Review: Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar, new from Glashütte Original

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Glashütte Original extends their Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar collection with a new model in stainless steel, in a very fine matte opaline textured galvanized rose gold dial. Limited Edition of 100 pieces.

This new watch adds to the already impressive Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar collection with 3 existing variants in stainless steel, one in rose gold, and one in white gold with a skeleton dial. This new release comes in two reference variants, one with a deployant buckle which we review here, and the other with a steel bracelet.

We have covered in detail for the existing models:

Review: Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1-36-12-01-02-61

Retail price for the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1-36-12-01-02-61 is SGD 32,500 SGD inclusive of GST. A variant in steel bracelet is also available Ref. 1-36-12-01-02-71 at SGD 34,400 SGD. This compares with a SGD 1.1k premium over the standard white dial version Ref. 1-36-02-01-02-30 with deployant buckle at SGD 31,400.

The new GO Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is a variant of the other versions, with some interesting and important tweaks to achieve a watch which looks rather different from the earlier ones.

The case, dial and hands

As mentioned, the case remains unchanged since the launch model in 2017. And there is no need to. The case is very handsome, with a small sloped, polished bezel presented with a flat edged case middle which is differentially finished in a linear brushed grain. The lugs are stylized and curved and feature a high gloss polish to match the bezel. The case middle is punctuated with the correction pin pushers for the perpetual calendar. The case measures 42mm in diameter and 12.8mm thick is neither overtly large, nor can it be described as petite or dainty. The case design and feel on the wrist has the heft which reminds us of its Teutonic origins.

The dial is the face of the watch, and can make or break even a great watch. In the new Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar, is where the largest change is applied, and in our opinion is what makes this watch so visually compelling and appealing. This was the strategy used in the 2018 version, where it was the main differentiation, apart from the offer in a white gold case, from the launch editions in stainless steel and rose gold. The dial of the 2018 version is a partial skeletonization with guilloché, with a rather modernist mindset approach to the design which drew some raised eyebrows. But with this new 2021 edition, the styling returns to a more traditional dial. The ever-popular “salmon” dial is offered in this new watch. GO calls this hue rose gold, and it is an anodization or a rose gold deposit over a very fine surface matte finish which is made in a process they call silver-grainé. The overall effect is quite beautiful. A soft and light grain is visible, but only just noticeable. It looks more like a matte sheen over the fine grain texture, similar to the giclage finishing we see on the Comblémine made dial on the Tulloch TC-01. As already mentioned in earlier articles, GO dials are manufactured in their own facility in Pforzheim.

The dial layout remains the same as earlier versions, as it is driven by the same movement. Attention to detail is apparent – the leap year sub-dial located under the 12 numeral, is circular grained, and the apertures for the day of the week and month is countersunk and chamfered. The plates displayed to show these indications are in white transfer print over a blue background. The moonphase aperture also features this same countersunk and chamfered look. The moonphase disc itself is shown as a gold moon over a blue night sky. The famous GO Panorama date is shown proudly at 4 and is also displayed in the same countersunk, chamfered cutout. The date is a two piece display on a single level, and is white numerals over a blue background. The blued steel hands are particularly beautiful, but is retained from earlier versions.

A railroad in a cobalt blue, matching the blued steel hands of the watch is transfer printed on the outer periphery, and appliqué Roman numerals are used as hour markers. The appliqué is also hand blued to the same hue, and leads us to suspect that it is also in steel. The hue of the cobalt blue of the numerals, the hands match very well, and pulls off as a magnificent and polished look of the dial. The same hue is also used in the transfer printed logo and the “MADE IN GERMANY” designation straddling the inverted Roman numeral 6.

This is a tried and tested layout, and keeps the full perpetual calendar information on the dial while retaining an uncluttered look. The dial is highly legible. At least in good light. In the dark, legibility is negligible as the watch does not feature any lume.

The movement: Cal. 36-02

The movement is the GO Cal. 36-02, which is retained from the earlier Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar offerings. This is an in-house designed and manufactured movement with a power reserve of 100 hours while operating at a modern 4 Hz beat rate. The balance comes with four 14k gold regulation screws, a swan neck regulator, incabloc shock protection, and an amagnetic silicon hairspring. The balance cock is hand engraved with gold infilling.

The Calibre 36 is well-known for its precision and stability, with quality control exceeding that of COSC standards. Each Senator Excellence timepiece comes with a certificate confirming that the watch has been thoroughly tested for 24 days in the Saxon manufactory, the results of which can be accessed by the owner online.

Movement finishing on the Calibre 36-02 is excellent, with all haute horlogerie elements attended to in an attractive and practical manner – with polished steel parts, blued screws, Glashütte ribbing, bevelled edges, and a skeletonised central rotor.

The competitive landscape

The competition for a steel perpetual calendar is perhaps not the most heavily populated one. From the bag of usual suspects, perhaps we can draw attention to the Montblanc Heritage Perpetual Calendar (approx SGD 26k) and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel (SGD 33k). Both have somewhat more cluttered dial layouts, with legibility suffering when compared to the GO. And neither is offered in the “salmon” dial which we find particularly attractive.

Concluding thoughts

The GO Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is a beautiful watch. Worth saying it again – this watch is gorgeous. Every design element gells very well, the rose gold dial with its subtly grained surface and blued steel accents is what really makes the visual impact of this watch so magnificent. Legibility is not compromised at all. And the steel case makes a case for a more accessible perpetual calendar, not only in the relatively modest price of SGD 33k, but also in the size department. Though 42mm might be on the high side of the popular these days, the GO Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar wears nicely. Perhaps due to the short lugs which curve, and as seen below, it hugs the wrist well.

The movement is excellent, and well worth the celebration we threw at it in our 2018 review. And overall, this is a fine, fine watch, worthy of a high and strong recommendation.

Photo Notes

Photographed in our studio with the Leica S3 and APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 ASPH CS and Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH CS lens. Profoto strobes.


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