At Baselworld this year, while the vintage-inspired and anniversary models by major brands are dominating the scene, some manufacturers are straying from what seems to have become the new orthodoxy in favor of watches based firmly in the 21st century. Glashütte Original, one of those rare brands that’s able to move fluidly between modern and historical design schools, has this season revitalized its Senator collection, holding up a new, limited-edition, skeletonized model as its centerpiece: the Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar.
The new watch is a part of the Senator Excellence series, which was first released in 2016. This sub-family of the Senator collection was noted in its introductory year for the special, in-house automatic movement that accompanied it, the Caliber 36, and was meant to offer consumers an even higher level of quality from the German manufacture’s already excellent movements. The original Caliber, the 36-01, featured an incredible accuracy, a 100-hour power reserve, and the beautiful finishing work for which Glashütte Original has become known, and the Senator Excellence updates seen at Baselworld 2018 have largely been built around modifications of the original 36-01.
With a 42-mm, 18k white gold case, the new Perpetual Calendar is visually striking when compared to its fellows in the larger updated Senator collection. Its dial features a dual-layered construction with an outer varnished anthracite and inner guilloché-decorated, skeletonized cover plate; it uses an outer railroad-style minute track and rhodium-plated applied markers at each hour. Its other major details include a month window, panorama date, moon-phase disk, day indicator, and leap-year subdial, located at the 2, 5, 8, 9, and 12 o’clock positions, respectively. Each of these complications is made more impressive by its part in the watch’s perpetual calendar movement and the skeletonizing that makes some of the moving parts visible.
Two uniquely-styled, blued hands for the hour and minute, and one seconds hand featuring the brand’s alternative logo as a counterweight, sweep over all the dial’s features. The hands share the same color as many of the other blue accents on the complex dial, specifically meant to complement the gray and metallic primary colors. The movement beneath this dial is the Caliber 36-02, which could theoretically run until the year 2100 before the perpetual calendar system would require a human adjustment. It’s based on a modified Caliber 36, with automatic winding, a 100-hour power reserve, and a highly decorated plate and rotor visible through the watch’s sapphire caseback.
The Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar, which comes mounted on a black alligator leather strap, will be limited to 100 pieces in its production, and priced at a very reasonable $37,500.