Honoring its rich heritage of more than 165 years of superior watchmaking in Glashütte, Germany, Glashütte Original has debuted the Limited Edition Senator Observer 1911 – Julius Assmann. Limited to just 25 pieces, the timepiece pays homage to Julius Assmann and Roald Amundsen.
Julius Assmann is one of the founding fathers of watchmaking in Glashütte. The timepieces crafted by Assmann, particularly the observation watches crafted by Assmann played significant role in first establishing the company grand reputation
Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian polar explorer acquired a number of Assmann observation watches, including one crafted by the young Glashütte watchmaker Paul Lowe in 1907/08. Lowe’s watch was exceptionally precise, and he was urged to send it for testing to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg, which officially responsible for testing and certifying the accuracy of navigational timekeepers made in Germany. It was there that Roald Amundsen saw the watch and purchased it in 1910.
In 1911, Amundsen and his team became the first people to ever to reach the geographic South Pole and did so by using observation watches, also known as “deck watches” along with with marine chronometers and other instruments to determine as precisely as possible a ship’s position at sea.
This new limited editon timepiece bears the name “Senator Observer”, in honor of Julius Assmann’s observation watches and Amundsen’s achievement in reaching the South Pole. The Senator Observer 1911’s lacquered silvergrain dial is built up slowly from three separate layers of white lacquer, the third of which features a finely textured, silver-grain surface. The dial presents subsidiary seconds and power reserve displays at 9 and 3 o’clock; Glashütte Original’s characteristic panorama date display at 6 o’clock; and blued and polished sweep minute and pear-shaped hour hands. A milled railroad chapter ring frames the black Arabic numerals.
The Senator Observer Limited Edition 1911 – Julius Assmann features a cylindrical case fashioned in white gold, complemented by a brown calfskin strap evocative of the age of pioneering adventurers and explorers epitomized by Amundsen. The case back, engraved with the limited edition number (01/25), frames an antireflective sapphire crystal bearing the dates of Amundsen’s arrival at the South Pole and its centennial anniversary: 14 Dec. 1911 – 14 Dec 2011; the name Julius Assmann – Glashütte i/SA, and “Tribute to R. Amundsen”.
At the heart of the Senator Observer 1911 – Julius Assmann is the automatic Caliber 100-14, an exquisitely finished self-winding movement. Traditional observation watches used hand-wound movements; Glashuette Original has chosen to outfit the Senator Observer 1911 – Julius Assmann with a contemporary automatic movement to maximize comfort for the wearer. Thus, the ‘Ab Auf’ indicator on the dial represents a true power reserve, rather than a simple indication of running time. The base movement is outfitted with a reset mechanism, which makes for easier synchronization of the second hand with standard time. In contrast to other reset mechanisms, the second hand is not coupled with the winding stem or the crown. This resulted in the balance continuing to oscillate and the movement continuing to run despite the crown being pulled out, which considerably reduces wear and tear on materials. The reset mechanism is activated by pushing a separate corrector. A bi-directional winding rotor delivers energy to a patented, stepped reduction gear, and then to two smaller, serially operating spring barrels. Large amounts of energy are transmitted to the mainspring, and the spring barrel is filled quickly.
Visible through the sapphire case back, the Caliber 100-14 is a fitting tribute to Julius Assmann. The movement features the characteristic Glashütte three-quarter plate, screw-mounted gold chatons, and a rotor with 21-carat gold oscillating weight and the gold-plated double-G mark that distinguishes high end mechanical watches from Glashütte Original.