The history of Glashütte-made marine chronometers, the gimbal-mounted precision instruments that were essential tools for navigation, can be traced back to 1886 when the first model was sent to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg. This is the source of inspiration for the popular Senator Chronometer collection and just with a quick glance at the dial will recognise by the way the subdials are placed, by the shape of the hands or the Roman numerals the DNA of a marine chronometer. Probably the only element on the dial that immediately jumps out as something new is the panorama date at 3 o’clock since marine chronometers would not have a date window.
First presented at Baselworld 2009, the Senator Chronometer so far had two versions, one with a rose gold case and the other with a white gold case, both having a white dial. At this year’s edition of Baselworld, Glashütte Original will present a new model, with white gold case and a textured blue dial, that they call grainé.
Let’s take a closer look at the Senator Chronometer.
The deep blue dial, made at the company’s Pforzheim dial manufactory, has an elaborate texture, just like a velvet, obtained by applying several coats of lacquer, until the desired colour and texture is obtained. The railroad chapter ring, the Roman numerals and the indexes are finely engraved and galvanised in silver.
12 o’clock is reserved for a power reserve display that also contains a day-night indicator that can come handy when setting the date. From 6 in the morning until 6 in the evening the small circle appears in white, from 6 in the evening on, in black.
The panorama date is a large date highly visible date window, that uses two concentric number rings that are placed on the same plane. On the Senator Observer, date window is at 3 o’clock and it has the same blue background colour as the dial, integrating seamlessly into the overall composition.
At 6 o’clock we’ll find a small second sub-dial which sits deeper, just like the power reserve indicator, giving more volume to the dial.
The hands are polished white gold, creating a strong contrast with the blue velvety dial.
The 42 mm watch is matched with a midnight blue Louisiana alligator leather strap with standard or short fold fastener.
The hand-wound Calibre 58-01 packs several remarkable features. One of the most important among them is the refined second-stop mechanism: when the crown is pulled out, the time display stops and the seconds hand is reset to zero, simultaneously the minute hand jumps ahead to the next full minute index. As the crown is turned to set the time, the hand always jumps to the next minute index – thus ensuring that the correct relationship between seconds and minutes is maintained.
The beautifully decorated movement is visible through the sapphire crystal back, displaying the famous three-quarter plate, screw-mounted gold chatons, polished steel parts, bevelled and polished edges and a superb hand-engraved balance cock.
REF. 1-58-01-05-34-30 (Standard fold fastener)
REF. 1-58-01-05-34-50 (Short fold fastener)
Case: Ø 42 mm
Height: 12.47 mm
Material: 18 ct white gold
Strap: 21/18 mm
Waterproof up to: 5 bar
Glass: sapphire crystal, both sides anti-reflective
Bottom: sapphire crystal
Dial: Ø display 36.8 mm, varnish blue-grainé with engraved silver Roman/Arabic numerals/railroad chapter
Hands: white gold
Strap: Louisiana Alligator leather strap blue
Dimensions: Ø 35 mm, height 6.47 mm
Balance: screw balance with 18 regulation screws
Oscillating frequency: 28,800 vph, equivalent to 4 Hz
Power reserve: 44 hours 40 minutes
Balance spring: Anachron
Shock protection: Incabloc
Jewels: 58 jewel bearings
Additional details: Manual winding, central hour/minute, off-centre second, second reset with coupled minute ratched, Panorama Date, power reserve display, day/night indicator, exquisitely finished movement, bevelled/polished edges, polished steel parts, polished/blued screws, Glashütte three-quarter plate with stripe finish, swan-neck fine adjustment