The Glashütte Original Senator Observer in the flesh
Precision and watchmaking do not come only from Switzerland, but from Austria and Germany as well. Saxony boasts a long-standing tradition in high-end watchmaking, and Glashütte is where two exceptional manufactures were born, one of which is Glashütte Original. If you see somebody wearing a timepiece with a matte, single color dial, featuring a big date and a neat, no frills design, one time out of two, it will probably be a Senator.
Glashütte Original has made pendulum watches, marine chornometers and navigation watches, all rigorously mechanic, without for a moment indulging in quartz watches during the 70s, true to a tradition that has not changed in 165 years. The Glashütte Original Senator Observer is a Glashütte Original's pillar, not just because this kind of watch is part of its history but mainly because, as few people today will know, this layout is their unmistakable hallmark.
The Glashütte Original Senator Observer is a 44mm wide and 12mm thick two-registers watch. The seconds counter is on the left, and on the right there is a 55 hours power reserve indicator, that clearly shows you purchased a “deutsch” timepiece: the AB-AUF wording plus an uncommon scaling with multiples of eleven. It is the first time Glashütte Original widens its collection after having released a limited edition white gold version at Baselworld 2012, sporting an aviator-like style that is also part of the Saxon watchmaking manufacture (the Navigator series has been phased out some years ago, but if you're crazy about pilot's watches, I strongly suggest you have look around the internet).
Its hands are in white gold, chemin de fer styled, and between the two registers we find the panoramic date, the trademark of a Glashütte Original watch, even more than its brand logo; hallmarks are also the big Arabic numerals, and the general understatement that is common to deutsch timepieces: only two dials, white and matte black, have been added to the other two steel versions from the 2012 collection. Compared to these ones though, they change both in terms of the counters’ style and, especially, for that of the Arabic numerals on the dial, which are bigger, bolder and are filled with Super-Luminova™.
It is equipped with manufactured caliber 100-14, an automatic with a three-quarter main plate and a swan-neck regulating system, beating at 4Hz, with 55 hrs of Power Reserve. The 2015 Glashütte Original Senator Observer is bolder than its predecessor; Glashütte Original has done a great job on fine details. Take a look for example at the small dots placed at 3 and 9, and at the overall re-design of hands and scaling. A nice watch from the best deutsch watchmaking school, reminding both of a classic vintage aviator watch and of a marine chronometer; it houses a manufactured, superbly finished caliber made in small lots, to which I would personally have preferred a smaller gap between the dial and the flat glass; they will retail just below the 10000€ threshold.
(Photo-credit: Courtesy of Glashütte Original, Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®