Previously available only in rose and white gold, the gorgeous Glashuette Original PanoMaticLunar XL (ref. 90-02-36-12-05) now comes in a more affordable stainless steel case. However, despite the introduction of a cheaper version, the product line still looks highly refined and even stately thanks to the German watchmaker’s great attention to details and unrivaled build quality.
The last year was terrible for the industry of fine watches.
Brands that relied on eccentric, outrageously expensive designs, took a serious beating with sales virtually going through the floor and right into the drain. CEOs that weren’t willing to change strategies of their brands, went into the same sewage system.
To adapt to the new reality, some companies put their bets on new, less expensive and more subtle models, while others decided to simply offer cheaper versions of their highly successful products.
Glashuette Original, for example, offered a whole range of timepieces with their bodies made not of white gold, but in a much less expensive high-grade stainless steel. And justly so, since there is no other white metal that can beat the plain and simple steel in terms of durability and, when done right, beauty. A case crafted from soft and scratch-prone white gold alloy will soon lose its shiny glitter, while the stainless steel version will take years before it will start to look dated.
Also, speaking of GO watches, there is something about their design language that makes one want steel versions rather than gold ones, price or no price. It is like you naturally want a sword made of steel, not in some precious alloy.
Even if you consider the mechanics, this watch still has no peers among similarly priced models offering the same functionality.
For starters, it is powered by an in-house manufacture Caliber 90-02 automatic movement, while most competitors will probably try to feed you a slightly modified version of a standard ETA caliber with a third-party moon-phase module sitting atop of it.
Also, GO’s trademark “Panorama Date” big date indicator window that features a pair of coaxial and coplanar disks is among the best in the whole industry. Of course, Glashuette Original could have done better and repainted the disks in the main dark gray and white monochrome color scheme, but, well, nobody is perfect.
The new Glashuette Original PanoMaticLunar XL is especially attractive with its new galvanized ruthenium dial that features GO’s trademark off-center hour and minute counter as well as a smaller seconds sub-dial. The dark gray dial looks extremely cool with the white gold hour markers and all three hands. The polished silver moonphase indicator at the North-East part of the dial finishes the picture making the watch look almost perfect.
Almost, because (possibly, due to some technical reasons) GO’s engineers weren’t able to place the visual axis of the moonphase display within the outer border of the main hour and minute subdial like it was done with the small seconds’ display. Subconsciously, you can’t help but notice this excrescence that draws your attention like an imperfection on a surface of a diamond.
The PanoMaticLunar XL, which is priced around $20,000 is delivered in a minimalist stainless steel case finely brushed and polished in all the right places. Being only 42 mm in diameter and 12.5 mm in height, it features a slightly domed sapphire crystal with anti-glare protection on both sides. Of course, there is also a sapphire crystal on its bottom making sure that the exquisitely decorated Caliber 90-02 is perfectly seen to its owner.
See also: Glashuette Original PanoMatic Counter XL
Photos: Glashütte Original
Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar XL (ref. 90-02-36-12-05) specification:
Price range: $20,000 (MSRP)
Movement: GO Caliber 90-02, automatic, diameter 32.6 mm, height 7 mm, in-house, Made in Germany
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Complications: Panorama Date, Moonphase
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 12.50 mm
Dial: Galvanized matt gray
Hands: White gold, luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Gray alligator strap on stainless steel deployant buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective