Glashütte Original is a brand that has somehow managed to stay under the radar of many watch enthusiasts, despite the impressive level of sophistication and complexity found within its watches. While the Glashütte-based watchmaker has a number of different watch complications it has mastered over the decades, the recently released Glashütte Original Annual Calendar is a first for the brand, with a dial that is harmonious despite its imbalance.
If you’ve not come across Glashütte Original before, it’s a German-founded watchmaker that currently sits within the Swatch Group stable alongside the likes of Omega, Longines and Tissot. It certainly represents one of the more premium brands within the portfolio, making high-end timepieces with traditional manufacturing techniques. In fact, right down to the tiniest components, Glashütte Original makes almost all of its parts in-house, setting it apart from many Swiss-made brands that outsource many parts of their watches.
Within the Pano collection, Glashütte Original makes everything from chronographs and tourbillons to moonphase watches, but the PanoMaticCalendar breaks new ground for the brand as the first annual calendar with a brand new movement as well. Featuring a 42mm red gold case, it stands at 12.8mm thick, which might sound large on paper, but is actually carefully proportioned and is water-resistant to 50m.
At first glance, the dial may seem a little chaotic, with displays and hands scattered across its surface seemingly at random. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll realise the carefully planned and skillfully executed nature of the layout has resulted in each aperture balanced against the others, with the cunning use of negative space to communicate the information of the dial clearly.
The main dial in the top left quadrant tells the hours and minutes, with a smaller seconds dial below it indicated with a flame-blued steel hand. Adjacent to the right is the phases of the moon indicator, with the gold-framed date window below it. Wrapping around the circumference of the dial next to the date window is the month indicator, with the actual month displayed by the darker numeral.
All of this asymmetrically balanced information is possible thanks to a new movement developed by the brand, in the Glashütte Original calibre 92-09 that features a quintessentially German three-quarter plate design visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. The movement is automatic, wound by a gold micro-rotor, offering a full 100 hours of power reserve when the main spring is fully tensioned.
As you’d expect from a brand with the reputation of Glashütte Original, the calibre 92-09 is impeccably finished with striped bridges, bevelled edges and perfectly polished screws. Another beautiful detail within the movement is the adjustment mechanism that features two swan-neck springs with visible engravings just beneath them.
The Glashütte Original PanoMaticCalendar is an addition to the catalogue that makes a lot of sense, not just as a line extension within the Pano collection, but as an artfully executed timepiece in its own right. Arriving on a Louisiana Alligator nubuck leather strap, it arrives with an RRP of $43,500 with a folding red gold clasp.