Unveiled at the beginning of the year in Basel, the Glashutte Original Senator Chronometer remains the most interesting model from the resurrected German brand. Featuring a timeless design with the traditional heat-blued hands looking especially gorgeous gliding over its silver dial, this may very well be a timekeeper of choice for those who think that a good old Breguet is just too obvious for a modern gentleman.
Delivered in a mirror-polished rose gold case of impressive 42 millimeters in diameter, thankfully, the chronometer is still smaller than the majority of Swiss-made “complication” watches that were brought to market during the recent Decade of Supersizing. However, it is still rather large for a dressy timekeeper with the problem further exacerbated with its relatively long lugs.
Giving Glashütte Original its due, I must admit that the extra volume is not wasted: it is almost completely consumed by the pocket watch-style caliber that powers it. Also, thanks to increased diameter, the Senator Chronometer looks more slender, better proportioned with its approximate height of 12.3 millimeters. Still, it would be wise to try the piece on your wrist before ordering it online.
While the watch indeed looks stunning, the selling point of this beauty is in its in-house Caliber 58-01 hand-wound movement. Featuring a swan-neck fine adjustment system, a balance wheel with 18 weighted screws, and stop-seconds mechanism, the movement not only allows for a precise setting of time but is also good at keeping time: the German chronometer certificate (LMET/SLME) that comes with each timekeeper guarantees that the mechanism will not gain or lose more than six seconds per day, which is great.
Also, as usual, the mechanism is decorated to highest specs that, with its beveled edges, vertical stripes, blued screw heads, and painstakingly polished and decorated gears (!) puts most of similarly priced Swiss-made watches to shame.
As you can see on the pictures, the timekeeper obediently follows the design language set with the beautiful, yet discreetly decorated movement and sports a vintage layout of its dial.
Although I would be completely stunned with a Grand Feu enameling on it, the sandblasted silver with contrasting blued hands and finely printed black Roman numerals the railway minute track and both sub-dial scales (small seconds at 6 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 12 hours,) too, looks gorgeous.
As usual for the German brand, the Senator Chronometer won’t come cheap: Glashutte Original plans to charge as much as $30,000 apiece. However, from where I sit, the watch is worth every penny the Germans ask for it.
In a recently released video, Glashutte Original demonstrated the process of setting up the mechanism. Pulling the crown, you automatically reset the small seconds counter to zero and, by turning the minute hand precisely by 6-degree increments, you can easily set the watch to the desired time with unprecedented accuracy.
Photos and video: Glashutte Original
Glashutte Original Senator Chronometer specification
Price range: $30,000
Movement: Caliber 58-01, hand-wound, in-house, certified chronometer, Made in Germany
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, jumping date, power reserve, day/night indicator
Power reserve: 45 hours
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Case: Rose gold, 18-karat / White gold
Transparent back: Yes, sapphire crystal
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 12.30 mm
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Alligator leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective