The Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date engenders a sense of nostalgia, evoking memories of when platform heels were all the rage and the Mercedes SL Pagoda was the stuff of schoolboy dreams. Recently, Angus Davies was granted the opportunity to spend a few days with this fascinating chronograph.
There comes a point when several sprigs of grey hair appear atop a middle-aged head. It is often at this moment there is a desire to look back at one’s salad days, a period when moments were bathed in optimism and most of life’s journey had yet to be travelled. This is manifest with the number of pop bands from the 80s choosing to do revival tours, engaging with former fans, the so-called fiftysomethings. The overwhelming desire to relive the best years will be familiar to many people of my generation.
In my youth, I lacked the pecuniary means to buy the cars of my dreams. Now, as a ‘mature’ gentleman, I can afford to purchase some of the cars I once craved as a child. The only problem is that such cars often lack the refinements we have grown accustomed to with modern vehicles. For example, drum brakes have been supplanted by disc brakes, cars now have ABS braking and provide superior levels of safety. Put simply, retro styling is often accompanied by out of date technology.
Glashütte Original has looked to the past and produced a range of models imbued with a dose of retro charm. However, where these watches are superior to their vintage forebears is that they also encompass the benefits of modern-day watchmaking. For example, the mainplate and three-quarter plate are made using state of the art CNC machines, capable of milling metal to tolerances of just a few microns. Recently, I had the opportunity to don a tank top and a pair of flares and enjoy some ‘hands-on’ time with the Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date.
Over the last few years, I have worn several timepieces from Glashütte Original and I have never been anything less than impressed. The brand’s dials, made in its own in-house facility, are beautifully executed and the blue vista presented on this version of the Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date proves no exception. Both the sunburst decoration and snailing are subtle and tasteful.
The incorporation of the power-reserve indicator within the lefthand counter and the unusual 12-hour chronograph register, heighten the overall appeal of the dial. However, no elements detract from efficiently imparting the time. Quite simply, the display also proves eminently legible. I am also very fond of the Panorama Date which converses with the wearer intelligibly.
Perhaps it’s a function of my upbringing, but I appreciate products which convey a sense of worth. The Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date has a welcome heft, suggesting a high degree of value. Moreover, wherever you look there are numerous refined details and an overriding sense of quality.
The Manufactory has been at pains to point out that it has adopted a simplified column wheel mechanism. I must be honest, I found the pushpiece feel to be very agreeable and comparable with many other watches featuring a column wheel and lateral clutch or vertical clutch. Furthermore, there are a myriad of additional mechanical refinements which heighten the overall ownership experience.
The TV-style dial/case combination may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love it. The watch embraces retro styling, but incorporates the technical refinements of a modern-day timepiece. Indeed, the best analogy I can think of is a 1970s Mercedes SL Pagoda with ABS, traction control and a satellite navigation system. In my opinion, that sounds like a mouthwatering ownership proposition.