excellence test that every Calibre 36 watch undergoes. After the exact time is set, the subjected watches are moved with a rotating device into different positions over the course of 24 hours; the allowed rate deviation is in line with the DKD Deutsche Kalibrierdienst’s (German Calibration Service’s) chronometer requirement of -4 and +6 seconds. The following 12 days are dedicated to the rate (accuracy) tests in six positions — the watch spends two days in each position, including the seldom-checked “numeral 12 up” position.
This is followed by the 3-day temperature test, for fluctuations in temperature are known to affect the accuracy of mechanical watches. The performance of every subjected watch is therefore tested over the course of 72 hours at 8°, 23°, and 38° centigrade. Following the first 16 days is a rate stability and overall running time test, where the latter is monitored for 5 days in the “dial-up” position: the watches are expected to deliver at least 100 hours of running time.
On the penultimate day of the test, first water resistance is tested, this time merely to a pressure of 5 bars to check all seals are intact and functional. Both over- and under-pressure are created under a vacuum bell. The final steps of the excellence test include a close examination of the timepiece, focusing on its appearance and functionality, ensuring that all surfaces are flawless and all crown and bezel functions are working exactly as intended.
It is only after all this attention — and the successful passing of each and every test — that the next chapter of quality control procedures may begin for the SeaQ Panorama Date. This model has earned its very own, proprietary test process, newly introduced precisely to ensure that each and every SeaQ Panorama Date meets its design criteria of maximum reliability and durability.
The first step is called the “entry condensation test.” Here, the SeaQ Panorama Date is heated to 40-45°C for 30 minutes, then covered with a cold, wet piece of felt. This is done to attract any and all humidity that might be inside the case, which would show up as condensation on the inside surface of the crystal. If no condensation appears, the watch is in conformance with the relevant standard and may now enter the actual testing phase.
First, the SeaQ Panorama Date is exposed to an underpressure of -0.2 bar, simulating the use of the timepiece at high altitudes, such as in the mountains or onboard an airplane. This tests the construction’s ability to contain the excess pressure inside the watch. Then, each watch is tested at an overpressure that is 125% of their rated pressure. In other words, the SeaQ Panorama Date that is rated to 30 bar (i.e. 300 meters deep) is in fact tested to 37.5 bar (375 meters). This isn’t the last time a pressure test is performed, but it is notable that on this occasion an air pressure chamber is used, free of water. Essentially, this is done to test the subjected timepieces in a non-destructive way: should the sophisticated machine sense any leak within the watch, it would shut the test off and the unharmed watch could easily be checked and updated as per necessary.
This test is followed by a yet more sensitive test, one that tests the seals and construction of the SeaQ Panorama Date on a truly microscopic level. The mass flow rate test relies on a special device that generates a pressure of 2 bar on the watch to then determine exactly how much air has entered the timepiece. The measurement is accurate to 0,00005 grams — that is 5 millionth of a gram. This excessively accurate test is performed on every watch and it is done to get the most exacting analysis on the perfection of the fit and seal between every external component of the SeaQ Panorama Date.
It is only after these tests that the uncompromising water overpressure test may commence. To ensure no unsightly residue finds its way onto the watches, distilled water is used in a remarkably robust machine chamber that is capable of increasing the water pressure within to intimidating heights; for every SeaQ Panorama Date is tested not only with air, but also with water to the 125% of its maximum rated overpressure. That is 37.5 bar overpressure of distilled water pressing against every surface of the SeaQ Panorama Date with an absolutely immense force. Every piece performs this gargantuan task with ease and gets to enjoy a second phase of the test at a much-reduced overpressure of just 0.3 bar.
The exterior of the SeaQ Panorama Date then gets dried through rotation under a curtain of air. This ensures that no moisture remains on the watch as it begins the final step. This extremely demanding and thorough test is wrapped up with a final condensation test, as all the watches are heated once again to 40-45°C for 30 minutes. A piece of wet felt is once again placed over the front sapphire crystal — if no condensation appears, then the watch has not only passed this one test but also the mighty 37.5 bar water pressure test, having allowed not a droplet of water inside its stainless steel, ceramic and sapphire crystal exterior.
As a consequence of this outstanding effort and dedication to excessive quality-control, every SeaQ Panorama Date ranks among the most rigorously tested, tried and proven timepieces — even before it was to leave the Saxon manufactory.
Designed to be ideal for everyday wear and engineered inside and out for uncompromised reliability, the SeaQ Panorama Date is the latest prime example to display Glashütte Original’s ability and dedication to merging form and function with excellence. The SeaQ line within the Spezialist collection is making its debut at Glashütte Original boutiques and partners with this October. To see the SeaQ collection first hand, you may find the closest Glashütte Original boutique on glashuette-original.com.
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