Angus Davies reviews the Glashütte Original Panoinverse XL, a watch with numerous rubies adorning its dial.
When The Rolling Stones released their song “Ruby Tuesday” in 1967 it was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
As I admire the beautiful dial of the Glashütte Original Panoinverse XL, it is the rubies which are an immediate hit with me.
The dial has numerous visual delights to captivate the wearer. The first thing that immediately draws the eye is the galvanic black three quarter plate. It features Glashütte ribbing, the vertical stripes running from north to south.
The hours and minutes are shown on an off-centre dial, biased to the left hand side of the face.
Examine the hours and minutes closely and you will observe white gold numerals and indices with an arced profile affording a three dimensional quality.
A smaller subsidiary seconds dial overlaps the aforementioned dial adding further interest to the face of the watch.
Adjacent to 2 o’clock is the power reserve indicator, sweeping left when the mainspring is fully wound. It quietly imparts the status of the mainspring using a discreet scribed scale marked on the three-quarter plate, ensuring the cohesive clarity of the face is not corrupted.
Duplex swan-neck regulator and balance bridge
The area between 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock is dominated by the swan-neck regulator and balance bridge. Glashütte Original have not hidden these within the case and followed convention but made them a delicacy to savour.
The Duplex swan-neck regulator provides fine adjustment of the beat and rate of the timepiece using two small index-adjusters either side of the balance wheel.
Look closely and you will be indulged with fine horology typical of this manufacture from Saxony.
The balance bridge is supremely adorned with engraving. It is constructed of silver treated with Ruthenium. Unlike untreated German silver it will not age, but retain a factory-fresh appearance.
The screw balance incorporates 18 weighted gold screws and reminds the owner of the painstaking perfection practised by the artisans in Glashütte. At its heart beats a Nivarox, flat balance spring, oscillating backwards and forwards at 28,800 vph.
The case is perfectly in proportion with a diameter of 42mm. It steers away from the recent trend for leviathan lignes. Constructed of stainless steel, it blends highly polished surfaces of the top and underside with the brushed vertical sides.
The crown bears the company logo and has a knurled finish to aid winding.
To carry the protected designation of origin. A watch bearing Glashütte I/SA on the dial must have at least 50% of the movements value added in Glashütte. This watch has a manufacture movement made by Glashütte Original, hence achieving this requirement comfortably.
This watch is faithful to the traditions of watchmaking from this region with Glashütte ribbing, three-quarter plate, gold chatons. It has not eschewed its values in the pursuit of modernity.
No perfunctory fastening, but a strap made of Louisiana nubuk alligator leather. It has a deployant made of stainless steel providing the leather with enhanced longevity when contrasted with a conventional pin buckle.
Back to those rubies
Admire the movement with its components beautifully polished and edges bevelled. It is an exemplar of endowed design eloquence. But I find myself returning to those rubies.
Rubies are often hidden within the case and are the bearings for moving parts, sometimes acting as small reservoirs for lubricanting oils. However, these rubies go beyond this and will elicit euphoria from admirers of haute horology. They punctuate the dial with pulses of warmth.
I count eight rubies visible from the front of the watch. Two gold chatons secure two of the visible rubies with white gold screws affixed to the three-quarter plate. They are a commemoration of the artistry for which this region is famed.
I am besotted by this timepiece. It has integrity and craftsmanship.
The aesthetic appeal of the dial cannot be denied. It is simply beautiful with a contemporary feel. However, it is the rubies which are the causation of my craving.
The warmth of the rubies featured on the dial would thaw the coldest heart. I would not restrict my admiration to Ruby Tuesday but want to wear this watch on everyday of the week.
Model: Glashütte Original Panoinverse XL
Case: Stainless steel, 42 mm diameter; 12.0 mm height; sapphire crystal to both front and rear; screwed base; waterproof to 5 ATM (50 metres).
Functions: Hours; minutes; small subsidiary seconds; power reserve display.
Calibre: Manual-winding; Manufacture movement; Frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 31 jewels; power reserve 41 hours.