The new Glashutte Original Senator Observer Hands-On
April 5, 2015
Glashutte Original debuted a redesigned version of the Senator Observer at Baselworld last month. The key changes are a new matte black lacquer dial and lance-shaped hands.
This watch does have word “Observer” in its name, however, it’s not an “observatory chronometer,” nor is it a “marine chronometer.” Those timepieces have been thoroughly tested to guarantee a high level of accuracy, especially for navigation and scientific exploration, whereas the Senator Observer has a very legible display, a characteristic of an “observatory chronometer,” it is actually a “deck watch.”
Interestingly, deck watches were originally used in conjunction with the marine chronometer aboard a ship to transfer time from the chronometer to the deck to time sextant measurements. This allowed the chronometer to be kept near the center of the ship to reduce the negative effect of rolling and pitching, and to minimize temperature changes.
According to the NAWCC, “watches for this purpose did not have to be especially accurate and they did not require much if any observatory testing.”
For 2015, the Glashutte Original Senator Observer comes in a 44 mm by 12 mm stainless steel case, with a satin-brushed case middle, and polished bezel, top for the lugs and crown. The dial is protected by a flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective on both sides, and the caseback is see-through.
A multi-layer matte black lacquer finish with printed white Arabic numerals, a printed train track style chapter, and printed sundials for small seconds and power reserve make up the aesthetics of the dial. Notably, all of the white markings are done in a luminous material (see image below). Additionally, the white gold hour and minute hands also have a luminous treatment. Even the subdial rings and hands are luminous.
Powering the 2015 Glashutte Original Senator Observer is the same movement from the 2012 Senator Observer model we covered HERE. However, for some reason, the new iteration does not have the corrector to adjust seconds without stopping the balance wheel.
Caliber 100-14 is an automatic with 60 jewels and oscillating frequency of 4Hz (28,800 beats per hour). It has Glashutte Original’s signature 21K gold oscillating weight, with the gold-plated double-G mark, and has a power reserve of approximately 55-hours. The balance is free sprung. Bridges and rotor feature Glashutte ribbing (stripes). Uniquely, the crown wheel has a sunburst pattern, similar to what you see on NOMOS Glashutte movements (made in the same town).
Retail price on the leather strap is $11,800 and on the steel bracelet it is $13,300. (Ref. 100-14-07-02-70 - steel bracelet, 100-14-07-02-30 - leather strap w/standard fold-over buckle, 100-14-07-02-50 - leather strap w/short fold-over buckle)
Glashutte Original has taken an already good design and made it better with new hour and minute hands and a matte black dial. The overall proportions are good at 44 mm by 12 mm, although if I am being honest I would prefer it to be slightly smaller in diameter, with the same thickness.