By Ben Newport-Foster

As I’ve stated many times before, I’m not the biggest fan of skeleton dials. For the cost of a few extra zeros added onto the price tag, you get the benefit of a cluttered dial that is difficult to read, albeit one that is awe-inspiring from a technical perspective. There are exceptions to this rule and I would consider the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition one of those exceptions.

It’s probably because I don’t think this is a ‘true’ skeleton dial, as instead a large part of the dial has been removed to show a guilloched covering plate. No beveled bridges, shiny springs or gears making the task of reading the time an impossibility, just hand-finished steel with a few sections removed to see a handful of jewels and day/date wheels. The remaining black dial circles the open cover plate and surrounds the protruding apertures for the day, date, month and moonphase. The strength of the Senator Excellence Limited Edition is its simplicity and its confidence in offering something a little bit different.

The Excellence range was introduced in 2016 as a more modern alternative to the traditional Senator range. This limited edition is mechanically identical to a watch that was released last year but with the addition of the special, skeletonized dial. It is only available in white gold and I’ll imagine you’ll feel every gram of its 42mm case. The lug size is an odd 21mm but I would imagine that if you’ve got between $37,500 to $39,000 to spend on a watch, you’re willing to drop a few hundred dollars on a custom fitting strap if the dark blue alligator that comes as standard isn’t to your fancy.

The Caliber 36-02 that is partially visible through the dial beats at a standard 4hz but has a deliciously long power reserve of 100 hours. Too often do I see luxury watches with power reserves that can barely last till lunch, so it’s nice to see some underlying practicality in this luxury watch. As you’d expect from a perpetual calendar, this watch will accurately chart the changing days, months, moon phases and leap years all the way up to 2100 (if you and your descendants keep it wound!).

This Senator Excellence is certainly more modern than the other more subdued and conservative Senators that Glashütte Original make. Whilst this watch isn’t as wild as an all red Hublot or that vomit-inducing rainbow Daytona, I do like that Glashütte Original are willing to change up existing designs in interesting ways. For more info, visit Glashütte Original online.