The perfect blend of color and materials finally make this concept work…
The Glashütte Original PanoInverse XL was first introduced at Basel 2008. The concept behind this watch is a good one, which is to engineer and design the watch so that there is a minimalistic dial (at least not in the traditional sense of a dial) and the bridge (beautifully engraved) and balance wheel are visible through the front of the watch (normally features that appear on the back of a watch). As I say while the concept is a good one, I never liked the color scheme of the first watches GO released (pictured below). When I first personally handled the watch, I found that the black rings with applied gold numerals indicating the hours and minutes just did not seem to find harmony with the rest of the watch — in fact I think they drew the eye’s attention away from from the most visually compelling element of the watch, the engraved bridge and related components.
The first generation PanoInverse XL watches (2008) were not attractive to me
This year, however, is a different story. At Baselworld 2010, Glashutte Original introduced a new variation of the PanoInverse XL in stainless steel case with a subtle graphite/gray finish on the dial. Everything about this watch works. As you can see, the use of stainless steel numerals and accents looks so much better and more refined that the prior gold-accented versions. The watch looks amazing!
Taking a closer look (below), you can see the hand-engraved duplex swan-neck bridge is visually impressive. The duplex swan-neck fine adjustment introduced by Glahütte Original in 2002 is the epitome of demanding haute horlogerie and innovative and aesthetic movement design. This is a feature rarely seen in watches today. Functionally, what this mechanism allows is for the timekeeping rate of the watch to be finely adjusted (for example, if it is running somewhat too fast or too slow).
Glashütte Original always pays great attention to the finest details, and this watch is no exception. For example, notice below that the applied numerals and hour markers are curved/shaped to add to the depth of the watch. Impressive.
In summary, I think that this unique “inverse” concept has finally been masterfully executed, primarily as a result of some improvements in the color tones of the watch, and I would be proud to own such a fine timepiece.