A few months ago my esteemed colleague and friend, Olivier Muller, introduced you to the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date from Glashütte Original. Officially unveiled at Baselworld 2014, this classic timepiece has everything you’re looking for in a chronograph, including a brand new, in-house movement. Recently I had the opportunity to get my hands on the final version of this gorgeous new watch and so I’d like to share my initial thoughts with you.
Before I do that though I should probably disclose that I have always been somewhat of a fan of the Senator collection from Glashütte Original, and so I may not be entirely impartial in my comments. That being said, I think you will probably agree with me from the outset that this is one seriously good looking watch.
Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date
Undeniably classic in its design – even a little sombre, if you will – the Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date has a very masculine feel to it, exuding a strong presence on the wrist without being overpowering. This is partly due to the fact that Glashütte Original have elected to offer this new timepiece in a very wearable 42mm case, a decision I for one really appreciate, but more on that later.
Perhaps more importantly though is the fact that the new Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date features an in-house movement designed specifically for this purpose; the Calibre 37-01. This is not simply a re-tooled movement that has been modified to fit the watch but rather the brand’s designers have set out with the intention of creating a top quality, column-wheel chronograph, and the significance of this cannot be overstated.
As Olivier touched on in his earlier article, the automatic 4Hz column wheel Calibre 37-01 has been designed to be as simple and compact as possible. Of course you should keep in mind here that a German watchmaker’s definition of ‘simple’ is very different from yours or mine.
When we think simple, we mean simple. When they think simple, they mean streamlined, efficient, and above all reliable. Not surprisingly, achieving those ideals in the world of mechanical watchmaking is a rather complicated process, especially when starting from scratch and with the added challenge of keeping things compact.
Never one to shy away from a challenge however Glashütte Original has done nothing short of a marvellous job in developing the new Calibre 37-01. Despite having a diameter of just 31.6 mm, the new movement offers all the functionality you would expect from a high-end chronograph, and then some. I won’t go into too much detail here as Olivier already covered the technical aspects in his first article, but suffice to say it is extremely impressive.
As you can see in the photos the dial features a central stop seconds hand, 30 minute and 12 hour counters, all of which ‘flyback’ to their starting positions at the press of the reset button. Hours and minutes are shown on the standard dial, whilst the small seconds are shown on a separate sub-dial at 9 o’clock, which also features a cleverly integrated power reserve indicator. Completing the look is of course the large panorama date display at 6 o’clock, which nicely balances out the three sub-dials.
All of this combines to make for an extremely legible timepiece on the wrist, which also happens to look pretty sexy too. It certainly doesn’t hurt of course that the model I reviewed features a platinum case combined with a striking silver dial, complete with laser-engraved black tachometric scale, railroad chapter rings and Roman numerals. There is also a second version available in 18 carat Red Gold with a lacquered silver grained dial that is also quite nice, but I must admit I prefer the platinum version. Both models of course feature flamed blue hands, which are rather eye-catching, especially when they catch the light in just the right way.
As with all Glashütte Original pieces however, it is not just the dial that is eye catching. Turn the watch over and you get a bird’s eye view of the new Calibre 37-01 through the sapphire case back. Admittedly it is not as elaborately decorated as some of the brand’s other movements however it is still beautifully finished and bears testament to the German brand’s commitment to the use of traditional techniques. The 21-carat gold central skeletonized rotor features a double G motif, whilst Glashütte stripes adorn the automatic bridge.
The Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date sits comfortably on the wrist due to its very wearable 42mm diameter however the 14mm case thickness may prove a little problematic for some, which is unfortunate. Personally this is my only real reservation about this watch, given its classic looks and traditional design I would have preferred if it were a bit slimmer on the wrist, as I imagine I would often be wearing it with a suit, or at the very least a shirt. The added thickness also means it sits reasonably heavy on the wrist, which I quite like as it gives that real sense of quality. That being said I am sure that this may be a cause of annoyance for some, especially after a full-day of wearing.
Presented on a blue Louisiana alligator leather strap with a matching blue sapphire set into the crown, the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date can be worn as a serious dress watch or to the office on a more casual day-to-day basis. The red gold version is priced at US$31,500 and the platinum version pictured is US$55,600.