eveloped at the end of the 20th century, the annual calendar complication is a relatively recent addition to the art of watchmaking. It displays the day and month, taking into account the months with 30 and 31 days. Only once a year, on March 1st, is it necessary to adjust the date. This differentiates the annual calendar from its big brother, the perpetual calendar, which also takes the short month of February into account, even in leap years. The annual calendar, however, is concerned not so much with eternity as with the present. The mechanism takes up less space in the movement and is distinguished by its resilience, which makes it an ideal companion for everyday use.
A team of watchmakers, designers, engineers and technicians at Glashütte Original has now focused considerable creativity and watchmaking savoir-faire on this mechanical challenge. The new Calibre 92 was designed to meet the needs of modern life, to make complex mechanisms easy to operate and wear. As a result, the new automatic movement – only 7.65 mm in height – impresses with its exceptional user friendliness and refined details. Along with the off-centre hour, minute and small seconds displays characteristic of the Pano family, the Calibre 92 features a moon phase display, a Panorama Date and a retrograde month display driven by a cleverly designed mechanism.
With the annual calendar the date advances automatically at the end of the month from the 30th or 31st to the 1st. What seems like magic is in fact a precisely calculated and meticulous mechanical operation. The month wheel at the heart of the movement serves as this function’s “memory”. Glashütte Original’s watchmakers have equipped it with a ball bearing. A total of 38 tiny balls made of hardened steel with a diameter of 0.5 mm ensure that friction is reduced to a minimum and the efficiency of mechanical processes improved. The cam disc at the top of the wheel completes one revolution per year, and its irregular rim triggers the switching process at the end of the month; its indentations mark the months with 31 days. A small tooth on the underside of the wheel advances the month ring via a gear chain, bringing the retrograde display on the dial side to life.
The retrograde display highlights the current month in a stylish fashion. A curved sapphire crystal window between 3 and 6 o’clock uses numerals to indicate the 12 months. The crystal is tinted grey, with the sole exception of the month numerals. The indicators on the month ring beneath it, which completes one revolution every four years, ensure in this manner that only one digit at a time is highlighted in color. This type of display is a genuine novelty at Glashütte Original and represents a stylish and innovative interpretation of the classic month display.
The characteristic Panorama Date, which completes the annual calendar information at 4 o’clock, is one of Glashütte Original’s trademark features. Thanks to the concentric mounting of two display discs on the same plane, the date can be read at a glance, with no need for a bar separating the digits. The date is adjusted, just like the month, hour, minutes and small seconds, with the help of the crown. The moon phase at 2 o’clock shows the celestial profile of the earth’s satellite against a sparkling starry sky. In theory, the moon phase will be displayed correctly for 122 years; only after this period has elapsed would it need to be manually adjusted by one day. It is set using a discreet corrector on the edge of the case.
Evidence of the new calibre’s contemporary ambitions is provided by the silicon balance spring in the heart of the watch, increased protection against the magnetic fields of everyday life, and a 100-hour power reserve for maximum autonomy. The movement is secured in the case with a bayonet mounting, which ensures effective shock and impact resistance. Each watch is assembled, finished and regulated with great manual skill in the manufactory workshops. The sapphire crystal case back permits discovery of the many indications of its origins in Glashütte, including the elegant Glashütte stripes finish, beveled edges, blued screws, the hand-engraved balance cock, the renowned three-quarter plate and the carefully decorated rotor with an oscillating mass in 21-carat gold.
The new movement premieres in two versions at once. It presents its rhodium-plated face as Calibre 92-09 in the version with a red gold case. The 42 mm diameter satin-polished case is lightly domed and sits comfortably on the wrist. The dial on this model is in silver opaline, a soft, warm silver tone. The refined rehaut ring, which frames and highlights the dial, is particularly elegant. The hour, minute and small seconds dials appear with a finely fluted vinyl-type decorative pattern. Golden appliques and hands coated with Super-LumiNova®, along with a classic blued steel seconds hand, set brilliant accents; these are taken up by a golden frame around the Panorama Date – this too a first for Glashütte Original. The month is highlighted by a black indicator on a white ground, while the colour of the moon is attuned to the red gold case. This unlimited edition is worn with a brown Louisiana Alligator nubuck leather strap with foldover clasp or pin buckle in red gold.
The new movement, appearing as Calibre 92-10 in its skeletonized and black rhodium plated version in a 42mm platinum case, represents a completely different approach. Limited to 150 pieces, this model offers views of – among other things – the month wheel positioned below the small seconds, the moon phase switch and the date discs. The generously cut out galvanic black dial with fine vinyl-type decorative pattern is set with applied indexes in white gold. The minute and hour hands are blued and coated with Super-LumiNova®, the seconds hand is rhodium plated and skeletonized. In keeping with the watch’s dark look, the month display appears in white against a black background, and here the moon has a silver shimmer. The strap is in black Louisiana Alligator nubuck leather with a foldover clasp in platinum.