Accordingly, the manufacturer Glashütte Original carries its namesake with absolute pride, and has origins going all the way back to the aforementioned launch of Saxon watchmaking. The brand is among the few legendary companies to use movements developed in-house, and owns no less than 10 propriety movement innovations. What all that equates to are premium timepieces developed with the utmost sophistication toward design, manufacturing and innovation. To put it in mildly cheeky terms, Glashütte Original truly puts the gears in gear, and as a result they’ve garnered tons of acclaim and a very loyal following.
The newest stunner to hail from Glashütte Original is the Senator Excellence Watch. The Senator Excellence not only looks incredible by exuding the benchmarks of a top-shelf timepiece, but furthermore it marks the debut of the immaculate Calibre 36 movement. Calibre 36 was created on the basis of four core principles: absolute stability in rate and construction, maximum precision, a longer running time and a brilliant aesthetic. Glashütte Original is touting Calibre 36 as the epitome of craft, the culmination of over a century’s worth of engineering and design, and the foundation for the future of watchmaking.
Let’s dig a little deeper into those core principles, shall we? By aiming for unparalleled stability, the Senator Excellence actually reduced and eliminated what might be called the “weaker” components of a typical movement, i.e. the components most susceptible to breaking down. That meant employing new, better technology that rendered certain pre-existing elements superfluous. For example, they installed a bi-directional-wind-reduction and did away with the more traditional detent click. Helping to further stabilise the movement is the use of a bayonet mount–similar to what’s used in a camera lens–which increases shock-resistance while making the movement more accessible in terms of assembly.
To achieve the best in precision (as well as maintain the standards set forth by the Saxon watchmaking industry), Calibre 36 signifies the first time a movement has been fitted with a proprietary silicon balance spring. The use of silicon protects the delicate spring from fluctuations in temperature and even gravitational shifts, all while preserving the oscillation. Weighted screws on the balance rim and a regulator-free oscillation system allow for rate adjustment, while the bi-directional winding mechanism virtually guarantees an optimal rate by keeping the watch within charge range. And of course no watch would be precise if it’s not tested over and over again. Glashütte Original tested the Calibre 36 movement in six different positions, which is actually above norm when it comes to chronometer certification.
Let’s talk running time. Thanks to the employment of the new movement, the power reserve on this beauty is up to 100 hours. That means going up to four days before needing to re-set the time. Such remarkable self-sufficiency was obtained through the use of one spring barrel with an increased diameter and small barrel arbour, which expanded the mainspring and increased the winding time.
Of course, no amount of technology would matter if the end result didn’t look damn good, and the Senator Excellence simply oozes visual brilliance. That begins with the refined, classic watch face but extends to the innovative Calibre 36 movement itself. Thanks to a transparent sapphire crystal case back, one can see all the magic as it happens: the skeletonised rotor, the meticulously details wheels and track, the stripe finish, etc. The soul of the watch is on full display because when it comes to horology of this calibre (pun intended) there is breathtaking majesty to be discovered inside and out. Also included was a manual winding chain that allows one to see how it all goes down when the watch is wound by hand.
Matching those superb insides is a watch face that epitomises minimalist elegance. Not a single detail feels superfluous and the watch employs only the best in materials. Everything from the slim bezel to the clean and open dial to the domed sapphire glass to the satin-brushed case surface allows you to close your eyes and picture some genius designer or engineer obsessing over every understated component.
Since minimalism is about subtle details making big impressions, one might have to look a few times before noticing that on two of the three versions only the 6 and 12 o’clock markers are portrayed by Roman numerals, while the remaining markers are signified by solitary black lines with modest numerals at the end that were inspired by legendary Saxon pocket watches, all of that bordered by a tasteful railroad minute ring. Slightly protruded on the dial are eye-catching minute, hour and second hands that remain distinct and extraordinary without resorting to grand gestures. Rounding out the luxurious charms of these two models are black Louisiana alligator leather straps.