Glashütte has released a new green dial version of one of arguably their most iconic models, and it doesn’t disappoint. The PanoMaticLunar is a great watch in its own right, but the most frequent conversation the watch is involved in is the debate between it and its counterpart from another very well-regarded German watchmaker, so I feel we should start there, before focusing all of our attention on the Glashütte.
Of course, the watch the PanoMaticLunar is going to be compared to the most is A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 Moon Phase. While I am typically partial to the Lange, there are a number of aspects of the PanoMaticLunar that make it a pretty great choice as well, and even one feature that, in my opinion, definitively puts it ahead of the Lange. For starters, the PanoMaticLunar is available not only in precious metals, but also in steel. While I do think this type of watch is better presented in a precious metal, having a stainless steel case does allow for the watch to be worn more frequently due to the increase in durability. It also lets watch collectors get this great German design without having to enter the price range that comes with gold or platinum territory. This new release’s bright, green dial also lends something that Lange doesn’t offer anything comparable to. While Lange sticks to lots of neutral colours, Glashütte Original has been doing some very nice work when it comes to dials thanks to their in-house dial manufacturer located in Pforzheim, Germany. Just do a quick online image search of Glashütte’s Sixties line of watches to see some of the incredible dial work they’ve been doing in recent years… it’s impressive. The final feature that not only separates it from the Lange 1 Moon Phase, but propels it ahead of the Lange is the date window…
Neither of these watches would be nearly as iconic if they didn’t feature large, stereotypically German date windows. With these date windows you have one large overall date that’s comprised of two discs: one for the first number of the date (up to 3) and a second disc for the second number (0-9). If we take a number like 18 for example, it’ll look great on both watches as both discs will have a number to fill up their respective slots. The discrepancy occurs when we have a day of the month anywhere from the 1st through the 9th. On the PanoMaticLunar, the date uses the numbers 0-3 for their first disc, so if we try to display the 8th day of the month, the date window will read “08” with each slot having a number. Lange takes a different approach with their date and uses only 1-3 and a blank position for their first disc. The issue with this approach is that things look great for any date on or past the 10th of a month, but the first nine days of each month are paired up with the blank spot on the first disc. The date for the 8th of the month on the Lange would therefore appear as “8” where the first window just displays the blank position of the first disc. The result is a very unbalanced and jarring look that leaves something pretty big to be desired for the first nine days of each month. If the big date is going to be such a prominent feature of the watch, you don’t want about a third of the month spent with that feature looking “off” and unfinished.
Now that we’re done with the comparison and coming back to solely the PanoMaticLunar, what helps to make this watch stand out at a glance is the differentiation in finishings on the dial. Looking at the hour and minutes section and the subsidiary seconds section of the dial, you’ll notice that these sections have very small concentric circles. The finishing helps to give these areas a sunburst effect, ensuring that they stand out over the more muted, almost felt-like green of the rest of the dial. Another point of note, I really like that they decided to continue with the green to encapsulate the date indicator, instead of going with a more traditional-looking metal enclosure. On the dial, you’ll also notice that Glashütte uses white gold hands filled with Super-LumiNova and lumed indices to ensure that this watch will be legible at night. Glashütte uses their Calibre 90-02 in-house movement for this model. Through the sapphire case back, some of the best of German engineering and finishing is visible when looking at Glashutte’s signature duplex swan-neck fine adjustment, blued screws, and Glashütte ribbing. The movement beats at 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 42 hours. The watch is water resistant to 5 Bar (approximately 50m), which is about equivalent to being splash proof. 100m would have been nice, but then again this watch isn’t exactly being marketed as a sports watch.
Overall, this is about as good as one could want this watch to be. It retains its heritage and design language while flawlessly incorporating a new colour and therefore, in this case, a more modern look. Modern doesn’t always mean better though, but in this case it results a pretty great dial variant. The contrast of the sunburst green portions of the dial to the darker, flatter green of other areas and the addition of some black to the edges really gives this watch some incredible personality. Combine all this with high-end German watchmaking prowess, and you’ve got a winning watch.
The Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar in green is available on a brown alligator strap for 9,600 or 9,900 USD (varies depending on choice of standard buckle or deployant clasp) as well as on a bracelet for 11,100 USD. The watch has been available for purchase since June of this year.