Watches: Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on May 1, 2014

Classic and elegant, well-conceived and perfectly crafted, sober and refined, technical and highly functional… these are the qualifying adjectives that come to mind when describing the German art of fine mechanical watchmaking, as perfectly embodied by neighbour brands A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original. After A. Lange & Söhne’s demonstration of expert craftsmanship during the SIHH in January, it was now Glashütte Original’s turn to showcase the extent of its immense know-how during Baselworld.

With an absolutely gorgeous PanoMaticInverse and a beautifully vintage Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date, the brand surely did not disappoint its large base of extremely educated watch fans. In my opinion, however, it is with the new Senator Chronograph Panorama Date that this upscale manufacture best showcased the talent of its watchmakers and design team.

The brand chose the understated and timeless case of the Senator collection to house the brand new 37-01 calibre. Entirely developed and produced in-house this self-winding movement with a generous 70-hour power reserve is the first conceived and built specifically as a chronograph movement by the brand. Equipped with a flyback mechanism, a small seconds counter and a power reserve indicator, it also features the manufacture’s unmistakable Panorama Date display.

With a diameter of 31.6 mm for a thickness of 8.0 mm, this impressive calibre has been designed to be as simple as possible, with the smallest number of parts to increase its stability and performance over time. The technical simplicity, however, does not prevent lavish finishing and this movement bears all the aesthetic characteristics of an upscale German calibre.

The watch’s exhibition back offers an uncluttered view on the traditional Glashütte three-quarter plate with Côtes de Genève decorations, blued screws and a central skeletonised 21-karat gold rotor with the brand’s double-G logo. Connoisseurs will also marvel at the beautiful column wheel or at the new oscillating system regulated by four gold screws.

Two versions of this outstanding chronograph have been presented. The first model features a red gold case and a pristine lacquered silver grained dial with elegant blued hands and a black railroad chapter ring with matching Roman numerals. It is mounted on a matt black Louisiana alligator strap secured by a red gold folding buckle.

The second rendition is even more luxurious and exclusive with its platinum case and blue Louisiana alligator strap. It also showcases a stunning and extremely unique silver dial. Made of solid gold, it is first hand-engraved with the railroad chapter and Roman numerals. These areas are then filled in black before a fine silver powder is applied to the dial using a process known as “silver plating by friction”. Basically, the silver powder will only be deposited on the gold areas (and hence not the black indications). The overall result is absolutely gorgeous and also extremely durable. Lastly, to better indicate how special this model is, the platinum crown has been set with a blue sapphire cabochon.

Whether you prefer the warmth of red gold or the prestige of platinum, the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date is an outstanding timepiece and a testimony of Glashütte Original’s dedication to fine watchmaking.