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It seems that around November or December our thoughts seem to gravitate towards the upcoming watch trade shows (SIHH and Basel) in Switzerland. Our anticipation harbors both hopes and fears. The hope that our favorites will be upgraded or the fear that the same favorite may be discontinued looms large at this time of the year.
Over the last few years Glashutte Original new releases have saddened but also rejuvenated GO collectors. The discontinuation of the rugged Sports Evo and Senator Navigator and Aviator lines disappointed many enthusiasts.
These watches gave collectors the ability to own a handsome rugged sports watch from a luxury manufacturer (that option still remains from Breguet, AP, VC and others). The Sports Evo and Navigator if kept in production may have taken their place amongst other luxury sport watches. The facts are that Glashutte Original makes fantastic watches made by hand with dependable reliable and beautifully finished in house movements. They only make very few watches each year and in order to continue to deliver a quality product must limit the amount of references they have available. This could be part of the reason for discontinuing their sport models.
The disappointment of the sports lines being discontinued was replaced by enthusiasm for the new releases and changes made to the existing references. At the end of last year I was able to wear one of the 2013 releases, (Senator Panorama Date Moon Phase) for a week. Here are a few of my thoughts regarding this watch.
A Classic Gets Updated
The Glashutte Original Senator Panorama Date Moonphase proves that for GO you can always improve on greatness. The heart of the watch stays the same as its predecessor which is the true in house caliber 100-04. This beautiful movement can still be viewed from the sapphire crystal case back.
I found myself taking the watch off several times during the day to admire the finish of the movement along with the screw balance and swan neck regulator. The movement has a 55 hour power reserve which keeps it would for over two days. The watch was also extremely accurate and I noticed no more than a +3 seconds during the week I had the watch
Although the movement has not changed, how you operate it has. The caliber 100-04 is a non hacking movement. For accuracy you can reset the second hand to zero with the use of a button integrated into the case. The previous model used a full sized button which gave the case an off balance appearance-the new hidden button is a welcome improvement and gives the case a cleaner appearance.
The case is now 40 mm in diameter with both polished and brushed surfaces and is a comfortable fit on the wrist. The new larger case size I believe is on the high end for a watch of this caliber but it still looks and feels great on the wrist. The bezel has been reduced in size giving the watch a larger appearance due to more of the dial being exposed.
The model I reviewed had a stainless steel case but the watch also come in red gold.
The layout of the dial stays the same with the big date at 4 and the moon phase appearing between 10 and 11. Some of the dial features take their design from other members of the Senator family such as the Senator Chronometer.
What I personally like about this is that it makes the Senator line more cohesive and makes each member of the family recognizable as a GO Senator.
The lacquered silver dial now has a classic black railroad chapter ring for the minutes and deep black Roman numerals which are etched into the dial and are a nice addition to this stunning dial.
The blued steel “poire” shaped hands are another feature that ties this watch to the rest of the Senator line. They replace the straight silver/gold hands on the previous model.
The watch I had was on a matt black Louisiana alligator strap. The strap is padded and has an amazing fit and finish on the wrist. It is comfortable and compliant to the wrist straight from the box. The strap has a single deployment fold over clasp, which is a disappointment to those who long for the days of the GO double deployment clasp. The single gives the watch a better fit on the wrist but does present a couple of problems. The clasp is attached to the strap with a screw which makes it more secure but requires a screwdriver to make any adjustments. Depending on the shape of the wrist the clasp can make it harder to center the deployment on the back to the wrist.
The stainless steel version also comes with a bracelet if desired.
Glashutte Original has taken a great watch and made it even better. The changes are improvements on the previous model which was a strong performer for GO. The movement remains the same, the caliber 100-04 is great to look at and extremely accurate but the changes to the case, dial, hands and zero reset mechanism are a definite improvement.
I was not impressed by this watch but found myself being rather enthused by it. I was not impressed because it is a beautiful, accurate well made time piece-which I have come to expect from this brand. So my statement is somewhat tongue in cheek-the watch is another winner from GO! I am enthused by GO looking at ways to improve an existing line without being garish or ostentatious.
Now if I could only convince them to let me take this one out for a test drive
Thank you to Glashutte Original for their support for this article