I somehow missed it last year when the German Manufacture introduced its elegant Glashutte Original Senator Observer. Presented in white gold, it was as beautiful as it was expensive, so, for this year, the guys from the town of Glashütte decided to introduce a slightly more affordable version of the Observer in a finely crafted stainless steel body. Officially presented at Baselworld 2012, it was designated as ref. 100-14-05-02-04.
As you can see from the photos below, the new Observer is a typical “deck watch”. It sports a clean, easy-to-read dial with the traditional, vintage-looking hands and its Arabic numerals that are printed in a light-weight “sans-serif” font are neatly placed alongside the usual railroad-style chapter ring.
Of course, the calendar window here features GO’s signature “Panorama Date” window that has both calendar wheels placed on the same plane, which makes it look especially classy.
With its trademark bi-compax dial layout, the re-issue features a traditional small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock, which is visually counterweighted by a power reserve indicator that allows you to estimate how many more hours the watch will run before the power reserves in its mainspring will be completely depleted.
Speaking of power, it is worth noting that the watch is animated by a self-winding Caliber GO 100-14 movement.
Being a close relative of the Caliber GO 100-13 mechanism that powers the gorgeous 2010 Senator Diary, the movement, too, comes equipped with two spring barrels that together ensure that the watch will run for at least 50 hours before finally coming to a stop.
This may not sound particularly groundbreaking in terms of available power reserve (especially if you are considering the model together with a similar -but not identical since the beautiful Panorama Date indicator is unique to the German watchmaking brand- model made by IWC,) but it surely is enough for this watch to be “practical.”
As I have already noted, the watch is encased in a rather large stainless steel case. Sporting an impressive diameter of 44 millimeters, it is just 12 mm thick, which makes it look especially slender. However, for many potential customers, the size of the piece can still be prohibitively large. Although its lugs are short, the timekeeper still takes a great deal of a normal wrist’s real estate.
Still, If the size (and the price) of this thing doesn’t scare you away, you should give this one a try. It is just too beautiful to be easily ignored.
During the last 12 months we have seen a great number of mechanical deck watches, both affordable (like the last year’s Archimede Deck Watch R) and expensive (like the made-to-order 2011 Dent Denison Limited Edition,) however, the new iteration of the Senator Observer offers an unrivaled combination of simplicity, elegance, and technical ingenuity.
Photos: Glashutte Original
Glashutte Original Senator Observer 100-14-05-02-04 specification
Price: €9900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber GO 100-14, 31.15 x 6.5 mm, in-house, Made in Germany
Number of jewels: 60
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Divided three-quarter plate with Glashutte ribbed finish; beveled edges, skeletonized rotor with 21-karat gold oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, panorama date, power reserve
Power reserve: 50-60 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Grey or Silver, lacquered, finely grained
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Hour markers: Railroad chapter ring
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black Louisiana alligator leather strap or a vintage-style brown calfskin strap, stainless steel foldover clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides