While the Swiss Made and the Swissness status continue to induce debate, the Made in Germany label keeps on going strong in watchmaking and (re)gaining the prestige of yesteryear, when Teutonic Kaisers and rulers demanded only the very best. Since the renaissance of fine watchmaking in Saxony in the early 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German cradle of watchmaking in Glashütte has been flourishing and watch brands are popping up like mushrooms – with a specific pioneering duo boasting enough gravitas to rival the best manufactures in Switzerland. One of them is Glashütte Original.
The main Glashütte Original offerings unveiled at Baselworld can be summed up with the classic Alexandre Dumas analogy: the Three Musketeers were, in fact, four – Athos, Porthos, Aramis and… D’Artagnan. Likewise, the Saxony manufacture introduced three new timepieces that are, in fact, four – the PanoMaticInverse as an in-house specialty, a new chronograph calibre used in two models (the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date and the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date) and the highly feminine Pavonina White Gold.
Specialty with iconic potential
The PanoMaticInverse has all the makings of an icon – it’s one unmistakable timepiece that is a natural heir to the PanoInverse XL introduced in 2008, the first Glashütte Original timepiece to showcase on the dial side the duplex swan-neck fine adjustment usually seen through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. Inversing the positioning of many of the components and using specifically developed individual parts was an admirable engineering prowess in the original inversed manual-winding movement based on the manufacture’s Calibre 66; the PanoMaticInverse takes the concept a bit further.
Powered by the new self-winding Calibre 91-02 with a 42-hour power reserve, the PanoMaticInverse displays the hour, minute, seconds and outsized Panorama Date window on an asymmetric dial – along with the impressive duplex swan-neck fine adjustment and the artfully engraved balance bridge. On the back, beneath the skeletonized oscillating weight, the typical rhodium quarter-plate with the decorative Glashütte stripe finish. The emblematic PanoMaticInverse is available on a steel or red gold 42mm case.
A new chronograph calibre, two interpretations
Glashütte Original has enhanced its mechanical pedigree and long history in mechanical chronograph mechanisms (having developed six since the first one in 1955) by launching a new chronograph movement – and the new Calibre 37-01 is the first one conceived and built from scratch as a chronograph movement, unveiled at Baselworld in two quite different stylistic offerings: the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date and the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date.
The new in-house 4Hz chronograph movement features a column wheel, 30-minute and 12-hour counters with flyback mechanism and a 70-hour power reserve indicator, besides Glashütte Original’s own implementation of the Panorama Date. Simple and compact, the self-winding Calibre 37-01 is powered by a bi-directional rotor and adjusted using four gold screws on the balance rim; the absence of an index on the spring allows the movement to run continuously over a much longer period of time, resulting in increased precision. Plus it has all the prestigious characteristic features and finishes for which the high-end Saxon watchmakers are famous.
The rotor and chronograph bridges are mounted on the Glashütte three-quarter plate; the Glashütte stripe finish embellishes the self-winding bridge, along with the blued screws and the central skeletonized 21-ct gold rotor with double-G logo. Also of interest is the new oscillation system regulated by four gold screws, easily visible through the case back’s sapphire crystal. The Senator Chronograph Panorama Date is included on the Art & Technik pillar of the catalogue and boasts all the classic and timeless features of the Senator range – the symmetrical harmony of the dial is highlighted by black numerals and blued hands on an ivory dial. It is available in platinum or red gold.
The same calibre (but in its 37-02 version) is used on the highly original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date, an extension of the Seventies line inspired by elements of style of the 1970s – a turbulent decade that comprised the so-called Quartz Crisis after the radical introduction of new shapes and developments in design. In fact, geometrical cases became a norm in an era characterized by cushion, square and rectangular timepieces with integrated bracelets; a fashionable era that has been revived by numerous reissues and interpretations from several brands – and one of the first ones was definitely Glashütte Original with the Seventies line.
Included in the 20th Century Vintage Collection, the Seventies Panorama Date is available in three dial versions (galvanized ruthenium, galvanized silver, blue) on the emblematic Seventies soft-cornered 40x40mm steel case. The dial layout includes a small seconds dial with black and white power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock, a 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock and a smaller hour counter showing Arabic numerals from 1 to 12 in a window centred just below 12 o'clock, harmoniously counter-balanced on the lower half of the dial by the signature Panorama Date display.
Just for the ladies
But the most extravagant new timepiece presented by Glashütte Original at Baselworld was the Pavonina White Gold – a high jewellery extension of the Pavonina line introduced in 2013 based on the distinctive cushion shape that became so popular in the 1920s. 513 brilliant-cut diamonds offer a glittering and luxurious spectacle, along with filigree feuille hands and a mother-of-pearl dial surrounded by a stylish guilloche.
Like all Pavonina models, it is powered by a sophisticated quartz movement – the Calibre 03-01 that offers three times the standard magnetic protection and whose plate is decorated with the traditional Glashütte stripe finish. Available only in Glashütte Original and franchise boutiques, as well as in Tourbillon Boutiques.