back to top

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashütte Original is one of the more interesting watch brands under the larger Swatch Group umbrella, if for no other reason than that it is German and not Swiss. In a lot of ways, it is a good thing that a company such as Glashütte Original has a larger corporate parent because it has allowed the brand to evolve in a lot of interesting ways, such as being able to purchase its own dial maker. Moreover, the Swiss connection has certainly had its impact on the watch designs which, in my opinion, often do a great job of blending the functional-minded approach of the Germans with the polished attractive design sense of the Swiss. It is for this core reason that I feel a lot of modern-day watch lovers look eagerly to the new releases from this impersonally named brand – that might benefit from having a bit more of a face. Today, let’s review the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar… in 18k red gold.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Perhaps Glashütte Original watches don’t need a face, as the small Saxon watchmaking town of Glashütte, Germany, might provide more than enough character. While it takes some investment in your education as a watch lover, most people quickly come to associate the fabled village with some of the best watches in the world (and they wouldn’t be wrong).

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

It is impossible to suggest that the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar and the larger “Pano” range of watches is not at least thematically related to the neighbor brand A. Lange & Sohne’s Lange 1 collection. Each is about doing classic German watch design asymmetrically. All Pano watches have off-centered dials for the time, along with other complications on the dial such as a big date indicator, and moonphase on the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar. Depending on the Pano version, you’ll see everything from power reserve indicators to tourbillons and chronographs (yes, that latter complicated is executed in an interesting way in this the Pano range). Does it matter if the Pano and Lange 1 range compliment or play off one another?

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Yes and no. The collections are linked by their region of manufacture and designs, but the brands who produce them will be quick to point out how the watches are all very different. This is true especially because Lange 1 timepieces tend to be priced more than the Pano range which is generally a lot more varied and accessible in its price points. If anything, given their quality and design, Glashütte Original watches are a good value, whereas A. Lange & Sohne is positioning itself very much as a top-tier luxury product.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

In my opinion, the more democratic positioning of Glashütte Original is to its benefit, as there are lots of steel options to compliment gold models. This Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar, for instance, is available in a few versions including in 18k red gold as seen here, all the way to a steel-cased model on a matching steel bracelet (something you’ll never find at Lange).


Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

“PanoMatic” implies in part that this watch contains an automatic movement – which, here, is the in-house-made Glashütte Original calibre 90-02. In the arena of watch movements that mostly look the same, there are some notable visual differences in the 90-02, such as the “3/4 automatic rotor” size and also the particular style of engravings on the balance wheel bridge. It is a sort of local flavor in the Glashütte region (and Saxony in general, that includes watches produced in Dresden) for fine watches to have hand-engraved balance cocks and bridges. It is difficult to see the engraving in detail, but they have a distinct look to them that isn’t super classic, but rather seems to mix a few aesthetic styles.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The engraved bridge is covered with another uncommon feature of the this movement which is the double (“duplex”) swan neck fine adjusters. Most movements which have a swan neck fine adjuster have just one, so the inclusion of two should theoretically allow for even finer regulation (for increased accuracy overall), if I understand the concept correctly.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The caliber 90-02 operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) with a power reserve of about 42 hours. Overall very nicely decorated, Glashütte Original movements nevertheless have a machined look to them because most of the polishing techniques are done by machine. This is about as good as it gets for machine finishing, though, and at these relatively aggressive prices, I think this is a lot of watch for the money. The movement offers the time with subsidiary seconds dial, a big date (“panorama date,” as the brand likes to call it), and a moon phase indicator.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Over on the dial, the features are clearly laid out asymmetrically, but also logically and in a visually balanced manner. The dial is very nicely produced with decent legibility and even luminant on the hour and minute hands. I am not prone to complain about dial text, but given the variety of fonts here and the low utility of some of the text, I feel that “Mondphase” and “Panoramadatum” are just unnecessary. I don’t mind the “PanoMaticLunar” model name or “Made in Germany,” which I feel could have been better placed on the dial.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

On the wrist, the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar is more traditionally-sized at 40mm wide – here, looking slick in 18k red gold. Like I said, the watch is also available in steel. At 12.7mm thick, the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar is understandably sized given the movement, but it is on the thicker side of what a dress watch should be. With that said, the almost 13mm thickness does help make the watch feel larger for those who feel that the 40mm-wide size isn’t large enough. I do also appreciate that, while it isn’t a sport watch, the 50m of water resistance is better than the 30m of water resistance you see in a lot of other similar timepieces.



Disqus Debug thread_id: 4543579806

  • MEddie90

    As much as I love Glashutte Original I cant seem to get over the ugliness (imho) of the rotor. From their faces the designs look stunning and the fit and finish is excellent but whenever I see that rotor I just think to myself “I’d rather save for the Lange”.

    Swap out the rotor and get rid of the recess gold plating on the balance bridge and you’d have a much more appealing option.

    • egznyc

      Actually, I rather like the decoration on the movement, and find the 3/4 sized rotor rather charming. But that’s just me.

      Now, will GO next release a model known as the Pandemonium? 😉

      • MEddie90

        I’ve always been on the fence with micro rotors, for dressier pieces I prefer a manual wind anyway so if I ever opted for a glashutte original i’d probably choose the panoreserve.

        And speaking of pandas a manual wind panda dial senator observer would be an instant sell for me.

    • Costin HUREZEANU

      I would agree with you (mostly), but I do have 2 remarks: 1) Lange is usually much more expensive than GO. Saving for one might make sense IF we are talking about gold versions only. 2) As a proud owner of GO (few of them) I can see one unique detail which put GO above Lange: the Panorama Date. GO implementation is just stuning, with both digits on the same plan; meanwhile, on Lange the big date has its digits always separated.

  • outremer

    Glashütte Original is an also-ran for me, always behind Lange. Much like how Omega compares to Rolex, except for Speedy Pro and some vintage inspired designs.

    • Rob

      Can you really say that? Omega has/had quite a lot of original designs.

      • Spangles

        Prior to quartz watches, certainly the relative stature of the brands was different.

    • deuxani

      I think a comparison between Tudor and Rolex is more in place (even though they are from the same maker). But then again, it’s very obvious GO is always behind ALS as they are half the price in most cases (Lange 1 > PanoReserve).

    • DanW94

      While they do share that Teutonic design ethos with Lange, I think it’s unfair to compare. Like deuxani said below, Lange is in a league all their own and at a higher price point. GO has some outstanding offerings across their collections. I also think they’re a bit more willing to try something adventurous (think those colorful Sixties collection watches). And while expensive at least they’re somewhat attainable (given a fortuitous financial turn or two)

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Glashütte Original has become one of my personal favorite marques over the last several years.

  • Dan Baxter

    Since the first time I saw a picture of a Panomatic Lunar, this has been a grail watch for me. I doubt I’ll ever actually own one, but I can dream. I think they are an absolutely gorgeous design.

  • SuperStrapper

    My biggest gripe would be with the dial. The time and sub seconds dial are so delicately snailed, the smooth/bland finish on the rest of the dial surface just makes the overall presence one or two steps away from understated into boring. A blasted or frosted finish would have gone a long way.

  • Mark Baran

    Beautiful watch! Perfect size. I am happy to see that GO is staying true to its Saxon roots under the ownership of the Swatch Group.

  • Benjamin Ramos

    I had GO PML in steel but the thickness and the fact the time was oppositie the crown made it difficult to read under a shirt cuff. where as the ALS automatic watches have hour minutes on the crown side of watch making it easier to read.

    • Bossman

      The Lange 1 also has the time opposite the crown not on the crown side.

      • MEddie90

        I think some of the Langematics do have the dial on the crown side but a majority are on the opposite side as you pointed out. I’ve never understood why both Lange and Glashutte decide to do it that way, seems the less logical option.

    • iamcalledryan

      Ah yes, but with this one you can determine the date and the phase of the moon without having to shuffle the cuff!

  • J O

    Looking at the face produces an odd effect, slight strain, on the eyes, because of the intersecting circles and the contrasting finishes.

  • Matthias Villing

    Concerning the double swan neck regulator:
    the right one is connected to the curb pins and hence allows for adjustment of the active length of the hairspring and thus timing precision (the shorter the hairspring the faster the oscillations of the balance and vice versa);
    the left (and not commonly found) one allows for adjustment of the so-called “beat error” – in very simple terms the difference in the duration of a “tic” vs a “toc” which ideally are equal in length

  • Larry Holmack

    Really a beautiful watch!!! Nothing negative to say about it at all…..

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    PanoInverse FTW

  • Marius

    In my opinion, Glashutte Original offers very good value mainly for the steel references. The gold models are actually far from offering a good value. A similarly designed Lange 1 costs $30,000, so it’s $5,000 more expensive, but for that you get a much better finished movement, better fit&finish of the case, and a much stronger brand name.

    The main difference is that the Lange 1 was designed, from the ground up, to be a top tier, almost-no expenses-spared watch, whereas the GO was basically designed for the $11,000 bracket. For me, gold Rolexes have the same problem: they might have a precious metal case, but the movement and the fit&finish are not on par with other $30,000 watches.

  • Willy Chu

    “I am not prone to complain about dial text, but given the variety of fonts here and the low utility of some of the text, I feel that “Mondphase” and “Panoramadatum” are just unnecessary.”

    I agree, plus all the lettering pushes the dial elements to the left too much. Not balanced. Compare to the tourbillon version here:

    Much more elegant.

  • iamcalledryan

    The steel one of these is so well balanced, even moreso than the other pano’s, it singlehandedly forced me to take the moon phase complication more seriously. As a result I now love the moon phase, so thanks GO. This one is on the list (well that or the inverse per my avatar).

  • otaking241

    Steel FTW. I like the GO take on this design because it feels a bit sturdier. The Lange version is so refined that it feels more like jewelry, probably why it’s one of the few watches that look good in yellow gold.

    Waiting for a Pano Inverse with date and moon phase.

  • spiceballs

    Nice (with the Parmigi-style hands) but as Ariel noted dial text detracts somewhat. Pity.

  • Shinytoys

    That’s a beautiful watch.

  • bc_from_aus

    The GO panoreserve is my current grail. Not a fan of any moon phase watch. I can’t help but feel as though there is something cartoonish about them.

  • mandimemike

    This watch is gorgeous. GO is on a rising trajectory for good reason, everything from exceptional case and dial work, movement engineering, refined designs, and arguably the best value finishing in a given price bracket. Some features of the Pano calibers are just showing up in Lange’s latest movements. GO’s stewardship of the Glashutte watch museum, and school for watch and tool makers is evidence of their pride in traditional Saxon watchmaking.

  • DJ_Roch

    Which GO is your favorite?

  • Forever Great

    Everything a watch should be.

  • JG

    I want to love this watch, but there’s one other small aesthetic choice the designers made that bothers me. In the date window, there’s a “0” in the tens digit, so for the first part of the month, the date will read “01”, “02”, etc. That’s a pet peeve of mine… there’s no reason for the zero. Lange did it right (IMHO) and just has an empty space in the tens digit at that spot in the wheel. See pictures I found that show this difference.

  • Garrin Fraze

    I think it would look real nice with a white and rose gold pairing.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.