My first fine mechanical watch is a Glashütte Original PanoReserve. I initially became interested in mechanical watches several years ago. In 2004, I finally decided to take the plunge and started my research. After the initial feelings of being overwhelmed by the technical aspects and the rapidly evolving mechanical watch market subsided, I focused on the PanoReserve. I was drawn to it by the dial design and fantastic level of finishing, inside and out.Each one of these basic technical features appealed to me:
- Offset dial.
- Manual wind.
- Small seconds.
- Power reserve.
- Big date display.
In October 2004, I bought the PanoReserve from a local authorized dealer. The PanoReserve features the caliber 65-01 which is only used in this model. A traditional 3/4 plate covers most of the movement through the exhibition back. However, what GO left uncovered is spectacular. The balance is exposed and shows dual swan neck adjustments with fine hand engraving on the balance cock. One of the swan neck adjustments regulates the movement’s beat and the other regulates the movement’s rate. The precision of my example has been a consistent +2 secs/day over the 3 years I’ve had it.
The steel case is a combination of polished and matte finishes. The case size is slightly under 40mm but the watch wears a little smaller and more comfortably on my wrist because the lugs are turned down. The hands and the watch dial do not have luminous material so night legibility is affected. All watch settings are managed via the crown. Winding the watch to it’s 42 hour power reserve has smooth and tactile feedback. The crown is large enough to grasp readily (important for manual winds, in my opinion) but not too large to seem out of place. Pulling out the crown one detent allows the big date to be changed. Pulling the crown out to the second detent will stop (hack) the movement and allow for precise setting. The black crocodile strap was very stiff initially but has broken in very nicely. GO provides a smoothly operating double deployant rather than a tang buckle for securing the strap.
I enjoy this watch today as much as I did the day I bought it. The layout invites the invariable comparisons to the A. Lange and Söhne Lange 1. I won’t go into that particular debate/discussion but suffice it to say, they are similar but different. If you want a watch with an “in house” movement in the finest German watchmaking tradition, I highly recommend the PanoReserve.