On the first day of Baselworld, Glashütte Original presents Senator Excellence. This watch is exceptional in many ways. First, in an age when products have to be outlandish or expensive or both to get media attention, the Senator Excellence is beautiful in its simplicity, a three-hand watch with no date window, in a classic, elegant case. Second, it has a new movement, incorporating a vast amount of technical development. The Calibre 36 will in fact become the foundation of a whole new series of watches. Thirdly, one of the three versions presented at Baselworld is a piece with a black dial and luminescent Arabic numerals, in other words, very close to the pilot's watch genre.
The two daytime versions of the Senator Excellence have a 40 mm case in steel or in red gold, with enamel dial, blued hands, Roman numerals at 12 and 6, and a railway chapter ring. The display caseback reveals the Glashütte Original movement with its superb finish with Glashütte waves and blued screws.
The pilot's watch version
Glashütte Original Senator Excellence, black dial version in steel © Glashütte Original
This timepiece is an indication of just how important the pilot's watch type is becoming today. While the two daytime versions are classic dress watches without any SuperLuminova, the luminescent paint on numerals and hands in the black dial version makes the watch more practical for all-round use. It has a dark brown calfskin strap.
A new movement
Glashütte Original Senator Excellence, caseback © Glashütte Original
For a watch manufacturer, a totally new movement is a vast undertaking, comparable to designing a new car engine from scratch. Calibre 36 was designed according to the principle of "less is more," with just 180 components, and some important technical innovations. 100 hours power reserve is significant because it means that you can take the watch off on Friday evening, put it back on on Monday morning, and it will still be running. By way of comparison, most self-winding mechanical watches will continue running for about 40 hours. Glashütte Original achieved 100 hours by means of a Nivarox mainspring whose flexibility made it possible to reduce the diameter of the central arbor and increase the spring length to 68 cm.
The watch has several other inventions, veiled in secrecy, such as the detent click incorporated into the winding gear train. These improve reliability and precision, which reaches -1/+2 seconds deviation for the first two days of power reserve, an exceptional result. Another innovation is the fact that the movement is adjusted in six positions, instead of the usual five. The extra position is the so-called "bored office worker" position, chin resting on left hand... in other words, crown up in the vertical axis.
The two stainless steel versions cost €8,500 including VAT, and the red gold version costs €15,500 including VAT. The watch will be available in Glashütte Original boutiques from 20 March 2016, and in other authorised points of sale 3 to 6 months later.