Plunging outside the regular pool of high-brow watches inspired by the traditional German school of watchmaking, Glashütte Original surprised us with the launch of a vintage-inspired dive watch in 2019. The progenitor of the watch was derived from Christened Seq. The brand’s history traces back to the state-run Glashätter Uhrenbetreib (GUB) chapter and the 1969 Spezimatic. First and foremost a dive watch, all SeaQ models meet the ISO 6425 diver’s standard. The more luxurious branch of the CQ family is presented in a more contemporary 43.2mm case with superior finishes, 300m water-resistance and the brand’s signature panorama date. This high-end branch of the Specialist family was chosen to house the new chronograph complication. Meet the versatile and robust all-terrain watch with a beautiful dark blue dial featuring a new Seq chronograph, anti-magnetic movement, 300m water resistance, flyback chronograph and the brand’s signature panorama date.
Diver and Chrono in one
Dive watches with chronograph functions became popular in the mid-1960s and were becoming coveted tool watches for those who wanted the practicality of a chronograph combined with the sturdiness of a dive watch. One of the challenges the GO design team faced was incorporating a flyback chronograph without compromising the impressive 300m (ISO 6425 and DIN 8306-approved) water-resistance of the CQ’s 43.2mm case. Using a derivative of the high-end automatic integrated flyback chronograph movement (caliber 37) developed by GO, the brand’s previous developments for a water-resistant case provide a robust, shock-proof environment for such a sophisticated movement. For one, the case should be shock-resistant and withstand drops from a height of one meter. To prevent buckling or warping of the dial or blocking of the hands, GO designers inserted a hollow hexagonal socket screw above the hand shafts, fixing the dial to the plate before mounting the hands. You can read all about the tests done on the watch in Bryce’s article.
To ensure a uniform oscillation of the balance in each position and when the chronograph is running, the balance is given more space, gaining a few degrees worth of dispersion. The flyback function, which allows users to simultaneously reset and restart the chronograph by pressing a single button, is more advanced than a regular chronograph. Furthermore, the CQ chronograph has maintained the signature panorama date, now positioned at 6 o’clock. To improve user-friendliness, the crown in position 1 winds the automatic movement, position 2 fixes the date and position 3 sets the time while stopping the second hand. This means there is no date corrector on the side of the case to compromise water-resistance.
Stainless steel case
Like the 1969 Spezimatic that influenced the CQ design, the CQ chronograph case features integrated lugs, sharp, taut angles and the circular-brushed surfaces of the original. Given the premier status of the 43.2mm models, brushed surfaces are contrasted with polished bevels. As a certified diver, the unidirectional rotating bezel features a 60-minute diving scale and a dark blue ceramic inlay. The fluted and polished screw-down crown is protected by discreet crown guards and surrounded by octagonal-shaped pushers.
Dark blue dial
The CQ Chronograph’s domed handmade dial is dark blue (PVD) with a refined sunray-brushed finish. The distortions and exaggerated slope of the peripheral minutes/seconds track are due to the box-shaped sapphire crystal glass that protects the dial. Harking back to the Spezimatic’s design features are the oversized Arabic numerals (even numbers) and baton markers and a maxi arrow hand for the minutes. To distinguish it from vintage Sequ, the indices are framed and applied to the dial, not printed.
The 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and the running seconds at 9 o’clock have some indices cut out and are darker than the dial and decorated with a snail. Now sitting at 6 o’clock, the brand’s signature panorama date has a beveled rectangular opening and a dark blue background with white numerals to match the dial. As a high-performance dive watch, the hour, minute and running seconds hands, the triangle on the dial and the indices are coated with Super-LumiNova.
This sophisticated automatic flyback chronograph movement – the Caliber 37-23 – is a derivative of the in-house Caliber 37 launched in 2014, omitting the 12-hour counter and power reserve indicator. This in-house integrated column-wheel flyback chronograph movement, which appeared on the traditional Senator line and Seventies Chronograph Panorama date, is a milestone in the history of the brand. A silicon balance spring provides increased resistance to magnetic fields, consolidating its credentials into a resilient sports watch.
Flipping the watch over, the sapphire caseback reveals a skeletonized rotor with a solid gold mass adorned with the hallmark Glasshoot stripes. The classic three-quarter plate, with all moving parts, adds stability and is also decorated with glaucette stripes. With a frequency of 4Hz, the movement offers a robust power reserve of 70 hours.
Four different straps are available: a dark blue rubber strap, a stainless steel bracelet, and two synthetic fabric straps made from recycled fishing nets in gray or blue.
Availability & Price
The SeaQ Chronograph will be available in Glashütte Original Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide from October 2022. Models retail with rubber or synthetic fabric straps with a pin buckle EUR 14,100 (additional EUR 300 for a folding clasp); CQ Chronograph with Steel Bracelet for EUR 15,300. For more information, please visit glashuette-original.com.