Fifteen years ago, Glashütte Original launched the PanoInverse XL series. Distinguished by the movement visible dial-side and reversed compared to a standard watch, the balance bridge and the duplex swan-neck fine adjustment were displayed in full view. Conceived perhaps to satisfy those willing to admire beautifully finished movements or enjoy the movement decoration and read the time simultaneously, the PanoInverse underwent some changes over the years but remained in the GO catalogue (the XL was dropped along the way). It comes as no surprise that at one point, Glashütte Original has chosen to ornament the ample surface of the three-quarter plate in a manner different from the permanent reference’s Glashütte stripes. In 2019, the German watchmaker presented a limited platinum edition of the exquisitely hand-engraved PanoInverse with a floral motif; in 2021, the Saxon brand revealed another limited platinum PanoInverse with a fine guilloché pattern inspired by the relief-like pattern of the dome of the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden. This year, Glashütte Original fans are invited to visit the imaginary urban jungle, with the PanoInverse movement’s front and back laser-engraved with a fictional metropolis.
The new Glashütte Original PanoInverse Limited Edition is a 42mm platinum case watch with antireflective sapphire crystal on both sides to showcase the finely finished manually wound calibre 66-12. On the front, precise laser engraving creates an image of a Manhattan-like high-density landscape, a bird’s-eye view. The back, actually, is much more fun. A city block, with billboards and signs to declare the qualities of the timepiece (Glashütte Original, adjusted to five positions, 31 jewels, Made in Germany) and even a few people make the three-dimensional picture come to life. See if you can spot the window cleaners at work, a graffiti artist spraying the GO logo, and even Nicolas Hayek Jr., Swatch Group’s CEO, looking right at you from one of the balconies. I just made the last one up, but it would have been fun, don’t you agree?
Back to the front side. The white gold openworked hour and minute hands, moving around the off-centred anthracite-coloured grained lacquer dial, indicate the time, with a small seconds sub-dial overlapping at 6 o’clock. The power reserve indicator is to the right of the dial, in its usual PanoInverse place. The screw-mounted gold chatons, ruby jewels, blued screws and polished steel parts are here to highlight the Haute Horlogerie approach to movement presentation. The “butterfly” bridge, made of two hand-engraved balance cocks, is positioned in the cut-out area in the lower right part of the dial. This transparency allows for a mesmerising view of the balance wheel, front and back. The watch is worn on a grey Louisiana alligator nubuck leather strap, its colour and texture in tune with the imaginary city.
People interested in high-end German watchmaking and love for the unconventional will appreciate this special edition of the Glashütte Original PanoInverse, which the company will produce in limited numbers; only 50 pieces will be available from the end of March 2023 from GO boutiques and selected dealers. Price is “upon request”, but the previous PanoInverse in Platinum with Guilloché dial retailed for EUR 45,000.
For more information, please visit www.glashuette-original.com.