Glashütte Original’s concept for this watch is based on antique naval timepieces, but the name Senator Observer seems to reflect a link to the Beobachtungs-uhren or Observation watches that were part of air force traditions. In this piece the pilot’s watch elements are the black dial, clear Arabic numerals, and hands and hour indications coated with SuperLuminova. Glashütte Original have added a few other ingredients to transform the piece into a practical, prestige, everyday watch.
The small seconds dial on the left is balanced by the power reserve indicator on the right. The big date window is wonderfully legible and will be appreciated by all those people who find the standard date on watches too small to be useful. Turn the watch over, and you can see the splendid Glashütte Original Calibre 100-14 self-winding movement. The oscillating weight, whose swings transfer energy from your own gestures to the mainspring, is open-worked, so as to leave as much as possible of the movement in view. This means that you can see the balance running at 4 Hertz, and the beautifully-finished bridges.
Glashütte Original Senator Observer caseback. Image © Glashütte Original
At 44 mm, it’s a very wearable watch, with black calfskin strap or stainless steel bracelet.
The nicest thing about the watch is something you don’t notice. The dial is perfectly balanced in terms of visual design. It’s something that you begin to appreciate when you see some other pilot’s watches by lesser brands in which, for example, the numerals aren’t quite right, or they’re too small and banal, or the hour markers are too large, and so forth. Designing a dial that looks good is a task made more difficult by the fact that it has to take certain limitations into account, such as the way the movement is engineered. With the Senator Observer, Glashütte Original succeed very well.
The watch costs €9,000 with leather strap, and €11,100 with stainless steel bracelet.