Review – Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar, A Saxon Icon
The Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar was originally presented in the early 2000s and its most recent update was unveiled in 2015. Since then, and together with its hand-wound sister the PanoReserve, it has become one of the icons of the brand. Straightforward, efficient with Saxonian poetry, it stands out with its clear graphics and elegant aesthetics. Today, we review this handsome complication watch, which perfectly defines the German School of Watchmaking and, more precisely, the DNA of Glashütte Original.
Watches made in Germany are often instantly recognizable for their functional, minimal design and for the appreciation of a long-lasting watchmaking tradition. Well, the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar is distinctly German, and quintessentially Saxon. The first thing to catch the eye is its meticulous design and an impression of mechanical integrity. Everything seems highly functional, yet despite its numerous indications, it looks balanced, perfectly structured and crafted with exacting precision. To soften this overall practical impression, the moon face indication brings a pretty touch of poetry.
The dial stands out with its clear graphic, decentralized layout and galvanic finish with stunning shades. This dial really needs to be experienced in the metal and in various light conditions, as it properly catches the ambient light and reflects it in various shades – from cold blue tones to warm yellow hues. Only galvanic treatments can provide this metallic but playful renders – which won’t be the case of a classical varnished or lacquered dial.
On the PanoMaticLunar, time indications are on one side and astronomic indication – moon and date – on the other. The sub-dials for the hours/minutes and seconds feature a fine concentric guilloche pattern (known as azurage for those eager to build their French watchmaking vocabulary). The elegant applied markers are highly legible. The graceful bevels framing the moon phase indicator and the large date window are a nice detail. Glashütte Original manufactures their own dials and these are indeed impeccable. The Alpha-type hands for the hours and minutes are blued steel and inlaid with luminescent material.
The main attraction of the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar this deconstructed layout, immediately recognizable as Saxon. Inspired by antique pocket watches, this display – which is also the base for the PanoReserve – might be a bit disturbing at first for people used to central hands, however, it provides excellent legibility of all indications and highly participates to the unique and desirable style of the watch.
Turning the PanoMaticLunar over, a sapphire exhibition case back offers a nice view of the superb automatic calibre 90-02. This large micro-rotor movement can store up to 42 hours of energy when fully wound. It features off-centered hours and minutes, a small second, a large date (the Panorama datum and its outstanding legibility thanks to two concentric discs placed on the same level) and the moon phase indication.
The movement of the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar, compared to the sleek case and dial, is rather demonstrative and richly decorated, with stripes on the three-quarter plate. The micro-rotor is skeletonized with a double G logo. It features a 21k gold weight. The angles are nicely chamfered, the steel parts polished, the screws blued and the balance bridge is hand-engraved and gilded. But above all, there is this superb regulator with what Glashütte Original calls “Duplex Swan Neck Regulator”. This makes clearer why GO watchmakers opted for a micro-rotor which is unusually large by the way. This allows for a more compact construction and it never hides this superb regulator.
From a technical standpoint, the system incorporates two “swan necks” for fine adjustment of the beat and of the rate (on each swan neck a micrometric screw allows for high-precision adjustment). The balance is built in the traditional style, with screws, and it operates at a modern rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
A number of factors affect the functioning of a watch. Focusing on two of the main elements, watchmakers need to adjust the beat and the rate. To set a watch in beat means that the length of the ticks and the tocks shall not differ. To do so, watchmakers move the stud (where the outer end of the hairspring is fixed) thus changing the centering of the balance wheel. To adjust the rate, watchmakers slide the regulator that determines the active length of the hairspring (except for free-sprung balance wheels) – read our technical perspective about the regulating organ of a watch here.
The calibre 90.02 of the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar is housed in a well-proportioned case with elongated curved lugs. 40 mm in diameter, it wears well even on relatively small wrists although it is rather thick – which is explained by the pillar architecture used by GO for the movement, a solid but thicker solution. Fashioned out of stainless steel, it blends nicely polished and brushed surfaces. The knurled crown is emblazoned with the brand logo. The case is paired with is a semi-gloss black alligator strap secured with a folding buckle.
There is a lot to enjoy with the PanoMaticLunar. This handsome watch feels functional, sharp and elegant, and at the same time, it provides a lot of mechanical pleasure and the undeniable Saxon charm. And at EUR 9,800, it is a really attractive package with excellent finishing for this price range. It is also available with a blue or anthracite dial, as well as with a steel bracelet or an 18k red gold case.
For more information or to discover the other versions of the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar, please visit www.glashuette-original.com.
Technical specifications – Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar
- Case: 40mm diameter x 12.70mm height – 20mm lug width – stainless steel case, polished and brushed – sapphire crystal – sapphire caseback – 5 ATM / 50 m water resistant
- Movement: calibre 90-02, in-house produced – automatic winding (micro-rotor) – 32.60mm x 7mm – 42h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – 47 jewels – hours, minutes, small seconds, large date and moon phase indication. Stop second mechanism.
- Strap: alligator leather strap with folding buckle
- Price: EUR 9,800
- Reference: 1-90-02-42-32-05
I’ve always listed after a Lange 1, but in the high teens, low twenties (USD) for a basic used time and date model they’re unattainable for most of us. This offers the same dial type at just over $11,600 USD brand new. Need to start saving those pennies!
The balance between the dial elements is ruined by enlarging the case diameter. If you compare this to the first edition, the difference is distinct.
This is a lovely watch, but can anyone explain why on earth GO put all those words on the dial????? Do they think we don’t recognize the date complication or the moonphase and they have to label them???
I don’t think there any other watch with such a caliber at this price level. I have to say the caliber is beyond superb and is usually reserved to much more expensive watches. the caliber on the panoreserve is even more beautiful as it is a hand wound one and you get to see more. The panoreserve is probably my next Glashutte which would fit perfectly with the Senator Observer and the Senator Automatic I’m lucky to own.
I think it’s because the dial would look very empty without them. I’m sure it’s a pure aesthetics concern as their presence is only to balance the dial. Try to picture the dial without it might indeed look empty.
Lange 1 for example has the dopplefederhaus written on the dial which I’m sure is to balance the dial. Also on a Lange 1, the power reserve indicator takes a larger place and is not kind of confined within a space or a triangle like the moonphase for the glashutte panomaticlunar or the power reserve for the panoreserve, hence no need for the Lange 1 to add another inscription on the dial.
I agree with you that they look odd, although for a non German speaking person, I think they add a bit of poetry, mystery and traditon to the dial which I quite like.
Also the 2 subdials for hours and minutes for lange1 are diagonal to each other which covers a lot of dial space and requires less writings. For the Glashutte the subdials are aligned leaving a lot of space to the right to be filled hence the need for inscriptions.