I’ve long held that when it comes to watches, there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. The same holds true for movies, television, music, or anything else. It’s OK to like what you like, guilt free. Life is too short to feel bad about the things that bring you joy. Still, when it comes to watches, there are references that we’re drawn to in spite of our better judgment. We know it won’t fit well on our wrists, or the dial is a color that looks great on an iPhone screen but would be hard to pull off day to day (if you care about “pulling it off,” but that’s a whole separate topic). For me, the Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph has always fallen into this category. It’s a case shape I know well and while I like it aesthetically, on my wrist it doesn’t make a lot of sense. And GO is fond of releasing them in aggressive colors that have, to say the least, a love it or hate it quality about them. Still, they’re charming and evocative, and whenever a new one comes along, I find myself glancing at it a little too intently.
The new watch we’re looking at today is the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date in what Glashütte Original calls Fab Green. Yes, Fab Green. Because why not? The design of the case is, as the name of the watch implies, meant to recall 1970s design, and while I can’t speak to any particular connection between the color green and the Disco Era, blessedly before my time, the particular degradé effect on this dial is certainly calls to mind certain dials of the era. This was a time period when bold color choices were the norm, and this style of smokey dial finishing was in vogue with certain manufacturers. For this edition, GO has gone with a lacquer finish, which ought to give the dial a certain sense of depth in person. The tone of the green is surprisingly (I guess) flat – it’s certainly a more subdued color than the yellow version of this watch we saw last year. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it versatile, but it’s a step in that direction.
Glashütte Original’s Calibre 37-02 powers the watch, and it has some quirks worth pointing out that, again, feel part and parcel with the 70s inspiration. It’s a flyback chronograph with a 30 minute display at the 3:00 position, and a numeric 12 hour display under the brand’s wordmark at 12:00. We also get a power reserve indicator within the running seconds register, and the brand’s signature big date near 6:00. There’s a lot of practicality built into a somewhat unusual format, which is a huge part of this watch’s appeal. The combination of flyback capability, a numerical chronograph hours display, and a big date also make this watch genuinely complicated, packing a ton of mechanical ingenuity into a $13,400 package.
Then there’s the case. Measuring 40 x 40mm, it’s a big stainless steel square that you’ll want to try on before making a commitment to. There’s nothing at all objectionable about it, but its unusual proportions will either make it sing on your wrist be an instant turnoff. If you can handle it, though, it definitely makes a statement. The watch can be had on your choice of a leather or rubber strap, or an integrated stainless steel bracelet.
The Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date is available now through Glashütte Original’s network of authorized dealers and boutiques. Glashütte Original