The 68th Berlinale, one of the largest film festivals in the world, sets the stage for Germany-based Manufacture Glashütte Original to unveil their latest Chronograph – The Senator Chronograph Panorama Date – The Capital Edition (hang on while I catch my breath). This special limited edition attempts to channel an “urban attitude” and is inspired by the capital of Germany, Berlin. Featuring a neat “Bourbon Grey” or “Dry Silver” dial, three different case options, and Glashütte’s penchant for turning chronographs on their heads (literally), there is a lot to unpack in a single watch.
Let’s start with the case and dial. The case measures in at 42mm x 14.6mm high and comes in three different materials – stainless steel, rose gold, and platinum. The stainless steel and rose gold models will come with an in-house “fashioned” Bourbon Grey dial, while the platinum model features a “Dry Silver” dial. At first look, this dial appears to be laid out nicely, however, the more I look at it, the busier it feels. Less apparent in previous Senator Chronograph models with uniformed color schemes, I have a hard time feeling the vibe of the dial. Between the different colored indices and the blue sub-dials, there is a lot to unpack once I got past the initial glances. The painted luminescent hour indicators feature a Roman numeral indicator at 12 and 6 o’clock in a faux patina style.
When lit, it appears to be all the same color, however, in the light the rest of the indicators are white. Under the 12 o’clock indicator, the “Glashütte I/SA” text is printed above the hour sub-register, with the “Glashütte Original” logo printed under the Panorama Date at 6 o’clock. At the bottom of the dial is the standard “MADE IN GERMANY” along the bottom of the case. With the Roman numeral, “Glashütte I/SA” underneath it, the sub-register and indicators, the panorama date (in white instead of the faux-patina of the rest of the text), the Glashütte Original Logo, the text at the bottom of the dial, and the chapter ring, I feel this model creates a pillar of different fonts and styles down the center of the dial that feel cluttered – like it moved through an assembly line of people with different visions – and that was disappointing. Moving past that gripe, the lumed hour and minute handset looks fantastic, and as always, the GO logo on the inside of the lumed seconds hand is a nice touch. Inside the 9 o’clock register is a power reserve indicator that’s easy to miss if you weren’t paying attention. The watch carries a water resistance rating of 50m. Sapphire is used on both the front and back of the case, allowing you to view the movement.
And on that note, the watch utilizes the beautiful Calibre 37 movement, one of the low-key heavy-hitters when it comes to automatic winding chronograph movements. The calibre 37’s construction is what makes it so cool. While a lot of manufacturers would opt to include a chronograph module on an existing caliber, or in a lot of cases simply use an ETA/Valjoux 7750 or one of its derivatives, Glashütte Original set out to integrate the chronograph function into the movement itself and make it a Flyback. The movement beats at 4Hz, is made of 450 parts with 65 jewels (ironically called “simple” by Glashütte), and features a whopping 70-hour power reserve (and some have said upwards of 80 hours if you don’t abuse the chronograph).
Overall, I don’t necessarily think the watch looks bad by any means. Glashütte Original has long been a favorite of mine (in fact, the Senator Chronometer is one of my grails), and their use of unconventional dial layouts has long been a successful staple of the brand. While I’m absolutely positive that the quality and finishing will be impeccable by watchmaking standards, I can’t shake the feeling that perhaps the clutter down the center of the dial could have been better handled with the color scheme and chronograph style they went for. That being said, these are extremely limited editions, and I would have no reservations that these will not have a hard time finding their buyers quickly. I do feel like the watch does channel a certain urban vibe and I would like to think that means Glashütte Original is telling some of their fans to trade in their top hats and monocles for some Ray Bans and a Yankees hat.
Each of the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date Capital Editions will come with a calfskin and alligator strap with the exception of the stainless steel model, which will feature a bracelet option or a calfskin strap. The stainless steel model is limited to 100 pieces, and will carry a price of €13,500 with the bracelet option adding a steep €1,200 to the purchase price. The pink gold model will be limited to 25 pieces and carry a price of €27,700, and the 5 piece limited edition platinum model brandishes a cool €55,000 price tag. glashuette-original.com
The Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date is not a affordable watch, but folks get it to the case design, detailing, and of course, the in-house-made movement. Like I said before, it does take a relatively seasoned watch lover to really appreciate each detail and one of a kind style here. It’s all about the case, movement, dial, and bracelet – all of which are made in Germany.As all watches are sold or handed over because of their dial, let us talk about the one on this Seventies Chronograph for an instant. This variant is in a sunburst metallic blue, which is made by Glashütte Original by their own dial-maker which is situated elsewhere in the nation, in Pforzheim, Germany. The blue is not just chemically employed, but done utilizing a carefully constructed technique with layers of varnish. Blue is a popular choice for watch dials now, and that’s a great thing as it offers a more inviting color than gray, and can be a bit more friendly than, say, black, white, or silver. With that said, the challenge in producing a fantastic blue dial is in receiving both the exact right shade and completing. Too dark or light and it can easily ruin the allure; overly matte and it may appear cheap; too glossy and it can affect legibility. So once you find a blue-colored dial that is done right, it’s easy to appreciate it.