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Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

When I first noticed the Sport Evolution watch collection a few years ago I felt as though it was Glashutte Original's take on making a fancier Rolex Submariner. While the Sport Evolution is a bit larger (by 2mm) the watches have a lot in common. Both are dive watches (though people rarely dive in either of them), though with different depth ratings (200 meters for the Sport Evolution, and 300 meters for the Submariner), have rotating bezels, nice steel bracelets, easy to read dials, and in-house made movements. Rolex of course is the leading champ among the two in terms of popularity and sales, but the Sport Evolution is a fine timepiece with a hell of an appeal to it. First, it is beautiful, very easy to live with, has more features than a Submariner, and is much more a timepiece for the watch enthusiast.

While Rolex makes its own movements, the caliber in the Submariner wouldn't really excite you to look at. While very durable and hardy, you won't find much decoration on it, or that zest that makes in-house movements so popular. Inside the Glashutte Original however, is a beautifully made and hand-decorated automatic that is visible through the well designed caseback window. It really adds a "wow factor" to the watch just to see this level of decoration on a dive style watch. Being the entry level Sport Evolution watch, the Panorama Date is fitted with a big date indicator. This complication is more... complex and desirable than Rolex's mere single disc based date indicator. The Sport Evolution further has an easy to operate micro-adjust feature for its bracelet. Newer Rolex Submariner watches are fitted with their Glide-Lock mechanism which serves the same purpose, but Rolex waiting until 2010 to place that feature in their steel Submariner models - so Glashutte Original beat them to it.

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Sport Evolution and Submariner aren't exactly competitors in the market (for the most part), but to me they are. A Glashutte watch is going to cost a little but more (from an MSRP standpoint) - but not that much more. And from a retail perspective you can probably get the Sport Evolution cheaper (and you can't really get Rolex discounts). While the Rolex is going to be a more durable watch in the long-term (most because of its legendary ability to age. along with its super hard movement), it isn't going to offer the same passionate level of ownership the sport Evolution can offer. The Rolex Submariner is a nice watch on all accords, but very common, hides no special secrets, and is very straight forward. The Sport Evolution is a connoisseurs' sport watch. Complete with a great design, movement, and appreciated horological pedigree from the popular German luxury brand. For me, the watch is like the Mercedes Benz of luxury dive watches. Totally Teutonic in character with a bold look and unforgiving style. Refined enough to be useful on a daily level, and deep-seeded with emotion that helps overcome occasional quirks in the design. In addition to this basic Panorama Date model, the Sport Evolution comes in a variety of models including, a chronograph, GMT, perpetual calendar, tourbillon, and a "sport impact" models that feature a suspended movement meant to withstand shock.

So let's get into the piece itself. I was lucky to personally acquire one of these, and pretty much adore the watch. In steel, the watch is 42mm wide, but wears big (meaning it feels a bit larger), and has one of the easiest to read dials I know of. This is due to almost perfect contrast between the hands and dial, along with large, easy to see hour indicators and hands. Some people might take issues with the blocky hands. At first I was concerned about them, given the lack of a precise tip on the minute hand, but reading it is very easy, and you can look closely to see where the middle of the minute hand is pointing. Discrete minute and seconds indicators around the periphery of the dial help with this (and also give the watch a more instrument-like look). The dial is beautiful, the black dial has a slight gloss to it and the dial has a very levels of elevation. Applied hour markers have polished steel around the edges and lume on the larger 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock indicators. They are large, and very easy to see. The ring where the hour indicators are applied slopes down a bit and has a slight concentric circle texturing to it. It is sloped to allow for the watch hands to not have to be raised to high on the dial. The chapter ring around the dial 'steps' up a bit creating an attractive slope that isn't a simple diagonal line.

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Red mixes very nicely with black and steel sport watches. You can see hints of red all over the dial without the color being overpowering. The numeric minute indicators are in red as well as the tip of the seconds hand. A tasteful Glashutte Original "double G" logo serves as the counterweight on the seconds hand and adds to the positive feeling of brand value in the watch. Glashutte Original calls their big date complication "Panorama Date." It just another name they like to use. The big date indicator on the dial is nicely placed and very easy to read. Having the additional complication on the dial immediately makes this something more than "just another nice sport watch." The polish on the dial glistens in the light. I love my luxury watches to shine a bit - you need a little bling in your life sometimes. Despite the glimmer, the watch remains easy to read - very hard combination of traits to find in a timepiece.

The 42mm wide case is very well polished, with contrasting mirror polished and brushed surfaces. Note the quality looking beveled edgings on places like the lugs. There is a large screwed-on crown guard which gives the watch a more durable feel. I like how the caseback of the watch is designed and secured via screws. Screws always look good on a watch, and Glashutte Original doesn't over do it here. The wrapped lugs make the watch fit very comfortably on the wrist. Even worn loose, it has no chance of slipping around your wrist accidentally. Like all dive watches, the case has a rotating diver's bezel. There are two versions for the Sport Evolution depending on the dial color. The silvered dial has an all steel engraved bezel, while the black dialed version has a more traditional printed aluminum insert style bezel. What you like really depends on your taste. With fancy bezels including ceramic ones becoming popular these days, aluminum insert bezels are becoming less popular (as they have a tendency to scratch over time). While the engraved bezel arguably looks higher in quality, you can't get it with the black dial version of the watch that I like better. Plus, the black bezel is easier to read. The watch bezel is easy to turn with 60 sure clicks, but isn't as secure as some discerning watch lover might expect. Not a big deal though. An interesting design note has the top of the bezel near the lume top smooth without and notches for grip when turning the bezel.

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Operating the Glashutte Original in-house made Caliber GO 39-42 is very nice. It winds as smoothly as an ETA 289X series movement (very smooth), and has a hack seconds function. The big date indicator features a true jumping mechanism ensuring that it will promptly switch over to the next date when the watch reaches midnight. Turn the watch over and you'll be able to see the movement. I am not going to go into every feature the caliber has. You can study Glashutte Original's website for more of that. The hand-assembled and decorated movement is just a pleasure to look at. I really like showing it off to people who are often new to fine watches. It really makes you feel as though you are holding something special when you know people slaved under microscopes to polish the stuff inside of it. The automatic rotor is engraved and skeletonized (it bears the double G brand logo), and has a segment of 21k gold in it to assist with weight. The movement is proudly made entirely in Glashutte Germany.

The bracelet on the Sport Evolution is a signature that this is a luxury watch. This Glashutte Original is not a light watch, but it is solid. A lot of the metal is in the bracelet, which features a cool gapless design. This means that you can't see your skin between the links. On the outside, you have an interesting design the hides a very complex construction. The Sport Evolution has an interesting choice of where to put polish. While the Submariner for example has always been known to have an all brushed bracelet, it's brother watch the GMT Master II has a bracelet with brushed links on the outside and a polished link on the inside. The Sport Evolution does the opposite of This. Thinner links on the outside have a mirror polish, while the larger inside link is brushed. It is a very fashionable choice, and purely cosmetic at this point. Look at the side of the bracelet and you'll see lots of screws that allude to the complex construction of the bracelet - which is quite comfortable on the wrist.

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The bracelet deployment clasp hides an interesting micro-adjust function, that can also operated as a diver's extension. It is actually operated via a button which you might not notice. The button is the double G logo on the bottom of the clasp. The metal is fitted so closely together (good) that you could easily miss it as being something you can press down. Pushing it allows the bracelet to open and close a bit to give you a good fit on the wrist. I love these type of adjusters because they allow you to easily and quickly adjust a watch while on your wrist in order to loosen or tighten the bracelet. The deployment is a fold-over style clasp that is push button operated. Not as secure as the double locking system on a Rolex Submariner - though it feels tight enough. One little issue is that even when the deployment clasp is fully closed, its design makes it look as though it is not all the way closed as it is not entirely flush with the bracelet. This is actually necessary to allow this section of the bracelet to have flexibility, but it could have been designed a bit better in my opinion for a watch at this price.

My overall feeling about the Glashutte Original Sport Evolution watch is very positive. A beautiful watch, it is also a great timepiece. What do I mean? In a nutshell, it looks and works well. Coming from a great brand, it has a solid timeless design, and a personality that can compliment just about anyone. For me, this is an underdog winner in the luxury diver watch department - and an item easily worth saving up for. Retail price is $8,900, but can be found for less via most retailers.

See Glashutte Original Watches on eBay here.Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

See Glashutte Original watches on Amazon here.Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews
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About the Author

Fueled by an unshakable love for horology and a general curiosity for intricate things, Ariel Adams founded aBlogtoWatch in 2007 as a means of sharing his passion. Since then, ABTW has become the highest trafficked blog on luxury timepieces, and Ariel has become a contributor to other online publications such as Forbes, Departures and Tech Crunch, to name just a few. His conversational writing style and inclusive attitude brings a wider appreciation for watches the world over, and that's just the way he likes it.

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  • James

    “While the Submariner for example has always been known to have a polished middle link”.

    No Subs have PCL.

  • Sharp watch! I like the way the end links are a nice termination of the bracelet although they don’t look like they integrate with the case as well as I’d expect for a watch of that price range.

    • The connection between the case and the bracelet is actually quite tight.

  • Side to side they look snug. But there’s a gap between the curved edges of the case and the curved edge of the end link that shows up in the video when you wiggle them and in the 1st picture also. Not that I’m hating on the watch, I’m just surprised. I think your point about the Rolex movement not being attractive is interesting, btw. Maybe that’s why they don’t use exhibition casebacks.

  • Dean Grant Baker

    The bracelet is poorly fitted to the case.

    • haha! So this is the legacy of the review?

  • Dean Grant Baker

    Glashutte Original is NOT a “high-end watch”.

    What nerd “opens their pants”.

    “In house” my buttocks.

    You’re telling me GO “manufactures” their own balance spring?

    • There is a handful of balance spring makers on the planet. You can still be considered to make in-house movements if you don’t make every single part. That is more a discussion in vertical integration.

  • Dean Grant Baker

    It’s an SWATCH/ETA in a brand that’s been around for less than six years.

  • Dean Grant Baker

    At BEST it is VERY deceptive and dishonest marketing and at WORST it is an outright lie.

    It is FAR more the latter than the former.

    • I appreciate your interest in the matter, and I think you should look into it more. But I also think you are being a bit hard on GO. Not all “in-house movements” are made the same, but there is an agreed upon meaning for what that is. Really unsure what your standards/expectations are – you should set those out first before making such claims.

  • Dean Grant Baker

    An analogy:

    It is the same thing as buying a “high-end” car; Let’s pick Ferrari, for no particular reason, so I pay a premium on my Ferrari only to open the hood and see a Hyundai engine that’s been re-badged, they swapped out the valve covers and had the cheap sparkplugs pulled out for platinum.

  • WatchMark

    DB,

    Hyundai actually makes good cars and engines, though, I do agree that Glashutte is nothing special. Lange and Rolex, for example, crush the GO in every way. In fact, Glashutte tries to claim that they have the rights to the Glashutte legacy, but how can two companies share this? Blancpain, Breguet, Omega…. and others have a place in this world, just not sure of Glashutte’s place. Definitely cheaper than a true Lange, but still overpriced.

  • Jonathan

    Though I am not inclined to reprimand GO for sparingly using the phrase “in house movement”, I am however vexed that the watch only has 200m water resistance for a price-tag of $8900. An appropriate allusion would be the Breitling Superocean Steelfish on my wrist at the current; 2000m water resistance, ETA movement and steel bracelet. Though it does not have the “micro adjuster”, I think GO is treading in dangerous water with their “sport” concept watch. Perhaps they should 1) lower their price, 2) stick to watches not designed for sport specific functions. Plus, the relative short tenure of GO in the watch world does not bolster a watch aficionado’s confidence in using the timepiece as a true sport watch.

  • steve

    Thank you for a very nice article and video.

  • Charles De Gull

    G.O makes a fine in house movement. Swatch ownership means nothing in this matter. I suppose if it had an ETA movement DGB would be happier. Clearly he hasn’t had the pleasure of owning a G.O as I have. Maybe he has a Timex, and is darned proud of it.

  • Adam Craniotes

    Any true WIS wouldn’t cast aspersions on GO’s claims to the past or the quality of their movements (all of which qualify as in-house by any reasonable definition of the term). Their dial work and case finishing are up there with the best of the best, and even a true dive watch aficionado such as myself has to admit that a humble Submariner suffers in pretty much every way when placed next to a Sport Evolution. How can commit such heresy to the written word? Easy — I own both a Submariner 16800 matte-dial and a DSSD, neither of which are a match for the Sport Evo when it comes to pure WIS street cred. With the exception of depth rating (and folks, I’m sorry to tell you, but 200M is plenty for recreational diving), the Sport Evo bests them both in terms of case finishing, dial work, bracelet (the gap is closing now that Glidelock is here, but the Sport Evo still has the edge), and of course, movement.

    Oh, and as for the Sport Evo GMT, which I recently picked up… Let’s just say that the Rolex GMT-IIc doesn’t hold a candle to it.

    Bottom line: When you want to start talking about watches that compare to GO, you’ve got to forget about a pedestrian marque like Rolex, and start looking at JLC and up (yup, I own a couple of those as well).

    Regards,
    Adam

    PS – Breitling should never, ever be mentioned in the same breath as GO (and yes, I have a B-1 SuperQuartz).

    • GO_Original

      Finally at least some one knwos what they are talking about…even comparing Rolex in the same breath as a GO is absurd.

  • bram72

    Great review i love the watch

    Ive been looking around for a nice steel bracelet watch, and in this pricerange there is nothing better
    mine will arive in two weeks cant wait

    Greetings Bram

  • bram72

    meeh i bought it but i dont like the watch
    sometimes when there light on the watch it looks like a tag heur or something
    im trading it to the new sub have to take a big loss or keep a watch i dont like
    expensive lesson always try before you buy

  • nuvolari

    Why Glashutte Original stopped making this watch?