For centuries the small town of Glashütte has been the epicenter of German watchmaking. While there are indeed plenty of similarities between their approach to watchmaking and that of the Swiss, there are also enough things different. This allowed a certain number of manufactures to find their niche and rise to new levels of greatness when the Berlin Wall came down, and East Germany was joined with the West once more. Among them was Glashütte Original, who presents with a Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition a German take on how a skeleton watch should look.
One of the first things you notice with this watch is that form doesn’t go over function. A skeletonized dial outlines all the complications present on the dial with the appropriate indications printed on them. The time is clearly indicated with Roman numerals and a railroad track also marks the minutes. Blued hands add a vintage appeal, and match nicely with the background of the moon phase disc. While not strictly symmetrical, is there balance on the dial.
The way that Glashütte Original skeletonized the movement is very interesting. From the front, they went for a kind of filigree approach, cutting away as much as they could and hand-engraved what is left. In the back, they left much more metal. Not because they couldn’t cut away the rest, but because they opted for gold chatons mounted with blued screws. This is a nod to history as in the past the rubies used in watches where not always the same size, and this was managed by using a gold chaton. Today, with standardized production, this is not an issue anymore, yet this construction still has a visual appeal.
Perhaps that is also what makes the Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition such a stunning watch; Glashütte Original not only put a lot of thought and effort in the construction of this watch, but also in its design. It is a near-perfect marriage of form and function, dished up in a typical German-style, and that makes this watch in a league of its own.