Original Mavericks of Saxony – PanoInverse XL, and Senator Chronometer
“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”-
a quote Abraham Lincoln was allegedly believed to have said. The same can be said of a Glashütte Original; the famed German watchmakers from the town of Saxony.
The Road to Glashütte
The second World War left most without access to tools and components. The then GUB (VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe, aka the precursor to today’s Glashütte Original) with minimal resources, had to depend on self-reliance in order to survive. A few years following the war, the GUB created a truly integrated watch production workshop, which it now leverages on to create a dominant and indomitable manufactory. Today, it is this effort during the first half of the last century that has allowed Glashütte to create masterpieces unencumbered by the constraints of commercially-available watch components.
With more than 95% of each watch made in-house, Glashütte Original watches are today in a league of their own, set apart from most Swiss counterparts claiming to be true integrated manufacturers.
The Boutique at Marina Bay Sands
Debuting at the end of last year, the Marina Bay Sands‘ Glashütte Original boutique is the watchmaker’s first in Southeast Asia. Since its opening, the brand has been setting hearts ablaze, charming watch collectors and connoisseurs with their array of mechanical art-pieces.
In Review – The PanoInverse XL
Watch lovers are often intrigued with exhibition case-backs that provide a peek into the movement’s rear view. With the PanoInverse XL, Glashütte reworked the watch movement to enable frontal display of the beautiful Duplex Swan-Neck in its full glory.
Holding the PanoInverse XL in hand will intrigue even the most “jaded” watch collector. The Glashütte ribbing stripes (wider than the regular Côtes de Genève) across the 3/4 plate provide an elegant, industrial feel in-line with the exposed aesthetic of the dial. Two screw-mounted gold chatons that pay tribute to the traditional ways of fine watch making, are present at the 11.30 position. In the past, the gold chaton innovation allows for the securing of a pivot bearing (jewel) without damage to it, as the softness of the gold meant that minimal pressure is applied to the jewel during installation.
The highlight of the dial is definitely the majestic presence of the Duplex Swan-Neck regulator. While a second swan-neck fine adjustment is purely aesthetical, one cannot deny it works wonders for the aesthetic balance. The pearl-like perlage on the base plate completes and softens the entire look of the dial.
Surely, we are not the only one charmed by the PanoInverse XL. At press time, we were notified that they is but just one piece of this model left in the boutique.
In Review – Senator Chronometer
1) Only finished watches are tested, as compared to only watch movements in COSC tests. 2) Watches tested must have hacking capability, for precise time-setting to the second.
The Senator Chronometer is one such timepiece that bears this prestigious title. The beautiful Caliber 58-01, which beats at 28,800 mph within, can be seen in its full glory through the exhibition caseback.
Similarly with the PanoInverse XL, the movement of the hand-wound Senator Chronometer is given the full aesthetic treatment: polished edges and steel components, hand-engraved finishing on the balance cock, gold chatons, and Glashütte stripes across the three-quarter plate.
It is a personal preference to have always maintained that the perfect dress watch size should be between 38mm to 42mm for regular Asian male hands. The Senator Chronometer, at 42mm, is perfect at its size; any smaller and the dial becomes too cluttered, any larger and the visual balance of the dial will be disrupted by
unnecessary empty space.
The mesmerising midnight blue dial is made at Glashütte Original’s dial manufactory in Pforzheim. It starts off as a 0.8mm thick blank dial, on which layers of lacquer are laid on, until the perfect shade and grain desired is achieved.
A 45-hour power reserve ensures more time is spent enjoying the watch, and less time winding it.
Glashütte Original is available at their The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands boutique, on 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B2M-215, Singapore 018972.