Glashütte Original produces mostly classicly styled dress wristwatches. This is not in line with the current trends and that’s surely hurting their sales at a time when the workplace has gone more casual, and versatile watches that can be worn from the boardroom to the beach have become even more popular. The SeaQ collection shows that they’ve finally “given in,” so to speak, and created what more consumers want: a sports watch.
Glashütte Original is based in the same mountainside town as a rival watchmaker (Glashutte, Germany), A Lange & Sohne, who produces watches with a much higher level of finishing and price tag, and they too are still focused on purely dress/classic watches, barring the Datograph, which is the closest thing they have to a sports watch.
They’ve produced some interesting designs over the years, but none that I’ve actually said to myself: “I want that.” Making what consumers want is really the key to any consumer-targeted business, and while it’s hard to say if this watch will be a hit, at least it seems they’re trying to appeal to actual consumers.
The “Teutonic” German look is not for everybody. In my opinion, many Swiss and Japanese sports watches are just so much more appealing. It’s odd this is the case considering how gorgeous German cars are across the board, backed by very strong sales numbers. This watch is at least a major departure from that staid traditional German aesthetic, apart from the mechanical movements which were already in the existing lineup.
Moreover, I’ve seen numerous Langes in the wild, but I’ve never once seen anyone with a Glashütte Original on their wrist and cannot think of anyone I know who owns one. Perhaps the SeaQ will change that.
At Swatch Group’s inaugural #TimeToMove event (an alternative to Baselworld), Glashütte Original debuted three SeaQ models within a new line they call the “Spezialist” collection: SeaQ 1969 (39.5 mm x 12.15 mm), SeaQ (39.5 mm x 12.15 mm), and SeaQ Panorama Date (43.20 mm x 15.65 mm).
All three models come in a stainless steel case, with an option for a rubber tropical style strap, a textile strap, or a stainless steel bracelet on the SeaQ and SeaQ Panorama. All very good choices by the way.
The SeaQ 1969 and SeaQ are powered by caliber 39-11 and the Panorama model is powered by caliber 36-13.
Each watch has either a curved Galvanic sunray finished dial (black or blue) with large applied luminous Arabic numerals and indices and large luminous hour and minute hands. The second hand, with a lollipop midway towards the end of the hand, are similar on each, although on the Panorama the counterweight is the Glashutte logo, whereas the other models have a spade-shaped counterweight. The rotating dive bezels are shiny and black or blue depending on the dial color.
The biggest differentiation, between the regular and Panorama collection, beyond the movements, are the case size, the date window, and the Panorama has a more flush crown and no crown guards, whereas the regular SeaQ line has no crown guards and a more prominent crown.
With a price starting at $9,500 for the SeaQ and $12,280 for the SeaQ Panorama date, they are asking a lot, but at least it’s for something new, and perhaps more interesting than just the classical aesthetic.