Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar with Green Dial: Hands-On Review

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar with Green Dial: Hands-On Review

Founded in 1994 in the wake of German reunification, but with roots tracing back all the way back to 1845, Glashütte Original has become firmly established as one of the world’s premier luxury watchmakers, one of the vanguard of firms that have put the little town of Glashütte, in the eastern state of Saxony, back on the map of world-class horological hubs after decades of postwar dormancy. In 2003, Glashütte Original introduced the first PanoMaticLunar, a handsome moon-phase timepiece that was notable for its delicately balanced array of indications, assembled on the principle of the Golden Ratio, and which today stands as one of the pillars of the diverse PanoMatic collection. In 2022, Glashütte Original released a crowd-pleasing version of the PanoMaticLunar in a striking, dark green dial and stainless steel case, which quickly and easily became the standout model in the Lunar family. I had the chance to get my hands on the watch recently for a full-on review, which follows below. 

The Case:

The soft, round PanoMaticLunar case measures 40mm in diameter and a substantial but not unwieldy 12.7mm in thickness, Its thin sloping bezel has a gleaming, polished finish, while the case middle sports a hairline brushed pattern on its surfaces. The sharply curving lugs continue the theme, with a mirror polish on their top surfaces and vertical brushing on the sides and bottom. The caseback, attached by five sunken screws, has a slight convex curve that helps the watch nestle into the small of the wrist, and the bezel frames a flat sapphire crystal with scratch-resistant and antireflective treatment. On the right side of the case is the finely fluted crown, which pulls out to two positions —  one for a quick change of the big date, the other setting the hour and minute hands. Above the crown, near the top right lug, is a tiny inset pusher that can be used to advance the moon-phase display; a fingertip is too large to operate it, and to my knowledge, Glashütte Original doesn’t provide a tool specifically for this, so you’ll need to get creative. The tip of a ballpoint pen or a thumbtack should suffice. Unwilling to leave ink traces on my review watch, I employed the tips of a small set of eyebrow-grooming scissors and found that they worked well.

The Dial:

Before delving into all the details and indications on the dial, it’s worth pointing out just how stunning is the shade of dark green that Glashütte Original has created for it, which somehow manages to bring to mind the sublime solitude of an evergreen forest and the energy of a classic British race car simultaneously. Glashütte Original is rightly lauded for its colorful dials — many of which have made their debut on the Annual Editions of the brand’s Sixties and Seventies collections — and even in a watch industry that has seen a proliferation of green colorways in recent years, this one is truly remarkable. 

Aside from the eye-catching colorway, the PanoMaticLunar remains one of the most elegant and distinctive examples of the Saxon brand’s hallmark asymmetrical design. The current time is displayed on the most prominent subdial, in the upper left section of the dial, with small, sharp-edged sword hands sweeping around a ring of applied baton hour indexes, doubled up at the 12 o’clock marker and separated by white-printed minute markers. Overlapping this subdial at its lower end is a smaller subdial for the running seconds, with white-printed Arabic numerals and indexes; the minute track for the larger subdial elegantly passes through the smaller one, with the border of the two marked by a white-printed "Glashutte I/SA" inscription. The hour and minute hand are the only elements on the dial treated with Super-LumiNova, enabling them to glow a bright minty green in the dark and providing ample contrast with the deeper green of the dial.


A consequence of the overlapping subdials is that there are no markers for 5, 6, or 7 o’clock and a handful of minute markers absent around 4:25 and 7:35. If you happen to be setting your watch between these times, there will be some guesswork involved with placing the minute hand. Both subdials, which are stacked on the left in an intriguing, inverted figure-eight in the unbalanced dial architecture, have a snailed texture, which separates them visually from the shiny, flat surface of the main dial and adds depth. 

Before getting to the “Lunar” part of this watch’s name, let’s examine the “Pano.” That refers to the large “Panorama” date display, a Glashütte Original specialty, which is found on this watch in the area between 4 and 5 o’clock. Unlike a standard date indicator, this one is made up of two date wheels, one for the units and one for the tens, which combine to form the numerals inside the faceted-edge window.  The Panorama date is ultra-legible, with black serif numerals on white disks, though it’s hard not to fantasize how the whole ensemble would look if Glashütte Original had managed to give us white numerals on green disks. Some of us might willingly sacrifice a bit of readability for even more visual harmony, but Glashütte has opted for classical German practicality here, which many will also appreciate.

The moon-phase display that spans the arc between 2 and 3 o’clock, of course, is the watch’s signature function and the aesthetic detail that sets it apart from the rest of the Pano collection. (Just in case anyone is confused, Glashütte Original helpfully labels each complication along the dial’s periphery in its native German: PANORAMADATUM in the lower right, MONDPHASE in the upper right, adjacent to their appropriate display. And it is to the designers’ credit that these texts seem neither superfluous nor disruptive to the overall layout.) As for the moon-phase itself: its border features a tiny printed scale from “0” to “29 ½” representing the actual duration of the moon’s monthly phases. In theory, if on any given day when you're setting the watch you can pinpoint the actual position of the moon’s rotation around the Earth (easy to do on Google), you can set this function precisely using the aforementioned inset pusher in the case. Inside the aperture, two tiny moons cycle through each month, across a pearly white sky with a firmament of silvery stars.

The Movement:

Glashütte Original provides a flat sapphire crystal in the back of the watch to allow a view of the movement, the self-winding Caliber 90-02, made in-house at Glashutte Original’s atelier in the eastern German watchmaking town for which it is named and storing a 42-hour power reserve. The first things you’ll notice — they almost seem to visually compete for your attention — will likely be the off-centered micro-rotor that winds the watch and the intricately hand-engraved balance bridge, topped by a duplex swan's-neck fine adjustment, upon which the oscillating balance wheel is mounted. 

The rotor is partially skeletonized, with a 21K gold weight and the manufacture’s double-G emblem carved out from the center. This meticulously sculpted oscillating mass swings in both directions over the mainspring barrel and the spacious three-quarter mainplate, both embellished with Glashütte stripes (the German equivalent of Geneva waves). The mainplate is cut away to reveal the balance bridge and fine adjustment mechanism, through which a bit of perlage finish is also visible. Heat-tempered blue screws add little splashes of color to the sleek silver and gold tones of the movement.

The Strap and Buckle:

The nubuck alligator leather strap has a pleasantly silky, suede-like texture and a matte finish. Tone-on-tone stitching completes the package, securing the upper layer to the soft, black interior that caresses the wrist. The folding safety clasp has the same meticulous finishing as the case, with a double-G logo engraved into the brushed-finish buckle. On the wrist, the watch makes a striking impression, with the verdant, sunray dial catching the light at an array of angles and its elegantly asymmetrical layout prompting both admiration and curiosity from fellow timepiece enthusiasts.

The PanoMaticLunar with green dial in steel carries an MSRP of $11,200 — not inexpensive by any means, but considering the total package — beautifully hand-decorated in-house movement, sophisticated date calendar, precise moon-phase indication, meticulously finished case — very fairly priced for the horological echelon it occupies. 


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