March 29, 2015
Glashütte Originals have always bore a strong resemblance to one another, making it—at times—tough to distinguish between models. A conspicuous design formula is partially to blame for this, but consider that an established brand identity is often the key to success, because it enables consumers to easily identify with a product and recognize it as none other than a Glashütte Original.
As an example, think about the much storied and revered Rolex. Aesthetically, many models evolve at a glacial pace, which continues to garner detractors, but to Rolex’s credit, helps build a solid fan base who enjoy the familiarity of the brand. That’s not to say Glashütte is in any way glacial like Rolex, but there’s no denying the close family ties between models.
The brand’s first Baselworld 2015 unveiling, the Senator Cosmopolite, is no ordinary Glashütte dress watch, even though it may look it to the untrained eye. Instead, it’s a complex, multifaceted piece capable of tracking multiple time zones. 37, in fact. A look at the 8 o’clock position is only the tip of the iceberg, as Glashütte obliges further in technical detail:
The ability to track the time of day in two time zones at once is made possible by an intricate set of finely engineered, integrated complications. The time zone wheel displays a choice of 37 world time zones, each indicated by the official IATA location code designating a key international airport in the zone. The 24 time zones that are aligned at full-hour offsets with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) present a black IATA code in the DST or STD window at 8 o’clock; 10 time zones aligned with GMT at half-hour offsets appear in blue; 3 remaining zones at quarter- or three-quarter hour offsets from GMT are represented by the relevant IATA location code in red; the color coding allows one to identify the offset from GMT at a glance.
What makes this possible is a new caliber called the 89-02, which was developed completely in-house at the Saxon manufactory. And the hard work shows, as Glashütte worked to pack as much functionality into the Senator Cosmopolite as possible:
Accordingly, the designers at Glashütte Original have given pride of place to the away or destination time, represented by the central hour and minute hands, small seconds dial at 6 o’clock, day/night indicator at 9 o’clock, and the watchmaker’s signature Panorama Date display at 4 o’clock. A further reference to the destination time is presented at 8 o’clock, where two small windows indicate whether Daylight Saving Time (DST) or Standard Time (STD) is in effect in the destination time zone.
Indeed, the new caliber is quite impressive, with a power reserve of 72 hours (with an indicator located inside the home time dial at 12 0’clock) and exquisite finishing to boot. But perhaps more interesting is how the movement works—if heading east (or forward in time), the user must rotate the crown at 4 o’clock clockwise until the code corresponding with the destination time zone appears in the DST or STD window. If traveling west (or back in time), the user must turn the crown counter-clockwise. Otherwise, operation is the same.
In both situations, the central hour and minute hands jump forwards or backwards in 15-minute increments until the destination time zone’s code appears in the DST or STD window. Once completed, the central hour and minute hands display the time at the user’s desired destination, as well as a correctly set day/night indicator at 9 o’clock.
Complex, yes, but the watch is not just a technical marvel; it’s also stylish and, as mentioned before, bears many familiar Glashütte styling traits. Arabic and Roman numerals both share space on the face, but avoid clashing with one another due to their respective positioning on the main and sub parts of the dial. The day/night indicator is pleasant shade of blue and yellow, the hands a beautiful blue steel, and the dial a bright ivory color.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but this level of sophistication doesn’t come cheap. We’ll keep you updated as more details become available.
words by Adam Soshnick