I have to say that the Glashütte Original grade 37 movements are among the best-kept secrets in the watch world for those who enjoy chronographs. There’s nothing else out there quite like it, and it should really get more focus on supplying as much functionality as it can in a package that appears very straightforward and tasteful. Its appeal surely grew on me, and I believe anyone who likes a cleverly designed chronograph-based motion will appreciate it.From a performance perspective, the grade 37 (37-02 inside this watch) offers the time together with subsidiary seconds dial at 9 o’clock, large date (Glashütte Original likes to call it a “Panorama Date”) index, power reserve indicator, along with flyback 12-hour chronograph. I will also note that it’s a stop seconds attribute (which means that if you pull the crown out, the seconds hand stops so that you can more exactly set the time). The chronograph seems to be a mere 30-minute chronograph in the beginning, but then you see that hours have been counted not via a dialup, but a moving disc visible under 12 o’clock. I had been worried about the legibility of something similar to this at first, but I learned to really love it – and actually find this system for reading a 12-hour chronograph superior to most others. Like I said, the chronograph is a flyback, and managed through a column wheel transmission which you can view in the movement when seeing it through the sapphire crystal throughout the back of the case.Finally, Glashütte Original completes the high-functionality bundle by including a discreet power reserve indicator inside the upper left quadrant of the subsidiary seconds dial. It will cut out a little bit of the dial’s indicators, but that’s a very small cost to pay for this extra performance that I actually enjoy. From a performance perspective, the 37-02 motion operates in 4Hz (28,800bph) with a power reserve of approximately three days.
I remember first putting a Glashütte Original Seventies watch in my wrist back when the brand released the set in 2011. I’d seen the watch in pictures before attempting it out and was pleasantly surprised how much more I liked it when wearing it compared to the pictures would have indicated. Like most timepieces, this is one of the bits that just happens to come alive when on the wrist instead of being viewed in the vacuum of marketing images. I think that is since the cushioned square case with its finely made tapering bracelet is very flattering to the natural curves of one’s hand and arm – which allows the layout to sell itself through aesthetics and wearability. If you are curious about another take, we previously reviewed the non-chronograph variant of this Seventies Panorama Date watch here. This makes it a true square, and the instance itself feels a lot more like a retro television screen, which is intentional. Square or non-round watches are tough to get right. Finding the proportions and total design of a non-round watch right such that it is both legible and looks great on the wrist is quite difficult to do. Though when it is done properly it has the makings of a classic.
First introduced at Baselworld 2016 as a time-only wristwatch, Glashütte Original Senator Excellence is distinguished by the calibre 36 inside, a newly developed, solidly built movement. Now the calibre 36 has been upgraded with new complications, with either a big date display or both a date and moon phase.
Known as the Senator Excellence Panorama Date and Excellence Panorama Date Moonphase respectively, the new models stick to the same styling as the time-only model.
The dials are grained silver, with colour provided by blued steel hands and red minute markings. Notably, the hour markers and lettering are not just printed, instead they are laser engraved and then filled with black lacquer, a finish that provides greater longevity.
Powered by the calibre 36-03, the Senator Excellence Panorama Date has the brand’s signature extra-large date at five o’clock.
Two discs positioned on the same level (many oversized dates use discs that are stacked) show the two digits of the date.
With the addition of a lunar display at 10 o’clock, the Excellence Panorama Date Moonphase looks just a tad fancier.
This has inside the calibre 36-04, with the moon phase disc is a shiny metallic blue, with the moon and stars in silver.
While the complications differ, both movements are almost identical, with the same key features, namely a free-sprung silicon hairspring and a 100-hour power reserve, accompanied by 24 days of timekeeping tests to standards similar to that of COSC.
Both feature the same 40mm case that’s 12.2mm high, available either in stainless steel or rose gold. That makes them thicker than the time-only Senator Excellence that’s just 10mm high, an increase dictation by the size of the date mechanism.
Price and availability
The new Senator Excellence watches are already available at Glashütte Original boutiques and retailers, priced as follows:
Senator Excellence Panorama Date steel (ref. 1-36-03-01-02-01) – US$10,400 or S$15,900
Senator Excellence Panorama Date rose gold (ref. 1-36-03-02-05-01) – US$20,900 or S$35,000
Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moonphase steel (ref. 1-36-04-01-02-01) – US$11,400 or S$SGD 17,900
Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moonphase rose gold (ref. 1-36-04-02-05-01) – US$21,900 or S$36,900