With America’s luxury watch show, WatchTime New York, just a few days away, we continue to spotlight featured timepieces from each of the exhibiting watch brands. From Germany’s Glashütte Original, here’s what you need to know about the recently launched Senator Excellence and its in-house automatic movement, Caliber 36.
In developing Caliber 36 as its newest base movement, Glashütte Original’s watchmakers focused on extreme stability, in rate as well as overall construction; maximum precision; extended running time; and aesthetic beauty in the distinctive Glashütte style.
To ensure stability, the movement designers reduced the traditional number of components, eliminating those that were the most potentially vulnerable to wear and tear, such as the winding system’s traditional detent click, which is rendered superfluous by the new bi-directional-wind reduction gear. They also added an innovative bayonet mount, similar to those used for camera lenses, to more securely position the movement inside the case — resulting in a construction that is extremely shock-resistant and also easy to assemble and service.
Glashütte Original Caliber 36 also represents another milestone for the Saxon haute horlogerie brand, namely its first movement outfitted with a silicon balance spring. This high-tech material — used by just a handful of high-end watch manufacturers, including some of G.O.’s Swiss sister brands within the Swatch Group — renders the ultra-thin spring immune to changes in temperature and to magnetic fields, while contributing to the balance’s extremely isochronous oscillations. The bi-directional winding rotor is another factor in ensuring rate accuracy, keeping the movement consistently charged with energy. A regulator-free oscillation system makes it possible to adjust the rate using weighted screws directly on the balance rim. The movement is tested and adjusted by Glashütte Original in six different positions – one more than a chronometer certification test would normally require.
Finally, the movement boasts yet another first for Glashütte Original (and a rarity in the watch world as a whole): a power reserve of up to 100 hours, at a frequency of 4 Hertz (28,800 vph), and stored in only one spring barrel. Developed specifically for use in the new caliber, the barrel has an increased diameter and a smaller barrel arbour, which made it possible to lengthen the mainspring and sharply increase the number of winding turns.
The watch’s sapphire caseback provides a view of the typical Glashütte decorations and technical features, including the characteristic three-quarter plate and skeletonized rotor, “Glashütte stripe” finishing, perlage, blued screws and finely wrought decorations on the wheels and rotor track. The elegantly executed manual winding chain is also presented in full view.