I must admit: When I caught the first glimpse of the new GO Ladies watches in the showcase at the booth's entrance, I was shocked. Nearly all luxury watch brands had presented diamond-encrusted mutatations of what formerly were high horology mechanisms: tourbillons, chronographs devoid of their original functionality, reduced to pieces of jewellery that are very likely to be stored in a closet, once the first service bill over several thousand Euros has arrived ...
And now Glashütte Original seemed to have taken the very same course ... oh no! That can't be!
A bit later, I had the opportunity to handle the watches, and study them at close range. What shall I say? My opinion has changed drastically! The new GO Ladies series belongs to the most beautiful watch line I have seen at the fair. Their beauty already starts with the name:
The five members of the "Star Collection", of which I am presenting three, have been designed by a lady with apparent abilities: Instead of simply plastering the base shapes of case and dial with diamonds, the watches as a whole underwent design adaptions and modifications, in order to make each model unique and a completed picture, just like a painting. Common to all models is the ovale panoramam date window. The round shape is seen as a central design element, in which the rectangular shape of the standard panorama date window would have been out of place. Due to technical constraints, it was impossible to draw the ovale line outside
the rectangular date window, since this would have revealed the finish of the top plate, which looks too technical for these watches. Consequently, the ovale window outline had to drawn inside
the original date window, reducing the area available to the date display. Thus the panorama date is not exactly "panorama" sized any more. But - to be frank - with the tiny watches ladies had to live with for decades, this date window is still a huge leap forward in ergonomics!
All watches are adorned with jewels, but not for their values' sake; here, the gemstones are strictly positioned as design elements, embedded into the general theme of the particular model.
The "Sun Ray" is based on a handwound PanoReserve, with the Sun being its central design theme. The main (sub-)dial for hour and minute is transformed into a blazing sun, apparently emitting 'twinkling' diamonds, and an absolutely intriguing pattern of waving sunrays. The small second stis in a big teardrop, while the arrow-shaped power reserve hand moves over a smooth base, made from mother-of-pearl. The case sides wear a delicate wave pattern, repeating the theme of the dial. The diamond bezel beautifully frames sunburst.
Counterpoint to the bright sunlight, symbolized by the "SunRay", is the "SummerNight", appropriately based on the PanoMatic Lunar. This one is my personal favourite. The night sky is the central design theme, marvelously expressed by the two-tone blue concentric circles on the dial, having their source in the hour/minute dial. There, within the brushed golden hour register, a nearly black segment, with hundreds of tiny twinkling 'stars' shows the depth of a clear night sky, with the small second moving in a star shape.
In particular, I love the 'star clusters' shown by diamonds onthe dial, and the jewels (sapphries and diamonds) that are set in an irregular pattern into the case sides. From each one, 'rays' cut into the metal repeat the star shape.
At first sight the most impressive watch, the "BlackSecret" is nonetheless the one that left the faintest impression with me. And not only with me, but with most of my female colleages and friends, to whom I have shown these pics. Not less than 222 rare black diamonds
leave no doubt about the origin of the watch's name. However, it is also clear that the stones are there to impress by themselves, without any real design offering an aesthetic framework. Nearly all case and lug surfaces are covered with diamonds in geometric arrangement, only the dial itself has an interesting, irregular pattern in smooth black over semi-flat black which is only apparent in direct light.
After the initial fascination of the rare sight of black diamonds has worn off a bit, all that is left is a rather conventionally designed ladies watch.
The other two watches from the collection are called "PinkPassion"
The "PinkPassion" (PanoMaticDate) with its flower design represents a somehow typical female cliché. Interestingly, all my female friends ranked this watch far behind the three shown above. I am sure, though, that it will be popular.
Neither Alberto nor myself have pictures of the "WhiteCrystal", unfortunately. As its name says, it is primarily white. Any other features have not burnt themselves into my memory, so I assume that it was not that impressive.
Aside from the latter two models, I think it has become clear that I was duly impressed with the new Ladies watches, and I think that GO has made a good choice with the female designer responsible for the series. Especially the duality of sun and night themes ("SunRay" and "SummerNight") is unusual and convinces with the apparent care for aesthetic detail.
So it is
possible to create feminine timepieces where the design does not surrender under the weight of the jewels placed upon!