If a single timepiece can epitomize all the talk of value at Baselworld this year, the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence is it. Central to the Senator Excellence is Calibre 36, a ground-up development that took three and a half years to complete.
Conceived with a focus on performance, it features several technical details that improve its precision, stability, and running time. For a start, the barrel’s outer wall and arbor have both been thinned down to create more internal space, which allows a longer mainspring to be fitted. The result is a 100-hour power reserve with just a single barrel, in a movement beating at 4Hz, no less. Of course, the benefits of a long power reserve only come with an efficient winding system. To that end, Calibre 36 is equipped with a bi-directional winding mechanism.
The movement uses a free-sprung balance, where the hairspring’s length is kept constant and rate adjustments are done by adjusting the weights on the balance wheel’s rim. Therefore, the balance is free to breathe concentrically in all positions, which improves the movement’s positional accuracy, albeit with a greater difficulty in regulation. The swan neck device here is attached to, again to achieve maximum concentricity as the hairspring breathes. The hairspring is made of silicon, which makes it immune to magnetic fields and temperature changes, while also improving isochronism.
To quantify these improvements, Glashütte Original has developed a complete suite of tests. Running the gauntlet takes 24 days, and includes a complete assessment of the 100-hour power reserve as well as timing tests in six positions (one more than COSC’s usual five). Each Senator Excellence is shipped with a certificate attesting to its movement’s performance, with detailed test results for every individual movement available online or its wearer to peruse. The Senator Excellence also bears Glashütte Original’s seat on its case back, as a mark of the movement pedigree within.
Thought has been put into how Calibre 36 is encased too. The movement is mated to the Senator Excellence via a bayonet mounting system, just like how a removable camera lens is attached to the camera body. This system is more secure and hence less prone to shocks. It is certified DIN 8308, the German equivalent of ISO standards, which requires a watch to remain accurate to +/- 60 seconds a day even after a one-metre drop onto hardwood flooring.
The Senator Excellence is available in three references — a classic and contemporary dial design each in steel, and a classic dial design in red gold.
- Dimensions: 40mm
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Power Reserve: 100 hours
- Movement: Self-winding Glashütte Original Calibre 36
- Case: Steel or red gold
- Water Resistance: 50 meters
- Strap: Black alligator or calfskin with steel ardillon buckle, or black alligator with red gold ardillon buckle.
This story was first published in WOW.