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REVIEW: The Glashütte Original PanoMatic Lunar XL>>>>>>>>

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Published on 09-22-2010 10:03 AM

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Review of the Glashütte Original PanoMatic Lunar XL

By: John B. Holbrook, II



The PanoMatic Lunar XL from Glashütte Original is one of their most popular, classic models in their catalog - it combines an understated simplicity with horological sophistication in a watch which is very distinctive in its Saxon heritage. Basel 2010 saw the release of a new variation in the PanoMatic Lunar XL line - the grey dial reference 90-02-36-12-05.

The new PanoMatic Lunar XL has, like several of the other Basel 2010 releases from Glashütte Original, a stainless steel case designed to keep a more modest price point in keeping with prevailing global economic conditions. The 42mm case (12.5 mm in height) has an attractive blend of both polished and brushed finished applied and had a water resistance rating up to 3 ATM. While my personal preferences tend to lean toward bracelets over straps, the grey alligator strap on the new PanoMatic Lunar XL is a real draw on this watch. Never before have I seen an alligator strap given an almost suede-like finish, which in turn not only looks fantastic with the grey dial of the PanoMatic Lunar XL, but it also gives it a more casual feel. I would have no problem wearing this watch with jeans - or anything else for that matter.



The stap is fastened together via a case matching stainless steel two-button, bi-fold clasp, with a deployant constructed of solid stainless steel. The Glashütte Original clasp is of exceptional quality, and is as good or better than any I've seen at any price point.



Like the other previous versions of the PanoMatic Lunar XL, this new model is powered by the Glashütte Original manufactured Caliber 90-02 - and that's a very good thing. The Caliber 90-02 is a self-winding mechanical movement with 47 jewels, a power reserve of 42 hours, and a balance which oscillates at a speed of 28,800 beats per hour (BPH). With the exception of the Incabloc shock protection systems, the Caliber 90-02 is designed and manufactured "in-house" entirely by Glashütte Original.


The movement is as finely finished as I've seen from any manufacturer (Swiss or German) from a production caliber, and incorporates a Glashütte three-quarter plate with stripe finish, a hand-engraved balance bridge, and a 21-ct gold skeletonized micro rotor. Polished steel parts, beveled edges, and heat blued screws are prevalent throughout the Caliber 90-02. But no doubt, the double "swan neck" fine adjustment on the balance icing on the cake:


The dial of the new PanoMatic Lunar XL features a new color - a galvanized matte grey dial. However, the dial layout will be very familiar to fans of the PanoMatic Lunar XL, featuring the hour, minute, and second hand subdial displays, the "big date" display between the 3 and 4 o'clock position, and of course the moonphase display located between 2 and 3 o'clock for which the Lunar XL is named. In typical German efficiency, the PanoMatic Lunar XL has complications on the dial which are coveted for their horological sophistication, but are first and foremost practical. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, which is anti-reflective coated on both sides. My personal preference would that only the underside of the sapphire crystal would be coated - sapphire crystals are highly scratch resistant, but AR coatings applied to the crystal can be scratched.

I for one am thankful that manufacturers like Glashütte Original are responding to the global economic downturn by producing new models at attainable price points, and not simply producing cheap watches which no one wants. The PanoMatic Lunar XL is a very attractive package, highlighted by a fantastic strap, and the compelling Caliber 90-02. The retail price of the Glashütte Original PanoMatic Lunar XL (reference 90-02-36-12-05) is $11,600.00 US, which is nearly under-priced given the horological artistry and sophistication of this watch.

**Photos & Text Copyright 2010 WATCH TALK FORUMS INC.. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

This article was originally published in forum thread:

REVIEW: The Glashütte Original PanoMatic Lunar XL>>>>>>>>
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