For 2019, Glashütte Original celebrates the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Senator Chronometer.
In case you were gazing out of the window at the back of the class during double History at school, marine chronometers were employed by explorers and seafarers for purposes of navigation, and were regarded as highly precise ship clocks. Encased in wooden boxes, they defied rough seas and inclement weather to help seafarers to conquer the New World. It’s no coincidence during the era of intrepid explorers such as Captain James Cook that Britain ruled the waves. It’s because they possessed the world’s finest chronometers.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRONOMETERS
Captain James Cook (1728-1779). (Nathaniel Dance. BHC2628)
Today we take knowing the exact time for granted, but 250 years ago portable precision timekeepers were a luxury unknown. At sea, ships needed to know the exact time in order to calculate the geographic longitude and to ascertain the precise position of the ship. It was necessary to know the local time at the ship’s home port, for example, or any other location whose longitude was known to be used in combination with the position of the sun, which determined the precise time on board.
For centuries ship captains sailed the seas without this reliable means of time telling. As a result, positions were less than precise, which often had tragic consequences for an entire fleet of ships.
Enter John Harrison, a British carpenter. In the middle of the 18th century, he entered a competition for the Longitude Prize to develop a portable clock that would function reliably on the high seas. It was a chronometer which set new standards in the precise measurement of time, and it earned John Harrison a knighthood. Then over time the marine chronometer we know today was developed. Gimbal-mounted and protected in a wooden box, these chronometers were often set directly into the ship’s chart table.
In the early days, chronometers were made only in England and France. However, beginning in 1886, the first marine chronometers started to be built in Glashütte, where the first watchmakers had settled in 1845 and quickly earned a reputation for excellence.
THE GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL SENATOR CHRONOMETER 2019
Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer ref: 1-58-01-02-05-30
In 2009, GO created the first Senator Chronometer for the wrist. The new version is 42mm in a red gold case with a slimmer bezel and certified accuracy. In fact, every single part is tested for accuracy by the German Calibration Service, which measures its performance over 15 days against strict standards.
A watch may only be called a “chronometer” if it passes tests in five different positions and at three different temperatures within a maximum average daily rate deviation of no more than two seconds. The watch only receives the relevant certificate if it performs up to these exacting standards.
As with the very first GO Senator Chronometer, the movement of choice for the latest Senator Chronometer is Glashütte Original’s manual winding movement Calibre 58-01 with zero-reset mechanism, a “jumping” Panorama Date and a power reserve of just under 45 hours, which more than meets the criteria.
This latest addition to the line features a discreet day-night indicator with pear-shaped “poire” hands in blued steel. They traverse a laser-engraved, galvanic black railroad chapter ring highlighted with Roman numerals. The extra slim bezel in red gold leaves more space for the handsome face of the piece. The sapphire crystal case-back reveals the movement with decorated three-quarter plate, screw-mounted gold chatons, and a hand-engraved balance cock.
TRADITION AND PRECISION FOR THE WRIST
In 2009, as a tribute to the robust clock in a wooden box, GO presented the Senator Chronometer for the wrist. The successful debut model was followed by new versions including the latest, in a red gold case with a slimmer bezel.
As for tradition, the displays on the dial are presented in the same configuration as the marine and pocket chronometers of old.
Today, all the technology once embedded in a wooden box aboard ship can be worn on the wrist. Were James Cook or Alexander von Humboldt to set out on a voyage of discovery in 2019, they would be as well served by a Senator Chronometer from Glashütte Original as they would with any chronometer they would have had on board.
The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer 2019 retails for US$24,300.00