Thursday, October 22

Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer – Limited Edition: hands-on review

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Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer was first released in Baselworld 2009 with two versions – white and rose gold with silver dials. In Baselworld 2016, the watch was updated with a blue in-house manufactured dial. The 2020 version now comes with a new case design, noticeably the bezel and a differently finished movement.

We had previously reviewed the earlier version of the Chronometer:

Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer

Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer – Limited Edition

The Case and Dial

The white gold case measures 42 mm in diameter and 12.47 mm in thickness. It comes with an open caseback and is water resistant to 5 bar.

The blank is made of solid gold and is engraved with great care. The engravings are subsequently filled with black lacquer and burnt in with heat in a kiln. In a final step the blanks prepared in this way are manually silver plated. An elaborate process calls for a perfectly calibrated mixture of fine silver powder, salt and water to be rubbed on the dial by hand with a brush, in order to achieve a shining silver surface. This results in a fine, even shimmer across the surface texture of the dial.

Heated blue steel hands are used to tell the time and indicate the 45 hours power reserve.

 

The new 2020 version comes with a fully concave bezel, without a step which was used on the previous model. The rehaut portion also looks longer than before. From an angle, the rehaut depth does seem to suggest that there is quite some space between the hands and the crystal which could have been optimized for a slimmer case.

 

The bezel is fitted with a delicate knurled edge, which served to improve the grip on marine chronometers of the past. A limited edition serial is also added on the dial at the seconds subdial.

 

Shown in the photograph below is the comparison to the regular edition in rose gold.

The Movement

The timepiece is powered by the finely finished Calibre 58-03 manual winding movement, whose wheel bridge is also silver plated and subsequently given a galvanic coating in rose gold. The other frame components are also coated entirely in galvanic rose gold.

The frosted finish on the three quarter plate gives the watch a distinctive look.

The innovative manufactory movement features, among others, a refined second-stop mechanism: when the crown is pulled out, the time display stops and the seconds hand is reset to zero and held there; simultaneously the minute hand advances to the next full minute index. When one then turns the crown to set the time of day, the hand jumps from one minute index to the next – thus ensuring that the correct relationship between seconds and minutes is maintained.

A sapphire crystal case back allows one to take in the classic features of the Glashütte art of watchmaking at a glance: the characteristic three-quarter plate, screw-mounted gold chatons, polished and bevelled steel parts and the hand-engraved balance cock unite exceptional watchmaking expertise with a genuine work of art.

Movement decoration of the Limited Edition is also different from the regular one.

On the wrist, it is comfortable, and legibility is excellent in good light.

Concluding thoughts

The new Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer – Limited Edition is limited to 25 pieces and is an incredible piece from the brand. The movement finishing looks great and the rose gold treatment is arguably more attractive than the previous design. Zero reset seconds and minute adjustments are lovely complications that are useful for precision timekeeping. While we prefer the previous model’s bezel design, the new case with its reduced size dial, larger spaced rehaut alludes more to the marine chronometers of old. When one understands the concept, the design is more justified. The watch is priced from US$27,900.

Photo Notes: Photographed with the Canon EOS R6 with EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens.

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