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Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture
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Timekeeping accuracy is the ultimate objective measure of high-end watchmaking creations. Grasping the intangible flow of time by measuring it reliably and precisely goes beyond the subjectivity of perception and helps set apart aspirational partakers in horology from those who dedicate their efforts to each and every detail that makes a fine watch stand out. The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer’s breathtakingly detailed exterior, remarkably refined dial, and chronometrical performance are prime examples of the Saxon manufactory’s dedication to watchmaking’s true values. Today, let us discover its special focus on chronometry.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

With its purposeful dial layout and exceptional legibility, the Senator Chronometer clearly indicates its inherent connection to history’s most accurate timekeepers. While on the wrist, every glance at the high-contrast dial will suffice to remind its wearer of this watch’s genuine sources of inspiration — even without measuring its certified chronometer performance or looking at its specially designed manufactory caliber. Chronometers, more specifically marine chronometers, have been with us for more than 250 years since their invention as a device to revolutionize navigation in open waters. In the 18th and 19th centuries, marine chronometers were the be-all and end-all of marine navigation tools, as their never-before-seen timekeeping precision allowed seafarers to accurately determine their longitude. Marine chronometers have been produced in Glashütte since 1886, and the small town in the Ore Mountains quickly became the center of German chronometer production, for example, through the works of Paul Stübner and Gustav Gerstenberger.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

The German Watch Museum of Glashütte is home to a great many marine chronometers designed and manufactured in the Saxon center of German watchmaking history. The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer pays homage to the accuracy-focused design and engineering of these devices — and its determination to place a true German chronometer on the wrist goes way beyond pure aesthetics. Still, let us begin with exactly that — and dig deeper as we proceed.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

For a start, the dial composition of the Senator Chronometer pays homage to those century-old pieces of horological technology by placing its running time indicator directly above the center of the dial and its running seconds indicator directly below it. Accurate reading of these indications is of primary importance — notably, painstakingly optimized legibility is a design trait of every Glashütte Original timepiece manufactured today. As such, the hours and minutes are indicated by main hands of exceptionally grand proportions. Different in shape for quick and easy identification and of the perfect length to make to-the-minute reading easy, these hands indicate not just the time, but also Glashütte Original’s uncompromised focus on functionality.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

Another rare, subtle, yet fascinating tribute to marine chronometers is a peculiar detail of the running time indicator at 12 o’clock: When the Senator Chronometer is fully wound and every bit of its 44-hour and 40-minute long power reserve remains, the indicator sits at “Auf,” at what is essentially the full mark. This is in line with how marine chronometers displayed their energy status — what actually is read here is not the power reserve remaining, but rather the time since fully wound. For example, when the Senator Chronometer’s running time indicator reads 18, that is not 18 hours remaining of its power reserve, but that the watch has been running for 18 hours. Placed neatly inside the running time display is a small aperture that functions as the day/night indicator.


Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

Its Glashütte Original Manufactory Calibre 58-01 allows the Senator Chronometer to pursue precision in unique — and uniquely interactive — ways. Specially designed and manufactured in-house by Glashütte Original, Calibre 58 is equipped with two very special mechanical complications that were developed with unrivaled precision in mind. Sheer chronometric performance, which we shall discuss soon, begins with a timepiece’s ability to be accurately synchronized with a dependable reference time source. To allow for this, the Senator Chronometer is equipped with a special zero-reset mechanism: once the crown is pulled out, the balance wheel is stopped and, at the same time, the subsidiary seconds hand is quickly and precisely reset to its zero position. This is combined with a minute detent for the minute hand to ensure that, once the watch has been restarted, the minute hand passes exactly and accurately over its respective minute mark when the seconds hand completes a full minute.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

In addition to this, the minute hand can be adjusted through the crown in a uniquely accurate and tactile way: through one-minute jumps. When the crown is pulled out into its time adjustment position and turned backward or forward, the minute hand advances backward or forward in one-minute jumps. The haptic feedback on the crown, as this fine mechanical interaction happens, is a truly unique sensation — something highly rewarding and a solid indicator of the mechanical refinement that defines Calibre 58.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture


Flip the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer around, and a spectacular caseback view begins to reveal yet more of its refinement. Defined by four characteristic elements, the sapphire crystal caseback features fascinating insights into the movement, including a large mainspring barrel, a system of planetary gears connected to it, a large, partially openworked three-quarter plate in true Saxon heritage, and an individually hand-engraved balance cock. Additional components such as the screw-mounted gold chatons, the mirror-polished swan-neck fine adjustment system, the individually heat-blued screws, and the refined, engraved, golden lines of text render the Calibre 58’s appearance a solid match to its exceptional performance.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

Timekeeping performance is an objectively measurable and verifiable aspect of a fine watch — and, in an effort to best prove its outstanding performance, Glashütte Original ensures that every Senator Chronometer is individually tested in the astronomical observatory of Glashütte, which nowadays is also the home of a chronometer testing institute. The testing procedure is independently certified by the German State Offices for Weights and Measurements of Thuringia (Landesamt für Mess- und Eichwesen Thüringen, or LMET) and that of Saxony (Staatsbetrieb für Mess- und Eichwesen, or SME). These independent bodies make sure that all tests are performed in accordance with the German DIN 8319 standard, created specifically for this purpose.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

The German chronometer test lasts 15 days and checks the precision of every submitted timepiece in five different positions and under three different temperatures. These aspects are, in fact, rather similar to how the Swiss independent chronometer testing facility, COSC, tests its movements. A big difference, however, is that under DIN 8319, the submitted timepieces are cased up and complete watches, not only movements. This is done to ensure that the complete watch — often with delicate cases crafted from gold, for instance, with select Senator Chronometer references — performs to design and that no alteration during the testing process can happen (as it could when casing a movement). These are complete watches that, once tested and certified, require just the fitting of a strap or a bracelet and a final quality control procedure to ensure their perfect condition — and then are ready to be delivered to their loving new owner.

Keeping Accurate Time With The Certified Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Inside the Manufacture

With its roots firmly set in the history of Saxon watchmaking, the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer has taken what made chronometers such invaluable pieces of precision engineering and turned it into a modern watchmaking tour de force. It exemplifies the manufactory’s dedication to marrying exceptional wristwatch design with a beauty that isn’t just skin deep. With its unique zero-reset and minute detent mechanisms, accurately moderated running time display and certified timekeeping precision, the Senator Chronometer upkeeps Glashütte Original’s reputation of excellence. Discover every Senator Chronometer model through Glashütte Original’s homepage.

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  • Agnar Sidhu

    This truly is a beautiful watch, from start to finish! I love everything about it, especially the time setting function which really satisfy me OCD tendencies!!

  • Marius

    Well, isn’t this a nice change from sponsored posts from questionable Kickstarter brands with silly names, deeply unconvincing back stories and watches assembled in Shenzhen from bargain bucket parts?

    Either I over-skimmed reading the article or there’s no price. EUR25,700 according to another site. I am in the market for a new watch, but sadly my budget is approx EUR20k lower than this…

  • cluedog12

    For those who haven’t had a chance to see a Senator Chronometer in the metal, these are stealth great watches.

    I don’t dress nicely for my work, but I was still tempted by a white gold model that popped up on a well known grey market dealer’s Cyber Monday sale a few years back. Thankfully, somebody beat me to it.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Question…If I had a watch with a hand wound movement with a PR ( so prominent in this particular piece ) I would be winding it up every time I put it on me, and constantly be fiddling with it. With a mechanical movement would it be better for the movement to let it run down completely before I wound it or keep it wound?
    I adore this watch (either white or blue)
    Diameter: 42.0 mm, height: 12.47 mm

    • IanE

      Voutilainen said (elsewhere – I can’t find a link) that it is better to keep watches fully wound as it delivers the best chronometry.

      • Boris N. Natasha

        I don’t think the meta is to keep watches ‘fully wound’ vs never ‘fully wound’. ie. my Dato Up/Down takes 80 full turns to go from fully unwound to fully wound. If when I bought it I only ever gave it 30 full turns it would keep less accurate time than if I gave it 40-50 turns with the ‘over half’ rule and then more accurate time if I took it to fully wound at 80. This applies to automatic watches as well — giving it a few winds until the seconds hand starts sweeping and then asking the rotor to do the winding work will not give you as accurate time as fully winding the mainspring and then letting the rotor keep it tight!

    • Boris N. Natasha

      Answer… I wind my Dato Up/Down before I put it on and I let it run down. Now, mind you, it has 16 hours more power reserve, and the PR is not as prominent, but you also feel significant resistance on the crown when you get to fully wound, and you probably don’t want to keep revisiting that potential point of mainspring failure as part of a relaxing day!

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I think you’re right Boris. I’ve read everywhere that it should be fully wound to get the best performance but I think as you say you can put too much pressure on the main spring, but what do I know…

  • Independent_George

    Beautiful watch. Balanced and understated. Too bad GO’s copywriters don’t follow suit. ” . . . beyond the subjectivity of perception . . .”

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    Beautiful watch inside and out. Would love to wear this on upcoming holiday.

  • FS1900

    I like this piece better than their Chronometer Regulator. Hope they make it in steel eventually.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    This is just wonderfull.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    A. Lange & Söhne? I don’t see it myself.

  • ???

    I can’t agree you that this one is a copy of Richard Lange or 1815 because none of them has these interventions for chronometry. To be honest, till now I still don’t understand why Richard Lange can claim as “a watch devoted to chronometry” because there’s nothing really special.

  • Gokart Mozart

    Lovely watch.

    Ironically this is a watch that you don’t want to be accurate.

    You want to be pulling out the crown, just so you can set the time. Must be a wonderful stress relief toy.

    Brilliant idea for the minute hand detent.

  • Mikita

    Where it’s better than Lange?

    • ???

      The executions of dial/hands and all functions.

  • ???

    Nothing wrong, just this GO do better: sunken subdials, engraved indices and markers, more complicated hand shapes(have you noticed the round power reserve hand?).

  • Adam B

    The GO is ok, but too big. This is the Marine Chronometer to get – A. Lange & Sohne Grosse Langematik Gangreserv WEMPE – only 225 were made in 2006. Features the SAX-O-MAT movement with Zero Reset.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    the stand out watch for me this year was the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer.
    Can i just wish the ABTW team and all regular commenters a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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