Time is a very crucial asset in today’s fast paced world. Exacerbated by connectivity, many of us are trapped in the furor of getting to the next location, next step in life, next career move, and have little time to savour the essence of living. Taking pride in one’s work, and having joy in one’s craft are many a times lost in transit. Although, there are instances where we have come across a select few, who embody a respectable passion for their work but have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Today, we begin a series dedicated to people and their craft, drawing inspiration from the world around us and how it relates to watchmaking and Glashütte Original.
The watch connection
Possibly the best accessory a man can have, the watch takes out the mundaneness of life at a glance. The watch serves as having a physical manifestation of a piece of memory, to commemorate life events, a skin-close companion through the thick of things. The connection runs deep, an acknowledgement of the last bit of humanity on the wrist. But what is truly respectable about a timepiece comes from the craft behind it. From the movement to the dial to the hands and case, a watch is created with care and precision. A brand that stands out among others for this dedication is Glashütte Original, who is famed for building almost every, if not every part of their watch in their own manufacture; and with the latest “Excellence” caliber 36, has demonstrated a passion if not obsession in delivering top-notch products to their clients.
Son of a Gan – Bespoke
A gifted individual with a sophisticated craft, Dave Gan is one of Singapore’s finest tailors. Despite his youthful appearance, he has been an apprentice since a young age, and has only recently started out on his own. He is a firm believer in delivering the best to his customers. Giving them “not just what they want, but what is truly good for them.” He understands that a good tailor is not just one who is skilled with his hands, but also a keen listener, observer and communicator. Forming a keen connection with his clients is a necessary condition for creating a good product.
Same as with watchmaking, tailoring is a fine craft which requires good training, great skills and the practice to perfect these skills. From start to finish and beyond, bespoke suit tailoring is a experiential process that requires a human touch, his discernment and intellect. It is popularly said that the first few suits made for an individual by the same tailor is usually terrible. It is only after a trial and error process, that the tailor fully grasps the physicality of his client and makes a suit that becomes “an extension of one’s body”. The craft involves a process beginning with measuring, then the cut/make/trim of the textile before having the pieces put together. The different parts, pieces and components come together involving different technicians along the way, or at times, one maker from start to end to create an end product which all take pride in.
Gan is unlike the typical media thirsty business owner. In fact, he revealed to us that he almost never agrees to an interview or feature. This exception with Deployant comes through his friendship with our Chief Editor Peter Chong. Gan engrosses with honing his craft and letting it speak for itself, rather than having a 1000 likes on Facebook. Drawing an allusion to Glashütte Original, there is a certain understated craft behind the brand that does not boast of itself, but is engineered with care, in the obsession for perfection. And we think it apt to celebrate this utilitarian embodiment of craft and the brand’s pursuit of excellence.
Why the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar – 3 Reasons
The build of the watch is exemplary. Cased in stainless steel, the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar has the ideal size and proportions and at a good price point. Much like a well-constructed suit, it is utilitarian in design and concept, but possesses beauty in fine details.
The right proportions
The Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is sized at 42 mm by 12.8 mm in steel. It is by no means a small watch, but for a perpetual calendar, it shows great economy in case thinness which is matched appropriately with a good dial size. In large attributed to the new movement, the new caliber 36 is designed at an updated size of 32.2 mm, instead of the 26.2 mm caliber 39. A movement built with the case in mind is something watch aficionados love. There is no longer a need for a movement ring or the wider stepped bezel. The case is also slimmer at 12.8mm vs 13.6mm of the calibre 100 older model.
Quality movement and 100 hours power reserve
The manufacture caliber 36, used as a foundational movement for the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is touted to be the future of the manufactory. It possesses a four-day or 100-hour power reserve, the larger mainspring provides greater stability for timekeeping due to the steady power supply which fuels the gear train and thus amplitude of the balance wheel. Compared to the predecessor perpetual calendar, this QP with the caliber 36-02 has double the power reserve of the previous calibre 100.
Furthermore, given that the Caliber 36 is thoroughly tested, adjusted and then certified by Glashütte Original, the Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar comes delivered with the paperwork testifying as to its performance after adjustment in 6 positions, different temperatures and at 4 intermittent stages of power reserve. Watches with the new movement bear the Q logo on the caseback, a sign of greater quality which alludes to the ‘Q1’ dials in the brand’s GUB past.
This extra peace of mind from not having a watch that runs out of sync or breaks down is absolutely necessary for anyone who hates running to and fro to service centers.
Highly legible and fascinating dial
Contributing to the high legibility of the display are the slim blued hands with the hour pointer slightly thicker in an “ace of spades” styled arrow head while the seconds needle is counter-poised with the GO motif. The dial is varnish silver-grainé finishing, and with GO, you get a dial made by the manufacture themselves. Its quality is nothing short of fascinating at this price point.
The watch makes so much sense as a perpetual calendar. The watch is fit with the signature equal-plane (both on the same level as opposed to one higher than the other) two-disc, oversized date display remains at four o’clock, with day, month and moon phase windows all optimally positioned around the dial for visual balance and legibility.
Stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore the world of music, the piano and how it is relevant and an inspiration to watchmaking.
Son Of A Gan, is a bespoke sartorial house inspired by our commitment to the ideals of exacting craftsmanship coupled with customer service. With a seamless concoction of modern sensibility, innovation and a tad of attitude, we are too schooled by tradition and driven by the need to create. We believe craft is used to achieve modernity, never to pastiche the past.
Photography & Art Direction by Peter Chong. Models: Chester Lau and Dave Gan.
Special thanks to Dave Gan for his participation in this cover.