Moon-phase watches are the most popular and poetic of astronomical complications. Considered more of an aesthetic choice than a complication of any intrinsic utility, a moon-phase watch offers watchmakers a window to exercise their creativity. At Glashütte Original, colour and texture are often used to exalt the beauty of our celestial neighbour. This is certainly the case of this PanoMatic Luna ladies’ model embellished with a powder blue mother-of-pearl dial, diamonds and the iconic off-centred layout and Panorama date of the Pano collection.
The first thing that will strike many women are the large dimensions of the stainless steel case. Measuring almost 40mm in diameter (39.40mm to be exact) with a thickness of 12mm, it is almost as large as the gent’s model (which is 40mm). But there is a very good reason for this. As you know, this PanoMatic moon phase exists in both men’s and women’s versions but with slightly different appellations – the men’s is the PanoMaticLunar, while the women’s is PanoMatic Luna. We recently covered a limited-edition PanoMaticLunar for men with a gorgeous salmon dial.
Instead of dumbing-down the watch with a quartz movement, GO gives women the same top-notch mechanics in a more feminine package. In fact, both men’s and women’s PanoMatic moon-phase watches share the same automatic movement and the same off-centred layout of the elements on the dial. And a woman who loves watches, it’s something I really applaud.
The crown of the PanoMatic Luna is a very different shape from the men’s version and is set with a brilliant-cut diamond matching the 64 brilliant diamonds set in the bezel. However, what truly distinguishes the PanoMatic Luna collection are the captivating mother-of-pearl dials. You might remember having seen this watch in other tones of mother-of-pearl, this one in white with red rubies and this one in dark Tahitian mother-of-pearl with diamonds.
As one of the few brands to have its own dial manufactory – located in Pforzheim – the mother-of-pearl dial, measuring a wafer-thin 0.4mm was crafted entirely in-house. The light blue colour is achieved by painting the back of the white base with a layer of lacquer. The scales are printed directly on the delicate surface and the apertures for the moon phase indicator and double date window carved into the nacre. Mother-of-pearl is an organic material harvested from the innermost layer of specific seashells. Working with nacre is extremely tricky given its brittle, uneven nature and propensity to crack when pressure is applied.
The pale blue mother-of-pearl chosen for this dial glows with its natural pearly iridescence to create an ever-changing landscape. Depending on the light, the colour of the dial will change from baby blue with pink blushes to a more intense silvery blue. Given the natural irregularity of the surface of mother-of-pearl, you can see miniature cloud formations in the nacre.
Arranged in classic off-centred and asymmetrical Glashütte Original fashion, the overall effect is one of remarkable harmony and balance. To achieve this, the various displays are positioned on the dial according to the Golden Ratio, the law of aesthetic harmony that has been used in architecture and art for centuries.
The hours and minutes counter along with the intersecting small seconds are located on the left side of the dial while the moon phase and date aperture occupy the right side of the dial. The rectangular hour indices from 8 to 4 o’clock are highlighted with 18 brilliant-cut diamonds and the hands are crafted in white gold.
The PanoMatic Luna isn’t just a pretty face. Ticking under the dial is the same (great) movement as the men’s version!
The Mondphase or moon-phase counter is crescent-shaped and located between 2 and 3 o’clock, an original position given that most moon-phase watches feature this function at 6 o’clock. The bevelled borders reveal a silvery background studded with stars and a slightly raised silver moon that is mirror-polished to such a degree that you can see your reflection in it!
If there is one feature everybody associates with this Saxon brand it is the Panorama date window, a double date aperture that differs from most thanks to its presentation of the information on two discs that are at the same height and on the same level as one another. There is no overlapping disc syndrome and, in the case of this ladies’ PanoMatic Luna watch, the double rectangle that frames the men’s version is replaced with a more feminine, oval shape.
This ladies’ PanoMatic Luna is equipped with Glashütte Original’s in-house Calibre 90-12, an automatic movement that can be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback. A derivation of the movement inside the men’s PanoMatic Luna (calibre 90-02), the reverse side of the watch offers a rich mechanical spectacle. On display are many Glashütte Original traits like the three-quarter plate with its striped finish, the skeletonised double G on the rotor, the swan-neck fine adjustment mechanism, the beautifully hand-engraved balance cock, the blued screws, the bevelled edges and polished steel parts. Beating at 28,800 oscillations per hour, calibre 90-12 has a power reserve of 42 hours for the big date, hours, minutes, small seconds and moon phase functions.
The PanoMatic Luna demonstrates that women’s watches can be much more than just a pretty face. By combining a beautiful dial with equally beautiful mechanics, women are getting the real deal, and this, for many women, is the way it should be.
The size of this model might be a deterrent for some women, but for me it is perfect. Partly because my farsightedness is increasing by the second, but mainly because its generous proportions let you enjoy the details on both sides of the case. The finishes, as you would expect, are superlative and the combination of celestial blue and diamonds works very well indeed. This is a true GO ambassador in every detail, from the iconic Panorama date window and the off-centred time display to the richly decorated movement, something many women who enjoy mechanical watches will appreciate immensely.
Availability and price
This PanoMatic Luna (reference 1-90-12-03-12-02) is accompanied by a blue alligator strap with a stainless steel pin buckle. The watch is available exclusively at Glashütte Original boutiques around the world. The retail price is EUR 17,400. More information at glashuette-original.com.