Review: Glashutte Original Seventies
Someone's going to realise soon, and then it will be too late. What am I talking about? Glashutte Original's prices. Now here's a brand that, for all intents and purposes, is on a level with the likes of Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, yet they offer watches—like this Seventies, for example, which comes on a bracelet and has the stupendous calibre 39-47 in-house movement—for less than £8,000. Sure, that's not exactly pocket change, but for a watch of this quality, it's a veritable bargain. Let me explain why.
You may have heard of the law of diminishing returns. If you haven't, simply put it is a concept that suggests the more expensive something becomes, the less of an improvement it will yield. So a £1,000 watch is hugely better than a £100 one, but the quality of a £50,000 watch is virtually indistinguishable from a £45,000 one. The law takes affect quite early on, with the definition between a £15,000 watch and a £20,000 one being fairly indistinct. Take the Patek Philippe Nautilus as a benchmark; at £17,970, it is a marked improvement over a £5,000 Rolex Submariner in just about every aspect. Design, fit, finish, complexity—it's all superlative.
But here's where things get confusing. Sit the Seventies side by side with the Nautilus, and the £10,000 gap seems to vanish into nothing. The Glasutte Original lays the gauntlet down for the best value super high-end watch, and it goes unchallenged; you could even argue that the spec of the Seventies pips it just ahead of that seminal Patek Philippe. The big date complication, galvanised silver dial and impeccable attention to detail offers a bargain in a very lavish kind of way, an opportunity to sample the finest of horology without venturing into the arena where eye-watering money is spent.
But that doesn't really explain why it is so cheap. Well, I have a theory, and it centres around the name on the dial: Glashutte. The more geographically astute will know that Glashutte isn't in Switzerland, it's in Germany, and that presents a problem. Many people understandably subscribe to the idea that the best watches in the world come from Switzerland, and, generally speaking, they're right. But not this time. Glashutte is to Germany what Geneva is to Switzerland, a Mecca for fine watchmaking, home to the likes of A. Lange and Sohne, Nomos Glashutte, and of course, Glashutte Original. Yet, because of its lack of Swiss-centricity, Glashutte Original's pricing is kept refreshingly honest. My advice? Jump on it before people start to notice.
Watch Spec | Glashutte Original Seventies Panorama Date
Case: Stainless steel Dimensions: 40mm dia, 11.5mm thick Crystal: Synthetic sapphire Water Resistance: 100m Movement: Cal. 39-47, automatic Frequency: 28,800 vph Power Reserve: 40 hours Strap: Stainless steel Functions: Time, big date | Shop Now