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Hands-On: Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite Blue & Steel Watch


Today we are looking at a minor yet notable update to the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite watch that is now available with the ever-popular combination of blue dial and steel case.

Saxon watchmaker Glashütte Original made its mark on world timer watches in 2012 when it introduced the frankly epic Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon, a $363,000 watch that brought to the world one of the most complex, yet most intuitive, world time displays to date. Fast forward three years, and the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite debuted, bringing that elegant, IATA airport code-based world time complication to a relatively more affordable price point — still exclusively in precious metals, though. Yet another three-year cycle later, the Senator Cosmopolite premiered its most competitive variant in 2018 with the 21,000-euro steel iteration that we reviewed in-depth here. Priced at just around the $20,000 mark, it has every right to contend for the prize of “most capable world timer watch of its price segment” — and well above it, too.

2020 sees a new dial and new handset spice things up for the Senator Cosmopolite. One of the more common gripes with the previous iteration concerned its handset, the wilfully classic styled spade hands. Beautifully executed as they were, it is understandable that prospective buyers of the Senator Cosmopolite asked for something crisper and more… something that looks more at home in the… Senator lounge. And so, this pair of absolutely massive, angular hands has been introduced to the steel Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite — their size is a testament to the mighty power of the movement that is driving them and to the manufacture’s attention to such essential details like properly sized hands. Once you start looking for properly sized hands, you’ll see how the luxury watch industry is achingly short on those. Okay, enough with the puns for the day.

A remarkably thin bezel furthers the pursuit of effortless elegance — something that describes the aesthetic of the brand rather well. This also helps keep the size of the watch at a minimum because the movement inside is an unsurprisingly beefy one, given the complexity of the Glashütte Original Manufactory Calibre 89-02. To briefly reiterate, its special IATA code disc (where every time zone is represented by the airport code of a major city) is synchronized with the main hands so that when traveling, all you have to do is select the IATA code using the crown at 8 o’clock and the hands will automagically land at the correct time. This allows for the super-intuitive adaptation to 35 time zones, including some that are 30 or 45 minutes apart, all there for you in Standard Time and Daylight Savings Time where applicable. The more I think about it, the higher this ranks on the list of Actually Useful Luxury Watch Complications. A crown and two small windows on a dial enabling you to do all this is modern watch engineering at its peak.

Caseback image from our full review of the previous stainless steel piece.

Back to the point, Calibre 89-02 measures a whopping 39.2mm-wide — like a cased-up Rolex Explorer I — and 8mm-tall. It has 63 jewels, runs on 4 Hertz for more stable timekeeping, and still manages to offer 72 hours (+/-10%) power reserve, replenished by an off-center openworked micro-rotor with 21k gold oscillation weights. The massive balance bridge is fully hand-engraved and is held down by individually heat-blued screws, securing a balance wheel with four adjustment screws for variable moments of inertia and a duplex swan-neck fine adjustment system, mirror-polished painstakingly by hand. It goes without saying that the caliber suffers no shortage of beveled and polished edges, heat-blued screws, and what Glashütte Original simply calls “stripe finish.” Forget the watch: Selling this movement, uncased, for $21k doesn’t seem quite such an outrageous prospect with all that in mind.

The case wraps around the movement like a thin veneer of stainless steel, adding only about 5mm to its girth for a full diameter of 44mm and full height of 14mm. Looks and wearability are ideal for anyone with wrists of and over 6.75 inches — below that, the watch is wearing you and not the other way around.

Price for the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite in stainless steel with a Midnight Blue dial is $21,500 on a black leather strap and $22,700 on the steel bracelet. To learn more about the finer details of the case, dial, and functionality of the Senator Cosmopolite in stainless steel, be sure to read our review here and visit the brand’s website here.

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