The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer entered the collection in 2009 and quickly became one of Glashütte Original‘s most recognizable timepieces. It is differentiated from the other watches in the collection as it adheres to the German Chronometer standard. While the accuracy standard of the German Calibrating Service, DKD, is similar to the more prevalent Swiss C.O.S.C. test, the German Chronometer standard requires the watch be tested after it’s fully assembled. Last year at Baselworld, Glashütte debuted a regulator version of the Senator Chronometer. This post compares the Glashutte Original Senator Regulator Chronometer to the original Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer.
The primary difference between the Glashutte Original two pieces is obvious at a glance: the Regulator only has a centrally attached minute hand while the hour hand is located at a third sub-dial. In order to read the time, one has to look at both counters one at a time, similar to the way that one would read the counters of a chronograph.
One of the most impressive features of both Senator Chronometers is the way the time “Zeros Out.” When you pull the crown out, the second hand of the watch resets. When you adjust the minute hand, the movements are precise and exactly on the minute. Instead of approximating the minute hand, there are exactly sixty choices.
Both watches also possess other advanced features that include a grand date (which Glashütte Original calls “panorama date”), power reserve indicator, a special vintage dial with a frosted silver plating, and a day-night indicator.
As to the silver plating, both Glashütte Original Senator Chronometers use a vintage technique called l’argenture grainée. The goal of the finish is to achieve a look that is textured but not distractingly shiny. In order to accomplish this, the following steps are performed. First, the surface of the brass dial is machine-blasted with a mixture of water, chalk, and wood. Then a silver powder and water paste is applied by hand to the blasted surface.
There are also differences between the cases and straps of the two Senator Chronometers. While the two watches are both 42mm, The Glashutte Original Senator Chronometer Regulator features a slightly thinner case with shorter lugs. While the original Chronometer features a strap that “hugs” the case, the Regulator strap is lighter scale and does not extend past the spring bar.
The original Chronometer features a highly polish case while the sides of the Regulator have a brushed finish. Although the movement calibers are slightly different, aesthetically they look almost identical. The Senator Chronometer retails for $30,300 in 18kt gold and the Glashutte Original Senator Chronometer Regulator version retails for $31,500.
Rob Caplan is a fourth generation watch retailer whose family owns Topper Fine Jewelers on the edge of Silicon Valley in Burlingame, California. Topper is an authorized dealer of OMEGA, Glashütte Original, Longines, Zenith, Ball, Bremont and other fine Swiss watch Brands.