Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

First things first, the Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition watch that you see here isn’t actually a new watch. Glashütte Original actually put out a rose gold version in 2012. But that was a limited edition version of which only 100 pieces were made. On the other hand, this new version, which was announced late last year, will be a regular production model. So if you missed out on the rose gold version in 2012, now’s your chance to get the Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition watch, albeit in a different case material.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On
All images by David Bredan

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The first limited edition Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition watch came in 18k rose gold. The new regular production model one, on the other hand, comes in an 18k white gold case. If you like your watches to look more discreet, the white gold case is a boon. One thing to note is that the entire case is mirror-polished, and that means two things: 1) it glimmers and shines like mad under direct light and 2) for clumsier owners, the watch is a scratch magnet.

Between the moon phase sub-dial at 10 o 'clock, cone shaped power reserve indicator at 2 o'clock, seconds sub-dial at 6 o'clock, and the decorated movement components, the dial can veer on looking almost chaotic but the cohesive execution succeeds. It's a wonderfully elaborate design done in a distinctly Glashütte way.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Case dimensions remain the same at 42mm in diameter and 11.2mm in height. It sounds modest, but the watch actually wears a little larger than you might think. That is because the lugs are quite long. They do curve downwards so wearing comfort isn’t too bad. However, the lug to lug length of the watch is quite substantial, which means it wears more like a 44mm or even 45mm watch. Fortunately, the case is quite thin, which should be the case for a watch that is as ornate as this.

The crown doesn’t screw down, but it is signed with the double-G logo of Glashütte Original. The sapphire case back is screwed down and the watch has a rated water resistance of 30m. This is pretty much standard stuff for dressy hand-wound watches such as this.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The dial of this new white gold Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition watch is identical to the rose gold model from five years ago. Unlike some other skeletonized watches, Glashütte Original hasn’t done away with the dial entirely. In fact, to put it more accurately, the dial has been "edited" and sliced to reveal the skeletonized movement below. The moon phase display, power reserve indicator, and the subsidiary seconds, are actually all intact. The chapter ring is intact too and the hours are rendered in classic-looking Roman numerals and on the periphery is a railroad-style minutes track. The hour and minute hands, as well as the hands for the power reserve indicator and subsidiary seconds, are all flamed blue.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Legibility is usually an issue with skeletonized watches, but the Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition watch isn’t too hard to read all things considered. The moon phase display in between 10 and 11 o’clock is easy to read and so is the power reserve indicator in between 1 and 2 o’clock. The subsidiary seconds indication, on the other hand, is a little harder, mainly because the seconds hand is a little thin. But I think this is something that most owners can get used to, once they realize it is quicker to scan for the seconds hand by looking at the ring that houses the seconds track. Besides, how often do you need to know the exact second?

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

As you might be able to see from the photos, it can be quite hard to make out where the short hour hand is especially if it is hovering above parts of the dial that have been cut out. The highly decorated movement doesn’t provide enough contrast to make the flamed-blue hour hand easily distinguishable. Luckily, reading the minutes is much easier as the thin flamed-blue minute hand extends all the way out to the minute track.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The movement here is the Calibre 49-13 and it is a skeletonized movement that has been heavily and intricately decorated and embellished by hand. Flipping the watch over, you can make out what is left of the three-quarters plate that is a tradition of German watchmaking.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The remaining bridges are beveled by hand and feature lots of hand-engraving. The hand-graving is really intricate and one could easily stare at it for hours and just soak in all the details. The winding wheels have double sunburst decoration and the movement jewels sit in screwed gold chatons. Visible screws are either flame-blued or polished.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

But what I enjoy most about the movement is looking at the large screwed balance wheel. The Calibre 49-13 beats at 4Hz and so the large balance wheel swings quite rapidly. There's a swan-neck fine adjustment mechanism and the balance cock is engraved in true Glashütte tradition. Power reserve of the Calibre 49-13 is about 40 hours, which isn’t too bad considering its 4Hz beat rate and that it only has a single mainspring.

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I’m usually not a fan of skeletonized watches, but there is a lot to admire about the Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition watch. For a start, it is slightly more legible than other skeletonized watches, but only slightly. Trying to tell the hour is slightly problematic for me, but at least the phase of the moon is easy to read and it is easy to tell how much power the watch has in its movement. But what I admire most about the watch is the amount of intricate engraving that has gone into the movement. Is it slightly over the top? Maybe. But it is quite nice to look at and it is something that sets this watch apart from the rest. The Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition watch is priced at $45,000glashuette-original.com

What do you think?
  • Interesting (10)
  • I love it! (9)
  • Thumbs up (5)
  • I want it! (2)
  • Classy (1)
  • Mikita

    Heavily reminds of Grieb & Benzinger. If you are after extensively ornated pieces, may I suggest a cheaper option:
    https://www.tourbywatches.com/custom-made/skeleton/
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df499c00e579dd4e803b57497c6d887110bf1b4882707bbde8da8179d7bcc11c.jpg

  • Pete Pete

    the back is really sexy.

    but the dial side is awful. indistinguishable from that chinese stuff they sell on qvc.

  • JLG

    I’m a huge Glashutte Original fan but this….. I don’t know!

  • Word Merchant

    Would look much nicer with a proper dial. Agree entirely with Pete Pete below (providing he doesn’t edit his post to say he bites the heads off puppies or something).

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Looks Aliexpress on the first sight.

  • IanE

    Dreadful – and totally Non-Glashutteish: where is the restraint and panache that one has come to love from the Germans?!

    • Berndt Norten

      Exactly

  • Mikita
  • Yan Fin

    I do not understand the appeal of a skeleton watch. You don’t see many cars without sheet metal, or houses without walls, or old geezers naked in public.

  • JF Schnell

    Normally I like Glashutte Original Watches (more or less all of them). This one stands out because I find them over decorated. And to me defeat the purpose as for readability.

    • proudAmerican702

      My next dress watch will probably be the GO Panomatic Lunar. But yeah, even if the prices were the same, this watch does nothing for me.

  • Rob D

    I love the hands, really nice colour and proportions, while the engraving work is pretty incredible, it just doesn’t do it for me on this watch.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Absolutely ridiculous

  • BrJean

    This is the type of watch one should appreciate up close rather from the distance. But this applies to most of skeletonized watches… Anyway I was expecting 100k+ price because of these amazing engravings.

  • SuperStrapper

    At a glance, maybe the cheapest looking GO ive ever seen.

  • Marius

    I have always admired skeletonized movements for their filigrane aspect, and highly-complicated decoration techniques applied. Nevertheless, I don’t understand what Glashütte Original is trying to achieve through this watch.

    Firstly, the entire purpose of buying a skeletonized watch is to see…a skeletonized movement. The problem with this GO is that almost half of the dial is obstructed by the various dial cut-outs. Sure, these cut-outs improve legibility (which is always a problem with skeletonized watches), but they also transform this watch into a semi-skeletonized timepiece. If I can’t admire the entire caliber, then why buy such a watch in the first place?

    Secondly, the skeletonization is nicely done. However, I find the patterns a bit repetitive. In my opinion, GO should have used a few alternating patterns. Also, I find the undecorated portion of the backplate (labelled as GO 49) to be an eyesore and a distraction from the otherwise nicely-finished caliber.

    Thirdly, I find the $45,000 price quite high, especially when looking at the competition. While this GO has a nice finish, the skeletonization doesn’t quite have the same quality and varied patterns as those of brands such as Vacheron, Audemars Piguet, or JLC. More importantly though, all of this watches are priced in a very similar range. For instance, the AP Royal Oak Openwork costs around $48,000; the Vacheron Patrimony Skeleton costs around $60,000; and the AP Royal Oak Balancier Double costs $44,000. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7378794611dbc26c941515f13b3250870449e280b850c975944f2290d827c3fe.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47316c7cce2c06ba4d7b7b5844c1ad161b221695978df1533c477eaae1f4e477.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e1cde36b9b2d6e8a66217290d4cf57eaf1f3ee222ec9142b7271911b4dabf03.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee998805e44d83d104ac4e6eef51bff67d9ef8628efa1d83e583ac1b62b24324.jpg

    • SuperStrapper

      All of those watches are hideous, as I assume is your point. But that AP openwork doesn’t have any real decoration. It’s been skeletonised but the bridges have a spartan finishing and that watch easily represents the worst value discussed in this thread. You obviously put a more cache in brand power than actual watchmaking, but there is nothing haute about that piece.

      • Marius

        I’m deeply saddened to find out that there’s nothing haute about the Audemars Piguet. I’m quite dispirited because just two weeks ago, I ordered an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balancier Squelette from the AP boutique in Monte Carlo. Now that you tell me that there’s nothing haute about the AP, I don’t know what to do. Should I:

        a) Cancel the order? I already paid a 30% deposit, but I’m willing to loose that money because I simply couldn’t bare to wear a watch that you find hideous and spartanly-finished. Your opinion is my Bible.

        b) Buy a Hublot instead? Next to the AP boutique, Zegg&Cerlatti has a vast selection of beautiful and highly-finished Hublots. From what I know, Hublot is a real haute-horologerie brand with very fair prices.

        c) Spend the money on a Thai ladyboy? As you know, my love for ladyboys is boundless, and instead of getting raped by Audemars Piguet, why not spend the money on the Masters Of Pleasures From Pattya.

        • Word Merchant

          Punish yourself now. You know what actions and ceremonies must be performed. You have been bad. Very, very bad. Oh, and then option b. Please post photos.

        • SuperStrapper

          Of course you did, peasant. Most toilet scrubbers I know wear Audemars.

          • Mikita

            I wasn’t satisfied when my peasants were using Audemars to scrub my toilet. Surprisingly, Montegrappas appeared to be more effective.

          • SuperStrapper

            Make sure Marius knows so that he’s in line when he’s next over to perform his duties.

        • Mikita

          I have an urgent message from our mentor for you: “c, c, c and c!! What are you thinking?! C for you and c for me!”

        • Mikita
        • BNABOD

          got to say that is a remarkably good looking piece and I am not into skeletons

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0be5a25408067953cba62ca273b49da8bb70bbf2806a03c6f03a2aa65e44560c.jpg

        • MeaCulpa

          A skeletonized sportswatch feels slightly contra intuitive

        • Sheez Gagoo

          ou forgot more about horology than this useless waste of space and oxigen ever knew and will know.

    • Polerouter

      You are right on some points, but only the Vacheron has engraved bridges (which I admit are better than the GO) and it costs far more than the GO. I am not a fan of engraved bridges in general, but it is a very difficult and costly process, which the AP don’t have. So if you just compare prices, the GO is pretty fair compared to your other propositions.

  • Phil leavell

    Wrist ?

  • Berndt Norten

    To all ye seeking to skeletonize for the sake of skeletonization: let this be a warning. When the renowned GHO creates a Hong Kong horror like this maybe it’s time to leave skeletons where they belong–in the clunkbin of History

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    I am not and have never been a fan of skeletonized watches; however this is truly a ‘display-case’ beauty.

    • dennis

      Totally agree, a beauty.

  • BNABOD

    ornate, redundant in its engravings, and plain ugly. don’t get it. it almost cheapens the brand because from a distance it looks awful to me. I have no doubt it is well made but to me this is a miss. it pains me to say but it makes the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli almost bearable.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    45 Large and i can’t even tell the gawd dam cockamamie time. 1st rule , make it legible.

  • WatchNeophyte

    Usually not a huge fan of skeleton watches, though there are exceptions…this unfortunately isn’t one of them. Way too much done to distract from the movement, too big and still not greatly legible. I usually like Glashutte’s offerings, but I think they struck out here.

  • DanW94

    I think the skeletonization is well done. There’s nothing wrong with the design, in fact I think it’s attractive. It’s the excessive engraving that absolutely kills the aesthetic. The movement side is so overwrought it practically makes my eyes bleed.

  • Mikita

    The more I look at the back of this GO, the more it reminds me of the body hair.

  • Larry Holmack

    I’d like it better with a full, white enamel dial. I don’t hate ( it’s such a harsh word ) this one, just think it would look a 100 times better done differently!

  • Moonraker

    It took me a while to find the hour hand. I thought I was looking at a regulator.

  • Mark1884

    Love the company…….. don’t care for this offering.

  • Sevenmack

    The movement is gorgeously decorated. But the skeletal dial is underwhelming. Looks like a reject from the Stuhrling Original catalog.

  • sfbaydawg221

    A very un-German watch.

  • Pete L

    Incredible detail on the engraving of the movement but looks better from the back. The dial is better than many skeleton watches but still seems too fussy for me. Appreciate the skill required to make it but not enough to want one!

  • Siddharth Tekriwal

    I am looking for a round, 13 ligne, hand-wound wristwatch movement with a full bridge configuration. A full-bridge movement will vary from person to person, but the classic S-shaped centre bridge, a separate cock for the third and fourth wheels, and an absence of a centre seconds complication is essential to me. Do you have any suggestions?

  • SIDDT

    I am looking for a round, 13 ligne, hand-wound wristwatch movement with a full bridge configuration. A full-bridge movement will vary from person to person, but the classic S-shaped centre bridge, a separate cock for the third and fourth wheels, and an absence of a centre seconds complication is essential to me. Do you have any suggestions??

  • Ramakrishnan Ravindran

    Dial kinda looks like a Stuhrling Original 😀

  • SVK

    GO Is probably my favorite manufacturer that makes sub-$10k watches. I own a Senator Excellence and blue dial Panoreserve, but man do I not like this. I can certainly appreciate the intricacy of those engravings, but they clash with what remains of the dial and even further mismatched hands. A rare but big miss from GO.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    I usually like Glashutte Original watches. They usually adhere to the less is more aesthetic. This one, however, is not for me. It’s lovely in its own terms, but I find it just too busy.

  • Dave Pryor

    It fails in its primary purpose. The minute and hour hands appear unreadable.

    Other than that, it’s beautiful.

  • Lovely movement, the hour hard is too hard to read and the dial (from the photos at least) looks almost Chinese. Loose the cut out portions of the dial and it would be fine.