The new Glashütte Original Senator Diary (refs. 100-13-01-01-04 & 100-13-02-02-04) features the traditional design of the recently resurrected German brand, as well as a lovely mechanical “alarm clock” complication that lets you set the alarm time for up to 31 days in the future.
Who needs an alarm wristwatch now, when just about everyone has an iPhone or a Blackberry in their pockets and purses? Can such a device compete with professional organizers and GTD software that lets you plan your life for the next decade and beyond? Why does anyone need a wristwatch, for starters, if you have an iPhone in your pocket or a notebook screen right in front of your eyes?
The answer is simple because those questions are irrelevant. From the very inception of a personal (i.e. portable) watch, the market was divided between watches as tools and watches as accessories.
The first group was designed for the tasks where even a slight error in measurements could mean the loss of dozens of lives. As they evolved, the original mechanical chronometers were made obsolete by electronic devices based on quartz piezo-electric oscillators that, in their turn, use signals from high-precision atomic clocks to correct their readings. As does your notebook PC and, if the special software installed, your smartphone.
However, there is also a huge market for watches as accessories, where their first task is to look great and to stun other folks with their twin-tourbillons, depth gauges, minute repeaters and other complications that, let us be fair with that, serve absolutely no practical purpose.
Also, since any of these kinds of accessories is a piece of expensive jewelry, they have to feature intricate decoration on their dials, bodies, and even movements. That is the idea of just about any mechanical watch in the price range of €5000 and above: to impress the public.
The fact that the watch can also measure time with more or less acceptable precision just makes this piece of jewelry a trifle more useful than a class ring.
The new Glashütte Original Senator Diary is all that: a beautifully crafted expensive accessory with an elaborate 31-day alarm clock complication that gives its proud owner something to brag about during the happy hour.
Delivered in a mid-sized 42 mm case, which is both elegant and cool, the Senator Diary features GO’s new Caliber 100-13 automatic movement. According to the German brand, the beautifully decorated caliber, which perfectly visible through the transparent case back, is the same double-barrel Caliber 100-03 we have seen in the new Senator Sixties Panorama Date timepiece with an added alarm clock module.
Being one of the best “manufacture” automatic movements on the market, the Caliber 100-03 features a unique time reset mechanism that leaves the second hand connected neither to the winding stem nor the crown so the movement continues to tick even after you pull the crown and start setting the time. To reset the second hand to zero position, you have to press a separate button on the side of the case.
To our sheep though. The Diary Module that consists of whopping 340 parts, is, to my knowledge, the only alarm complication that allows the owner to set an alarm for as long as 31 days with a 15-minute precision.
To set the alarm, you should first set the desired date on the dial located at 9 o’clock. This is done with a push-piece at 8 o’clock and a crown at 10 o’clock. Then, using the same controls, you can set the desired time of the alarm on the 24-hour scale located at 6 o’clock. The scale lets you set the alarm with 15-minute steps from 0:15 to 24:00 hours.
Pressing the pusher one more time, you set the alarm on. Just don’t forget to wind it with the same crown at 10 o’clock so that the module has enough juice to keep the alarm ringing for the whole 60 seconds.
As usual, the Senator Diary is delivered either in stainless steel (ref. 100-13-02-02-04) or in a rose gold case (ref. 100-13-01-01-04.) The former features white gold hour, minute, and sweep second hands eternally circling its galvanized black dial and the latter is presented with a set of the rose gold hour, minute and sweep second hands and applied rose gold hour markers on its galvanized silver dial.
Photos: Glashütte Original
Glashütte Original Senator Diary specification:
Price range: $18,000 (model in rose gold case)
Movement: GO 100-13, automatic, in-house
Complications: Panorama Date at 3 o’clock, Alarm clock at 9 o’clock
Power reserve: 55 hours
Case: Stainless steel (ref. 100-13-02-02-04) or Rose gold (ref. 100-13-01-01-04)
Case shape: Round
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 14.40 mm
Dial: Black (ref. 100-13-02-02-04) or Silvered (ref. 100-13-01-01-04)
Hands: Rose (Silvered dial) or White (Black dial) gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Alligator leather strap with deployment clasp in steel or gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective