Winter Dreams With The Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna

You can tell winter has come to Glashütte by the bite in the air. It’s crisp and it’s cold; the moon is rising, the temperature’s falling and the starry sky is crystal clear. At night snow begins to fall, leaving our world in glistening white, stretching out under a pale blue sky as far as the eye can see. A time for quiet contemplation. A time to dream. Wintertime is dream time. This is the scenery in which they, the watchmakers at Glashütte Original, spend their winters… Dreaming up watches! The one we are presenting to you is an absolute marvel that comes in the form of the pale blue PanoMatic Luna.

Handmade for women who love to dream, presented in a 39.4 mm stainless steel case on a gray‐blue Louisiana alligator strap… but it’s all those diamonds that catch the eye Translucent, top‐class, brilliant‐cut diamonds: sixty‐four on the bezel surrounding the dial, eighteen mounted in pairs to mark the hours from eight through four, and one more capping the crown. Eighty‐three sparkling stones on the wrist, 1.09 carats in all – a dream constellation inspired by the light and the brilliance of the stars.

Something else about the light under a pale blue sky: it’s a clear winter light with a shimmering presence. It has to do with the colors, not just the sparkling white light of the diamonds. There’s a touch of iridescence, of pink, lilac, green and white in the sky. This light and these colors are not a matter of chance. The watchmakers have let the magic of winter inspire them here, too: the dial is hand‐crafted in pale blue mother–of–pearl.

Harvested from seashells, mother–of–pearl is both exquisite and temperamental at once. Its subtle reflections in pastel hues render it precious, but it is notoriously difficult to work with, so fragile that it demands extreme care in handling during its passage from shell to razor thin, finished dial.

As one of the very few prestige watchmakers with its own dial manufactory, Glashütte Original benefits from the expertise of a dedicated team of dial makers in Pforzheim, Germany, a city long known for its craft traditions, goldsmiths and jewelers. The rare skill of the watchmaker’s artisans – scientists, artists, and precision engineers at once – is evident at first glance: in the mirror‐like surface of the PanoMatic Luna’s wintry blue, mother‐of‐pearl sky. In the delicate pairing of brilliant‐cut diamonds serving as indexes on the off-center hour and minutes dial, in the ring of diamonds circling the bezel and the single stone atop the fluted crown: the dial is a blaze of crystalline light.

But there is more to discover about this winter light  Nothing in this feminine landscape has been left to chance, least of all the name: Luna. It’s no surprise to find the mirror‐polished moon shining a light of its own in a starlit sky. A moon in silver grows to a crescent and to full white brilliance, only to fade and disappear: the effect is hypnotic, mysterious, elemental. Behind the silver moon and stars lie the traditional craft skills not only of the dial makers but of the precision engineers and watchmakers who designed and built the engine that breathes life into the Luna.

The various phases of the moon in the night sky are represented by the galvanic white disc decorated with small stars in conjunction with two small curves that jut into the half‐moon cutaway on the dial. The disc, turned by the dial train, carries not one, but two domed silver moons, only one of which is visible at a given time. In the upper half of the display, one of these becomes increasingly visible as the nights pass, finally reaching “full moon” in the center of the window. Further rotation of the disc pushes the silver moon slowly under the opposite section of the dial as this silver satellite wanes and eventually disappears. While this takes place, the second “full moon” on the disc beneath the dial has traveled the same distance along its orbit, ready to become the next waxing moon.

The moon disc beneath the cut‐away window makes one revolution every 59 days, not quite two months. This is because one lunar month – the period from one new moon to the next – lasts precisely 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.9 seconds. This is known as the “synodic moon month”, represented by the time scale running from “0” to “29 1⁄2” days. The 59‐day revolution of the moon phase disc isn’t completely in sync with the precision timing built into the universe, since two synodic months add up to 59 days, 1 hour, 28 minutes and 5.8 seconds – but it is very close. In a proud indication of its origins, the PanoMatic Luna presents the name of this delightful complication in German: “MONDPHASE”, printed in black at the perimeter of the dial.

The moon phase in the upper right quadrant is complemented at the lower right by Glashütte Original’s signature big date display, known as the “Panorama Date”. It’s a compelling implementation of the traditional big date, with an important difference. In contrast to similar complications from rival watchmakers, the two numerical discs required to display the date are concentrical and hence are located on the same plane: there is no need to disguise a gap between numeric discs with a vertical bar in the middle of the display. The absence of the bar makes for excellent legibility, enhanced in this case by contrasting black numerals on a white ground.

In one last, lingering look at this lovely dial, we note the softly faceted hour and minute hands are fashioned in white gold, as is the slim hand of the small seconds dial, a fitting complement to the wintry white light of the moon and the sparkling brilliance of starlit diamonds.
There’s another side to this winter wonder: flip the watch over and you’ll find a sapphire crystal window into the world of Glashütte Original. The eye is drawn instantly to the butterfly, also known as the “duplex swan‐neck fine adjustment” system, a masterpiece of functional, precision engineering and the traditional finishing skills of hand‐engraving, galvanization, and polishing. Custom‐developed in the Saxon manufactory, the device allows for especially precise adjustment of the movement. It utilizes two “swan‐neck” springs operating independently of each other to regulate the watch’s rate symmetry.

Though there is a lot more to know about how it works, another facet of fascination about the butterfly is that is shows, convincingly, the lengths to which the Saxon manufactory’s watchmakers will go to transform complex functionality into a thing of beauty. It also exemplifies the combination of high‐tech machinery with traditional craft skills that makes it all possible. The graceful “swan‐neck” springs, for example, are made using “spark erosion”, an advanced electrolyte technology in which a metal wire finer than a human hair is used to cut the springs from a stainless steel blank with exceptional precision. They are then polished by hand before a master watchmaker carefully assembles this beautiful component.

Through the sapphire crystal case back one can admire the Calibre 90‐02 automatic movement, from the skeletonized rotor with its 21‐carat oscillating weight to the characteristic elements of Glashütte watchmaking: three‐quarter plate with Glashütte stripe finish, polished steel parts, beveled edges, blued screws and screw balance with 18 weighted screws.

That is all to be said about the Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna – the rest, all that matters, comes from wearing it. It’s winter, after all, and wintertime is dream time… And what would the holiday season be without wishful thinking and realized dreams? Sit by the fire, be happy you’re warm when it’s freezing outside. Give yourself over to the irresistible pull of the moon, to the power of that heavenly body to move you, and dream. Find the Glashütte Original boutique nearest to you for a chance to appreciate the PanoMatic Luna in all its stainless steel and brilliant-cut diamond beauty on our website.

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IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition ‘The Longest Flight

We’re still a little over a month away from SIHH, but that hasn’t stopped many of Richemont group brands from spilling the beans on a few key 2019 releases. The latest to join the year-ending tease is IWC, who has just announced a new limited edition Pilot’s Watch Timezoner (ref. IW395501), as part of a Spitfire refresh which joins three other Pilot releases.

The Timezoner movement with its signature ceramic worldtime bezel made its debut in 2016 with ref. IW3905 – the brand’s first in-house manufactured flyback chronograph with a world time complication. This new Spitfire design cleans up the dial a great deal by omitting the chronograph and red-tipped 24-hour hand in the center of the dial but adds in an altimeter-style 24-hour aperture that we haven’t seen on an IWC Pilot since the UTC TCZ – an excellent, but lesser-known reference from 1998

Unlike the discontinued Pilot UTC though, the Timezoner exhibits a cool mechanism that enables the wearer to adjust local time, date, and ‘home’ time, simply by rotating the bezel in either direction. Now, while it’s extremely convenient to be able to so easily adjust to local time upon landing at a new destination, the fact remains that both the local and home times are slaved to each other. This contradicts the beauty of the original UTC – and a number of other ‘true’ traveler or worldtime watches, wherein the hour hand can be adjusted independently of home time, or multiple zones can be read at once. The likely defense of the Timezoner is that its worldtime bezel enables the wearer to easily jump to an unfamiliar time zone simply by rotating it until the present location reads just above the cardinal triangle at 12:00. But the ability to tell the exact time difference between Tokyo and Los Angeles is still lost here, as the 24-hour window acts more like an AM/PM indicator for the current zone than a home time indicator. It doesn’t change the fact that this is still a great traveler’s watch – it’s just far from a true worldtimer despite what the bezel might be visually suggesting.

Now, if you’re as excited as we were to see a simplified Timezoner, or have been holding out for a smaller, more wrist-friendly globetrotting IWC (and who hasn’t, honestly?), you’re going to have to keep waiting. Even with the pared-down complication, the new Timezoner Spitfire still utilizes a 46mm case that’s a little over 15mm thick – which is a bit of a disappointment, but not entirely surprising, because it uses the same bezel. A smaller, more wearable case would likely require an entirely new interface between the movement, gear train, and bezel – and until IWC makes a smaller version of this patented movement, 46mm is here to stay. The lack of the chronograph and the new 24-hour display means the Timezoner gets a new caliber designation: cal. 82760 (the outgoing model used cal. 89760), which uses IWC’s Pellaton winding system, noteworthy for its efficiency and high wear-resistance 

Bearing a similar feature set as the original Timezoner, the new Spitfire edition features a solid caseback, 60 meters (6 bar) water resistance, and an AR-coated sapphire crystal that’s specially seated to maintain an airtight seal despite possible pressure decreases in the cockpit. However, unlike past Spitfire-series watches from IWC which have traditionally had silver dials and applied dial elements, this year’s Timezoner Spitfire is inspired by the inside of the silver aircraft, and now exhibits cream luminous elements and an olive drab green strap. It’s an undeniably great look, and a more rugged look for the dressier Spitfire aesthetic we’ve seen in the past.

We’re already planning to get plenty of quality wrist time with the simplified new Timezoner at SIHH in a few weeks, and will report back on wear impressions. In the meantime though, the price for each of the 250 pieces of this limited release is expected to be around $13,500.

Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch

There are watches that are meant to be worn by artist types – think of these as either being bold and often brightly colored, or clean and minimalistic, such as the various Bauhaus-inspired designs available today. There are also those watches “modified” by artists for some larger Swiss brands, but those are off the table for now. Then you have another class of art watch, that which appeals to the art lover who is not necessarily an artist themselves. It is in that category that I would place something like the recently announced Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch.

Now, I will not pretend to be an art connoisseur, Replica Watch nor am I familiar with the artists that the press release lists out as inspiration (Kandinsky, Malevich, Hundertwasser, and Gaudi). So, instead, I will go about with how the Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch strikes my untrained art critic eye. In many ways, the watch feels to me like a mashup of decades. You’ve got the ’40s and ’50s in the black and white sunrays and checkerboard, the ’60s show up in the party-oriented sport shirt patterns (in orange and yellow), the ’70s for the far-out, trip spiral around the date display, and then an overall love of the ’80s just with all the color, and the surprising amount of geometry in play on the dial.

Speaking of geometry, the Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch does have a bit of an odd one. You’ve of course got the circular dial set into a square outer dial and the case – giving a very angular finish to the front. Flip the watch over, you’ve got the same contrast between right angles and circles. While it gives the theme continuity and allows you to see the ETA 2892 movement with its custom rotor, the caseback feels, well, unfinished to me. In many ways, it actually looks like a dial blank reject from any number of inexpensive fashion watches with multiple dials. In that regard, the case back really does not fit the rest of the watch, in my book. Which, for a watch that runs a price over $3,000, that caseback seems like a miss. Fake Rolex Watches

The case profile of the Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch, on the other hand, I do rather like. It’s slender and slab-sided (as much as the 9mm thickness allows), with grooves into which wires are set (rose gold and PVD black) for a rather tidy look. Which, again, makes the caseback look all the more like the overlooked part of the watch. The thinness is appreciated here, as when you have a 41mm square case, you don’t need it to be overly large.

The Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde watch is the obvious successor to the prior ladies’ model that the brand released, and is currently available. Well, at least, the 100 examples that they’re making are. If you’re up for a very art-inspired dial design with a handset that looks straight out of MAD Magazine, then this just might be the watch for you. Just don’t look too closely at the finishing of the caseback, because it will totally harsh your groove. The Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde has a price of €2,500

Cyrus Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon Watch

When mechanical watches first enjoyed a resurgence in the ’80s, tourbillon watches were highly sought-after by collectors. But they were rare and difficult to make. Nowadays, there is no shortage of tourbillon watches for seasoned, well-heeled enthusiasts to choose from. With that said, how does one make a tourbillon watch that is different from the rest and stands out? As it turns out, Cyrus has an interesting solution: turn the tourbillon on its side and make it vertical, as it was always meant to be, with the Cyrus Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon watch.

Unless you are pretty tuned into Swiss watch industry developments, the name Cyrus might be unfamiliar to you. Founded in 2010, Cyrus is a relatively new brand and is part of the larger Cyrus Group, which also includes movement specialist Chronode. Chronode is behind some of the world’s most recognizable haute horology pieces including the MB&F Legacy Machine 1 and 2, Harry Winston Opus X, and HYT H1, just to name a few. The man heading Chronode is none other than noted watchmaker Jean-François Mojon. Hopefully, this little tidbit of information gives you a clearer idea of the capabilities of Cyrus Watches.

The Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon is a large watch, measuring 44mm wide and 18.65mm thick (water-resistant to 30m), with a complex case comprising no fewer than 26 parts. Cyrus offers the watch in three case variants: grade 5 titanium with black DLC, 4N 18k rose gold, and a two-tone case with grade 5 titanium and 4N 18k rose gold. There are some differences on the dial depending on the case material you choose. The rose gold and two-tone models have black dials with rose gold accents while the titanium model has a more plain dial with DLC finishing that makes it look more understated.

The Cyrus Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon has an interesting way of telling time. The dial is dominated by the central vertical tourbillon bridge that sweeps across the dial, dividing it into two. On the left half of the dial is a retrograde hour scale with Arabic numerals, and on the right half of the dial is a retrograde minute scale. In the center, like a table saw, is the vertically-mounted tourbillon with the seconds displayed on the tourbillon cage. There are two crowns: one at 3 o’clock and another at 9 o’clock. The former winds the movement and adjusts the time while the latter quickly advances the hour hand by hourly increments, which is nifty for flyers traveling across time zones.

The movement within was designed by Jean-François Mojon and is made up of 344 parts. It is a manually-wound movement and it has a power reserve of more than 100 hours when fully wound, beating at 3Hz. Finally, the movement is visible through a sapphire display case back. The bridges are engraved with a distinctive sunray pattern that alternates between polished and sandblasted finishes.

Its vertical tourbillon construction was designed with old tourbillon pocket watches in mind. Remember, pocket watches used to sit vertically in their owners’ pockets for long periods of time, and Breguet believed that in doing so, gravity would act on the escapement and balance wheel and negatively impact timekeeping. The solution, according to Breguet, was to rotate the entire escapement and balance wheel assembly so that positional errors due to gravity would be averaged out. Even today, the actual timekeeping benefits of tourbillons continue to be debated, so would this vertically-mounted tourbillon make the Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon any more accurate? Beats me. But does it look cool? Oh yes, most definitely.

Without a doubt, the Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon is an interesting take on tourbillon watches. Its unusual aesthetics and movement probably mean that it’s not going to appeal to everyone, but I think it’s fair to say that at the very least it tries to be different. More importantly, I think, is that it does so without sacrificing legibility and functionality, which is something you cannot say for some of the other outrageous and unconventional watches out there. The Cyrus Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon is priced at $129,000 in titanium, $145,000 in two-tone titanium and rose gold, and $166,000 in full rose gold. All three models are limited to 38 pieces.

 

Ateliers DeMonaco, the high end watchmaking arm of Frederique Constant‘s group of watch brands, joins a growing list of watchmakers that have created timepieces not just inspired by a car, but only available by purchasing the car. In collaboration with Prato Automobiles, the brand recently announced the Ateliers DeMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Orage Fake Watches. 

If you haven’t heard of Prato Automobiles before Replica Watch UK, that’s because the manufacturer is young. They recently opened orders for their first car, the Orage, with deliveries slated for late 2018. Given that the Orage is a performance car (the brand emphasizes the naturally-aspirated V8, 8.1l powerplant that can generate 900hp), it seems the collaboration watch could have easily been a variant of, say, the Admiral Manufacture Chronographe Flyback as flyback chronographs in particular are often associated with racing and automotive themed watches. 

Getting back to the watch, the Oculus 1297 Orage features the same Tourbillon XP1 movement found in the Rolex Replica watches Ateliers DeMonaco Tourbillon “Xtreme Precision” Oculus Petite Minute watch that Ariel discusses in detail here and that we previously saw in the Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Titane here. The movement offers a silicon escapement, sapphire tourbillon bridge, 22k gold rotor and hand-finishing all over. The caliber dMc-980, as it is called, offers 42 hours of power reserve and beats at 28,800bph. 

The primary difference with this version of Oculus 1297 is the case material – carbon fiber and white gold this time with an “ultralight titanium core.” By core, I can only assume they are referring to the spacer ring between the movement and the case but it’s hard to tell without any caseback images. The carbon fiber doesn’t have a uniform threading pattern, instead you see the white gold forming random tendrils through the case, creating a marbling effect. The case measures in at 44mm x 13.1mm and is rated to 30m of water-resistance. 

The dial is nearly the same as the one found on the Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Titane, with the repeating “lozenges” in relief, which I still think looks like a faux carbon fiber pattern – appropriate for a racing theme. The dial at the top for telling time is a skeletonized, white gold ring with dauphine shaped hands. The only differences from the Titane version are the presence of the the limited edition numbering on the left, the Orage logo on the right, and the background of the time telling sub-dial, which is similar to the case. The dial is also encircled by the repeating Prato Automobiles logo on the rehaut. 

The Ateliers DeMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Orage is a limited edition of 19 pieces, just like the Prato Orage, and as mentioned above, the watch is sold with the car. To make this relationship between the two products more significant, the alligator strap (with white gold threading, no less) of the Oculus 1297 Orage is embedded with an electronic chip that acts as a key to allow keyless access to the car. Not sure if that comes across as gimmicky or a nice touch, but I doubt it adds much practical value as collectors often prefer to rotate watches and swap out straps. 

The Ateliers DeMonaco Oculus 1297 has always been, in my opinion, a watch that appeals to a small group of people. If you do happen to be one of them and want one similar to this, your best bet (aside from buying a Prato Orage) would be the Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Titane with gold dial. Since the watch comes only with the €850,000 car, it does not have a price on its own.

Frederique Constant Launches its 28th In-House Caliber Inside the Manufacture Slimline Power Reserve

The highlight for Frederique Constant at Baselworld this year is the introduction of an entirely new range of dress watches that are equipped with a brand-new, manufacture-made movement that offers 50 hours of running autonomy.

The Frederique Constant Best Manufacture Slimline Power Reserve features a power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock and a date wheel at 6 o’clock in traditional FC fashion and comes in four different versions. The 40-mm case comes is available in either polished stainless steel or rose gold-plated stainless steel with three different dial colors (silver-white that is available in both case options, dark grey that is available in the polished stainless steel, or navy blue that is available in the polished stainless steel). Each dial has a sunray decoration to complement the classic design of the elongated feuille hands and printed Roman numerals .

This is the first Frederique Constant watch to come with a power reserve indicator on its dial which is somewhat of a surprise given that the company has previously tackled more difficult endeavors such as the tourbillon, flyback chronograph, and perpetual calendar. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense to add a power reserve to the brand’s fleet of value-driven timepieces.

The automatic, in-house made FC-723 caliber uses the FC-703 movement as its base with the addition of a power reserve module. It features classic decoration like perlage and Côtes de Genève. All the new models come on an alligator strap with a deployant clasp.

The three models in polished stainless steel are priced at $3,195 and the final version in rose gold plated stainless steel is priced at $3,495.