Language of creativity

The German watchmaking community tends to take a different approach than some of their Swiss counterparts. Reborn after reunification, this industry brought together workers and craftsmen to supply the growing world of haute horlogerie, but with a slightly different twist.

For Glashutte Original, much pride is taken in the cleanliness of design and finishing work of their wristwatches. "There's a healthy bond between the heritages of Glashütte and the engineering aspect of modernity, German design and creativity," says vice-president Dieter Pachner. The hand engraving and polishing work is a craft that is sadly being lost, and it is good to see this being made available with companies such as Glashütte. Yet, it goes its own way, in the production, for example, of the only mechanical alarm that can be set 30 days in advance in its Senator Diary.

All their movements are created in-house and onsite in Germany.

Glashütte's new PanoLunarTourbillon in red gold is a wonderful example of its design language. The flying tourbillon is visible in all its glory on the lower left side of the watch, just below the off-centre time-telling hour and minute hands. On the right side of the face will be a moon-phase indication and a large date display. The gold of the tourbillon, lower left, is balanced by the bright blue and gold of the moon-phase, upper right. Everything has its place. The watch uses a 40mm case, which allows this piece to be surprisingly subtle.

"The most important mission for us is to keep our quality, our exclusivity, our identity as a German brand," Pachner says.

For a more classic look, it has its new version of the Senator Panorama Date Moon Phase. Blued hands on a crisp white dial in classical three-hand arrangement, with the moon-phase around 10.30 on the dial and a big date display around 4.30.

The blues of the nicely-sculpted "poire" shaped hands and the sky of the moon phase put a flash of colour against the lacquered silver-grain dial with deep black Roman numerals and a railroad chapter ring on the perimeter. The bezel of the watch was opened to allow more focus to be put on the dial work, and makes the two other complication displays less cramped. The second hand can be brought back to zero with a push of a corrector button on the case.

For a minimalist look, the brand looks to its 1960s models which this year come in what Glashütte calls Midnight Blue. A classic three-hand or a big date model in the Senator Panorama Date uses domed German Silver dials with a stunning sunburst pattern as visual texture, and the white gold hour and minute hands are slightly curved, all producing a look that really does follow what Glashütte calls it - 20th Century Vintage.

A look at Glashutte Original is never complete without flipping. Turn its watches over and you will start to see what really inspires the brand - its movements visible through sapphire crystal cases show an amazing attention to detail.

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