For 2018 Glashutte Original introduced a few more versions of the Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase, which we go hands-on with today. Even though these new Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase watches are in the same collection as the previous models, they are in reality different watches in my opinion (and thus may merit a new name). These pictured Glashutte Original models are not only in larger cases but also have different dials and hands. That may or may not be enough to merit an entirely new product name, but I do worry that consumers may be confused when trying to select a specific watch that they are looking for.
The existing Glashutte Original Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase watches were debuted in 40mm wide cases with blued-steel hands and a more traditional, flat-printed dial with some Roman numeral hour markers. The 2018 models have 42mm wide cases as well as Dauphine-style hands with matching applied hour markers. The 40mm and 42mm wide versions of the Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase are both dressier and classic in their form, but the 42mm wide models are just a bit more youthful and casual by design – especially on the available matching steel metal bracelet.
If you aren’t familiar with Senator Excellence collection from Glashutte Original, they contain the brand’s most reliable and modern movement architecture to date with the Caliber 36 mechanism family. Glashutte Original has been slowly replacing older Senator models with new ones that have similar or the same complications, but a new engine underneath. Fans of Glashutte Original will correctly point out that many elements of the Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase feel like existing parts of the brand. That is true. What is most novel is the “Excellence” part of the product name which implies that the watch uses a Caliber 36 movement.
The specific movement used in these Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase watches is the in-house made caliber 36-04 automatic movement. It comes with the brand’s own “Glashutte Original certificate” attesting to its performance and features a combination of traditional as well as modern architecture including the German 3/4 plate, and silicon parts for the 4Hz frequency regulation system. The movement is decorated very nicely with blue-steel screws and a lot of polishing/finishing work. The above linked-to article on the Caliber 36 goes into more detail to help you understand what makes the Caliber 36 special in regard to its 100 hours of power reserve as well as how it was designed to not only be accurate, but accurate over time with chronometric stability being a key goal for the movement engineers at Glashutte Original.
In terms of complications, the automatic movement produces the time with central seconds, a moon phase indicator placed between 10 and 11 o’clock on the dial, as well as a big date (“panorama date” as Glashutte Original likes to call it) at 4 o’clock. This is one of a few Glashutte Original timepieces that plays with asymmetry on the dial. They do this quite well, while at the same time featuring other movement layouts which are much more symmetrical. I do like that the brand tries to play both the symmetrical and asymmetrical design card when they find an opportunity to do so.
This watch really wouldn’t have the same emotional value if you could not appreciate the movement through the sapphire crystal window on the rear of the case. The view really does help upgrade the overall experience when showing the watch to someone who isn’t familiar with the brand. Design-wise the Senator Excellence collection continues to be about keeping it traditional and classy. As luxury German products tend to go I really love the attention to detail and finishing of the steel case. The straps are fitting and fashionable while the available steel bracelet is nicely over-engineered with its almost entire lack of gaps between the links and the micro-adjust system in the deployant.
Given the dressy appearance of the case and dial it is possible to find the Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase watch to be a bit thick. Though the 42mm wide case is only 12.2mm thick – that isn’t too bad in my opinion. The case is also water-resistant to 50m. Glashutte Original offers three dial colors (for now) in the 42mm wide Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase watch and those are “galvanized silver, galvanized blue, and varnish matte white.” These colors are slightly unique from the other form of the silver dial the same model has for the 40mm wide variants.
All three dial colors are available with the matching steel bracelet or on an alligator strap whose color depends on the dial tone. I do like that the brand is offering all the dials with the bracelet as opposed to just one or two colors that can sometimes leave customers feeling as though the brand isn’t making the specific model they are interested in. For this article, we were not able to get images of the galvanized silver dial version, but it is actually one of my favorite ones given the unique vertically brushed texture and color. The blue color Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase will always be a crowd pleaser given the trendiness of blue right now, and the white dial models are going to be the most classic with possibly the most legibility.
I do feel as though Glashutte Original offers a compelling package here for someone who wants a serious watch, with a serious movement, from a serious brand, that has a serious level of versatility. This is especially true for people who do like the look of a complicated dial but also don’t want something difficult to read or complicated to always set. A lot of people find moon phase complications to be emotionally pleasing, but they don’t necessarily want those indicators to take over the dial. For me, a watch like this can for many people strike that perfect chord between something simple and something with just enough visual and technical pizazz to allow them to feel they are wearing a satisfying story on their wrist. Price for the 2018 42mm wide Glashutte Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase watch is $11,400 USD on the strap and $12,900 USD on the bracelet.