For those who travel often, a watch with a second timezone indication is a useful tool. Especially when you travel through (and to) different timezones, a watch with a GMT function or (better yet) a world timer complication like this Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite can become a pleasant companion. I’ve been an avid traveller myself for a while when I was working for one of the Big Four companies a long time ago, and I noticed that bringing your watch with second timezone becomes part of the ritual when packing your gear. Nowadays, I travel mainly within Europe and the difference of an hour can easily be done without a GMT or world timer. The occasional travel to Asia or the United States for me does not really require me to own a world timer watch, but there’s also just the idea and fun of owning such a piece. Also, sometimes a watch with a world timer complication can also be pretty useful if you have to deal with people that live in a different timezone. So you can see in one glance whether it is appropriate for you to give them a phone call, or when you might get an answer on your sent e-mail.
The world timer complication is a mechanical wonder. Perhaps not as much as a chronograph, tourbillon or minute repeater, but the fact that you can select a destination time by selecting a destination on a city disc (in this case a disc based on IATA airport codes) and everything ‘clicks’ into place is definitely an example of wonderful (micro)engineering.
The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is not a new model, but this stainless steel version has been recently added to the red gold and white gold watches. In this article, I will have a closer look at this world timer that is able to indicate the time in 36 different countries.
First, when Glashütte Original showed me this watch during Baselworld in March, I seem to have forgotten how big this watch actually is. The diameter of the Senator Cosmopolite is 44mm, with a height of 14mm. The ratio was all fine, but you just need to be prepared for wearing a 44mm watch. At least I do.
One of the first things I asked was how this watch differs from the white gold version. The colour of the materials is very similar, only eagle-eyed collectors will probably see the difference between the two. No worries, Glashütte Original made sure that the dial of the Senator Cosmopolite offers enough differences to keep the white gold version and stainless steel version easily apart. See below, an image of the new stainless steel (reference 1-89-02-03-02-01) and the white gold watch (reference 1-89-02-01-04-30).
As you can see, the stainless steel version has a dial that looks a bit more modern. I wanted to use the word ‘sporty’, but I don’t think that is applicable at all for the Senator Cosmopolite. The Arabic numerals, the applied blue hour markers, the day/night indicator and home time subdial are clearly different from the white gold version with its Roman numerals. In the home time subdial, you will find the word ‘Home time’ and lack of the ‘Ab’ and ‘Auf’ (down and up) power reserve indicator indications.
Then there’s, of course, the difference in weight. I don’t have the specifications nor did I bring a kitchen scale to the fair in Basel, but you can imagine that the white gold Senator Cosmopolite is a bit heavier. Personally, I like the weight of a gold watch, as it brings a bit more substance to the wrist, but perhaps for comfort reasons (and travelling is for a large part about ensuring you are as comfortable as possible) the stainless steel Senator Cosmopolite is a very good option.
There’s a lot going on, on the dial of the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite. Let’s shed a bit of light on how the watch works, and you will see that once you got it, the dial isn’t actually as cluttered as it looks at first sight. If you look at the photo below, you will find two apertures at 8 o’clock. One is indicated DST (‘daylight savings time’) and the other is STD (‘standard time’). The (home)time in the subdial at 12 o’clock can be set by using the crown at 2 o’clock. Then, to select a destination (local) time, the crown at 8 o’clock should be used. The apertures at 8 o’clock will then indicate the IATA code (International Air Transport Association) for the destination. If you selected the one of your choice, the central hour and minute hands will align accordingly. In increments of 15 minutes, as the Senator Cosmopolite supports 36 timezones, including the ones that have a 1/2 hour and 3/4 hour offset.
The day/night indicator will also be updated accordingly, as well as the big date at 4 o’clock. They will all be aligned with the destination time. The crown at 4 o’clock can be used in both directions, to set the destination time and the IATA codes will be updated accordingly. So the world timer can be set in two different ways (you don’t always have the IATA codes at hand, I can imagine).
A watch with so much information on the dial needs to have a large dial (aperture) of course, so I can think of this being one of the main reasons for Glashütte Original to make it 44mm in diameter. As you can see, nothing is really cluttered or overlapping other information. To me, that’s more important than to make the watch smaller and making the dial unreadable. With the Arabic numerals, the dial made me think of the IWC Portugieser Chronograph to be honest, which I happen to like (design wise).
The three crowns that Glashütte Original used are decently sized, otherwise, it would become really big and perhaps uncomfortable. The crowns are all signed with the GO logo and operate the in-house developed and manufactured calibre 89-02 movement. The gold versions of the Senator Cosmopolite from 2016 have the same movement, nothing has changed since.
Calibre 89-02 is a self-winding movement, with a de-centralized rotor. Besides being operated by the three crowns, there is also a small corrector at 9 o’clock in the caseband is there to correct the date. There are over 400 components in this movement. The finish is like we’re used from Glashütte Original’s high-end timepieces. Beautiful Glashütte striping, gold rotor and a hand-engraved balance bridge. The movement has a power reserve of 72 hours.
The Calibre 89-02 movement has a power reserve of 72 hours and has an indicator on the dial of the watch, as described above. The movement is quite big, with a diameter of 39mm (and a height of 8mm). This of course also explains why the watch has to be 44mm. As you can see in the images above, the movement is beautifully demonstrated through the sapphire crystal. A movement with a diameter of 39mm also ensures you can really enjoy it to the fullest! Calibre 89-02 furthermore has 63 jewels and ticks at 28,800vph (=4Hz). Even though the watch is an automatic, Glashütte Original still made sure it has the 3/4 plate with stripe finish (also on the rotor and the plate below) to enjoy. Also, the skeletonized rotor has a 21-carat gold oscillation weight. As always, the Glashütte Original movement with hand-engraved balance bridge is a feast for the eyes.
Where the red gold and white gold were priced at resp. €36.500,- and €38.000,- at the time of introduction, the new stainless steel Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite has a price tag of €20.700. That is certainly a serious amount of money, but it does buy you a very serious watch as well. The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is an elegant watch with its lacquered silver-grained dial and has a beautifully finished movement onboard, enabling you to travel around the world in style. Not only that, operating the Senator Cosmopolitan is very easy and will make globetrotting life somewhat easier for you.
To me, a watch with an extra timezone or world timer can also be quite an emotional piece. If you are alone on a trip, far away from home and your family, looking at the home time dial will immediately make you think of your wife and daughter for example, and what they might be doing. Diner, playing, school or work; it makes you still feel attached and part of their life while you are somewhere else on the planet. Don’t forget to give them a call, you don’t have excuses anymore with a watch like this.
More information via Glashütte Original online.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more