Glo­be­trot­ter From Glashütte

WatchTime - - Close-up - — by Lo­gan R. Baker —

Travel-time watches are prized for their straight­for­ward func­tion­al­ity in to­day’s glob­al­ized world. The Glashütte Orig­i­nal Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite in stain­less steel demon­strates the brand’s fun­da­men­tal – and very Teu­tonic – un­der­stand­ing of this prac­ti­cal lux­ury.

— Many high-class in­di­vid­u­als fetishize the con­cept of ex­clu­siv­ity. at’s why many of the same peo­ple who hoard sought-af­ter time­pieces can be found sa­vor­ing a tum­bler of Pappy Van Win­kle Fam­ily Re­serve 23, or might be spot­ted on the decade-long wait­list for a bot­tle of Syrah from cult win­ery Sine Qua Non. e idea of ex­clu­siv­ity is of par­tic­u­lar rel­e­vance in the con­tem­po­rary watch in­dus­try, which is full of deep-pock­eted in­di­vid­u­als who use their con­nec­tions to hoard “hyped-up” watches, cre­at­ing a le­git­i­mate scarcity among ADS and re­tail­ers. is, in turn, im­pacts the gen­eral en­thu­si­ast from en­joy­ing the fine time­pieces like they were meant to. More of­ten than not, brands are pas­sive in let­ting this hap­pen be­cause, “Hey, the watches are sell­ing out and – sur­prise, sur­prise – ex­clu­siv­ity is a great ad­ver­tise­ment.”

With all that in mind, it’s time to dis­cuss a brand that de­fies those horo­log­i­cal hoard­ers and se­rial flip­pers and fo­cuses on its best at­tributes: mak­ing so­phis­ti­cated watches with use­ful com­pli­ca­tions at a rea­son­able price point. e brand I’m talk­ing about is Glashütte Orig­i­nal and the watch I have in mind is the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite in stain­less steel, one of the most un­der­rated re­leases of 2018.

e Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite as we know it to­day was first re­leased in rose gold and white gold in 2015. Be­fore that, the ba­sic – and I mean that lightly – con­cept was in­tro­duced in 2012 with the Glashütte Orig­i­nal Grande Cosmopolite Tour­bil­lon. Fol­low­ing in those watches’ tra­di­tion, the most re­cent Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite has a lot to of­fer. First of all, thanks to its new case ma­te­rial, the stain­less-steel model is much less ex­pen­sive, open­ing it up to a larger au­di­ence of world trav­el­ers and mak­ing it more fea­si­ble as a daily wearer. Se­cond, the 2018 ver­sion fea­tures a re­freshed de­sign that feels more mod­ern thanks to its usage of Ara­bic nu­mer­als sup­ple­mented by blue ap­pliqués rather than Ro­man nu­mer­als and the tran­si­tion from a rail­road-style min­utes track to sep­a­rated mark­ers. An­other slight de­sign change from the 2015 it­er­a­tion is the ab­sence of color on the day/night in­di­ca­tor at 9 o’clock for a more stream­lined ap­peal; pre­vi­ously, the “night sky” was col­ored dark blue and the sun was yel­low.

What’s re­mark­able about the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite doesn’t have much to do with its de­sign – although the lay­out of the dial is im­por­tant, which we’ll get to later – rather it is the watch’s com­pre­hen­sive take on the world-time com­pli­ca­tion that sets it apart from a crowded field of 2018 re­leases.

Nor­mally, world­timers only in­clude the op­tion to dis­play the time in the 24 time zones off­set by one hour; the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite, on the other hand, has the abil­ity to dis­play the time in all 35 time zones, in­clud­ing those off­set by half an hour or three-fourths of an hour.

is means the watch can, most no­tably, dis­play In­dia Stan­dard Time (UTC +5:30), as well as the time in Afghanistan (UTC +4:30), Iran (UTC +3:30), Sri Lanka (UTC +5:30), New­found­land (UTC -3:30) and Nepal (UTC +5:45). is is more sig­nif­i­cant than you might think be­cause the en­tirety of the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent is lo­cated within IST, mean­ing over 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple and over 17 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion didn’t have much choice for a func­tion­ing world­timer. Even if a ma­jor­ity of the coun­try’s res­i­dents aren’t in the mar­ket for a lux­ury time­piece, there are mil­lions of In­dian ex­pats through­out the world who have fam­ily in the coun­try and could use the world­timer to cal­cu­late an ideal time to call, one of a world­timer’s most valu­able at­tributes.

It’s in this way that the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite is a world­timer in the most lit­eral sense of the word. Although it must be said that the con­cept isn’t en­tirely orig­i­nal – watches from other pres­ti­gious mar­ques such as Vacheron Con­stantin, with the Pat­ri­mony Tra­di­tion­nelle World Time in 2015, have achieved sim­i­lar re­sults in rep­re­sent­ing all the time zones. How­ever, what makes the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite en­tirely unique is its dis­play of the sep­a­rate time zones and how the watch ac­counts for tim­ing quirks like Day­light Sav­ing Time.

With a few in­no­va­tive

ex­cep­tions, brands of all price points have long fol­lowed Louis Cot­tier’s ar­che­typal 1931 Patek Philippe in­ven­tion when build­ing world-time col­lec­tions. It was an epoch-mak­ing mo­ment for horol­ogy and the de­sign is easy to com­pre­hend, so its ubiq­uity is un­der­stand­able.

e Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite is a de­par­ture from Cot­tier’s de­sign in a num­ber of ways. Most no­tably, the watch fea­tures two time zone dis­plays that op­er­ate sep­a­rately from one an­other. Home time is read from the sub­dial at 12 o’clock; the se­cond time zone, aka your “des­ti­na­tion” or “lo­cal” time, is told via the two cen­tral hour and min­utes hands. ere are three fluted crowns that ex­tend from 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock that con­trol the time-set­ting mech­a­nism.

e first thing you want to do is set the home time cour­tesy of the crown at 2 o’clock. It sets like a stan­dard wrist­watch with­out jump­ing – which we’ll get to in a mo­ment. (Note: is crown is con­nected to the run­ning sec­onds sub­dial at 6 o’clock, mean­ing it will hack once it is pulled out.)

Up next is your lo­cal time that is set through the 4 o’clock crown. With each turn, the min­utes hand jumps in 15-minute in­cre­ments to ac­count for all 35 time zone dif­fer­ences. It’s worth point­ing out that this can be ad­justed both back­ward and for­ward with­out any dam­age oc­cur­ring to the watch’s move­ment due to the mech­a­nism’s in­de­pen­dence. e hour hand cor­re­sponds by mov­ing for­ward at con­sis­tent in­ter­vals.

Be­fore mov­ing on, the other dial func­tions need to be de­fined. At 4 o’clock there is the clas­sic Ger­man big date, which Glashütte Orig­i­nal calls “Panora­ma­da­tum.” ere are two night-and-day in­di­ca­tors on the dial as well. For your home time, there is a sub­tle aper­ture lo­cated in the 12 o’clock sub­dial that is dark dur­ing night­time and white dur­ing the day­time. At 9 o’clock, there’s a slop­ing sub­dial that shows night or day in your lo­cal time. Ad­di­tion­ally, in the 12 o’clock sub­dial, there is an arc that shows how much of the 72-hour power re­serve re­mains. Above the 8 o’clock crown is a small pusher used for set­ting the date.

On the dial at 8 o’clock is an un­usual com­pli­ca­tion that will be new to any­one un­fa­mil­iar with the 2015 Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite. Ba­si­cally, there are two aper­tures that de­note Day­light Sav­ing Time (DST) and Stan­dard Time (STD). In­side the aper­tures is a disk with the list of all 35 IATA (In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion) codes that cor­re­spond with the time zone they are lo­cated in. is disk is con­nected to the crown at 4 o’clock so as the cen­tral poire hands jump for­ward, so will the IATA codes. Since the lo­cal time needs to match the IATA code in its cor­re­spond­ing aper­ture, it might be nec­es­sary to cor­rect the aper­ture af­ter lo­cal time is set us­ing the crown at 8 o’clock. e IATA codes use three dif­fer­ent col­ors to de­scribe the GMT off­set time: the 24 time zones with a full hour dif­fer­ence are printed in black, the eight time zones with a half-hour dif­fer­ence in blue and the three ad­di­tional time zones (three-fourths of an hour) in red.

The Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite is the most im­por­tant stain­less-steel travel-time watch of 2018.

Once every­thing has been set and all your in­di­ca­tors and sub­di­als are aligned to the ac­cu­rate and most use­ful time, you will be all set for your next trip, or to make that cross-con­ti­nen­tal call to grandma. Mov­ing for­ward, all that is nec­es­sary is ad­just­ing the lo­cal time us­ing the 4 o’clock crown ei­ther clock­wise if you’re trav­el­ing east from home, or counter-clock­wise if you’re trav­el­ing west. Be­cause of the in­ter-con­nected move­ment, the Panorama Date, a.m./p.m. in­di­ca­tor and IATA disc will au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just with it. e home time dial, along with its a.m./p.m. in­di­ca­tor, will re­main the same.

It’s this struc­ture that makes the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite – while con­fus­ing at first – such a unique and ap­proach­able time­piece once its full ca­pa­bil­i­ties have been ex­plained. Every­thing should now be set but there’s still the ques­tion of the Day­light Sav­ing Time aper­tures and how they help the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite stand out com­pared to the stag­nant world­timers of the past.

A tra­di­tional world­timer,

with its 24 time zones set around an outer ring, doesn’t al­low for any flex­i­bil­ity when it comes to Day­light Sav­ing Time and its on-again, off-again na­ture in coun­tries around the world. e trou­ble with rep­re­sent­ing this on a watch dial comes when we’re com­par­ing the time dif­fer­ence be­tween two coun­tries, where one ob­serves Day­light Sav­ing Time and the other does not. For ex­am­ple, the time dif­fer­ence be­tween New York, which ob­serves DST, and Hong Kong, which doesn’t, is 12 hours dur­ing New York’s Day­light Sav­ing Time and 13 hours when the city is in Stan­dard Time. A world­timer us­ing Louis Cot­tier’s de­sign would only dis­play the dif­fer­ence as 13 hours with­out change, re­quir­ing ad­di­tional cal­cu­la­tion by the wearer, de­feat­ing the over­all point of a travel-time wrist­watch.

Glashütte Orig­i­nal coun­ter­acts this through the use of the 8 o’clock aper­tures. When Day­light Sav­ing Time rolls around in New York, the lo­cal time will need to be ad­justed one hour back­ward, or four 15-minute jumps. e IATA code sig­ni­fy­ing New York, JFK, will have moved from the DST win­dow into the STD aper­ture sig­nal­ing this change.

e move­ment that pow­ers all of these com­plex-yet­in­tu­itive func­tions is man­u­fac­ture Cal­i­bre 89-02, which is the same move­ment used in the pre­vi­ous 18k gold ver­sions from 2015 (the Grande Cosmopolite Tour­bil­lon used Cal­i­bre 89-01). It’s vis­i­ble through an ex­hi­bi­tion case­back – which thank good­ness for, as the tra­di­tional Ger­man watch­mak­ing on full dis­play here is some­thing to be­hold. A gor­geous Glashütte-stripe fin­ish runs across the time-hon­ored three­quar­ter plate move­ment. Pol­ished bevels pro­vide am­ple tex­ture into the quar­ter open­ing that dis­plays the stun­ning, hand-en­graved, gold-plated bal­ance cock, a Glashütte sig-

na­ture. On top of the bal­ance wheel is the brand’s reg­u­la­tor-free reg­u­la­tion sys­tem with a dual swan-neck spring that can be ad­justed us­ing the four tiny screws on the bal­ance wheel, en­sur­ing a high de­gree of rate pre­ci­sion. e bal­ance it­self beats at 28,800 vph. ere’s an off-cen­ter mi­cro-ro­tor also con­structed from gold – an­other sign of tra­di­tional Glashütte watch­mak­ing – that al­lows for the watch’s im­pres­sive three-day power re­serve.

Mov­ing back to the dial side, all the sub­di­als, aper­tures and com­pli­ca­tions are spread out in an even man­ner im­bu­ing the watch with its re­fined ap­pear­ance. e blued poire hands stretch across the dial and com­ple­ment the printed blue Ara­bic nu­mer­als and ap­pliqués. On the 12 o’clock sub­dial, the hands are nearly iden­ti­cal but the printed nu­mer­als are black rather than blue to de­note the time dif­fer­ence. ere’s a mix­ture of fonts on the dial that is slightly dis­con­cert­ing and con­trasts with the over­all taste­ful­ness of the watch but, thank­fully, there are no egre­gious kern­ing or other graphic de­sign is­sues. In fact, the var­nished, matte dial of­fers a lot of for­give­ness for any small flaws. Dur­ing my time with the watch, I found that when sun­light hits the dial just right, the blued hands and in­dexes com­bine with the soft white­ness of the dial to re­ally come alive in a sym­phony of Teu­tonic tim­ing plea­sure. Fi­nally, the case fea­tures a com­bi­na­tion of satin-brushed and pol­ish fin­ish­ing that just adds to the watch’s over­all hand­some dec­o­ra­tion.

In dis­cussing wear­a­bil­ity,

there’s no get­ting around it, this is a sub­stan­tial watch. At 44 mm by 14 mm, the watch ac­tu­ally wears big­ger due to the al­most-non ex­is­tent bezel but is aided by the chunky lugs that help it fit wrists of any size. It’s also worth not­ing that thanks to the new stain­less-steel case ma­te­rial, the watch is sub­stan­tially lighter than its gilded pre­de­ces­sors. Re­gard­less, it’s un­likely to fit un­der a shirt cuff any­time soon. e rea­son for this over­all ro­bust­ness is due to the highly com­pli­cated move­ment that is sized at 39.2 mm by 8 mm. Glashütte Orig­i­nal took steps to de­crease its thick­ness, namely the choice to use a mi­cro-ro­tor, but with a com­pli­ca­tion like this, where there are mul­ti­ple lev­els that re­quire dif­fer­ent ad­just­ments, the size is im­pos­si­ble to avoid. at be­ing said, I did wear the Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite for over a week and, while it took a mo­ment to get used to, I had no is­sue with the watch’s size or weight de­spite my thin wrists. It comes with a dark blue Louisiana al­li­ga­tor leather strap with your choice of a pin buckle or a fold-over clasp.

In con­clu­sion, the Glashütte Orig­i­nal Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite pre­sents a fan­tas­tic value in its new stain­lesssteel dress­ing. While the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion in rose and white gold ham­mered home the Ger­man brand’s fond­ness for pre­cious met­als, the stain­less-steel ver­sion is where the watch’s in­her­ent func­tion­al­ity shines. At a lit­tle over $21,000, there might not be a bet­ter world­timer value on the mar­ket to­day, con­sid­er­ing all you are get­ting. A full man­u­fac­ture move­ment, an in­no­va­tive dual time zone dis­play that ac­counts for 35 time zones plus Day­light Sav­ing Time, and all the typ­i­cal Glashütte dec­o­ra­tion com­bines with one of the most ef­fec­tive and user-friendly ad­just­ment sys­tems I’ve seen, mak­ing this watch, in my per­sonal opin­ion, the most im­por­tant stain­less-steel travel-time watch of 2018. —

The Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite is a world­timer in the most lit­eral sense of the word.

The Glashütte Orig­i­nal Sen­a­tor Cosmopolite in stain­less steel is a more ac­ces­si­ble and youth­ful take on the brand's in­no­va­tive travel-time com­pli­ca­tion.

The hand-en­graved, gold-plated bal­ance cock

Blued hands and in­dexes make the dial come alive.The watch mea­sures in at 44 mm by 14 mm.

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