The watch world’s current “Blue Period” shows no signs of waning at this year’s Baselworld, as brands continue to roll out timepieces with azure-colored dials and straps. Among the most notable new releases is a dark blue version of Glashütte Original’s Senator Chronometer, a model launched in 2009 that has become one of the Saxon brand’s cornerstones.
The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer, inspired by vintage marine instruments used in shipboard navigation, has earned official chronometer certification — and hence, its reputation for timekeeping precision and reliability — from an authorized testing institute, the German Calibration Service. (Swiss-made watches, unlike German-made watches such as this one, receive chronometer certificates from another certifying agency, the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, or COSC.) Its dark blue dial — new to this model but used in other recently released timepieces from G.O., such as the Sixties Panorama Date — has a finely grained and lacquered surface that imparts an appealing, velvety texture.
Made in Glashütte Original’s own specialized atelier in the German town of Pforzheim, the dial requires careful, delicate detail work in which the lacquer is applied and dried in several coats until the desired texture and color are achieved. Its outer edge features a railroad-style chapter ring; the finely engraved Roman numeral hour markers are galvanized in silver.
The slim, poire-shaped hands are in polished white gold, matching the material of the newly designed 42-mm case, with its characteristically slim bezel, which allows an expansive view of the dial and its displays. The power-reserve display, tracking the watch’s 44-plus hours of running autonomy, is at 12 o’clock, and the small seconds indication is at 6 o’clock. Both of these subdials have been set deeply into the dial, adding to its sense of depth and complexity.
The dial also boasts a color-matched Panorama Date display — a hallmark of the brand and of traditional Saxon watchmaking — in a double window at 3 o’clock, along with a separate day-night display positioned in a small, round aperture above the dial’s center. This display, in which a small white circle fills the window from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and is replaced by a black circle from 6:00 PM through to the next morning, simplifies the setting of the date.
The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer is powered by an in-house-made, manual-winding movement, Caliber 58-01 (below), which includes a practical stop-seconds mechanism. When the crown is pulled out, the time display stops and the seconds hand resets to zero and held there; simultaneously, the minute hand jumps ahead to the next full minute index. When the crown is turned to set the time, the hand always jumps to the next minute index, maintaining the correct relationship between seconds and minutes.
Like other G.O. movements, and in addition to its chronometer-tested rate precision, Caliber 58-01 bears many of the traditional signatures of Saxon high horology, among them a three-quarter mainplate with Glashütte ribbing, screw-mounted gold chatons and blued screws, and a hand-engraved balance cock.
The watch is delivered on a dark blue Louisiana alligator strap that echoes the dial color and attaches to the wrist with a foldover clasp made of white gold. Its price is $32,200.