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Great watch, maybe the best I've seen in Drop!
As usual, I'll begin with the actual transaction with Drop. At least for me, I had to make room on the credit card because right now, there's no way to split the payment. Additionally, I would really loved to get an invoice, but neither that is possible right now.
The watch was shipped from New Jersey as usual (so no easy way to know who's the actual seller) and I got it several days before the expected date (kudos to Drop for this!). The watch comes brand new with everything (box, papers, stylus, stickers) as expected. One important difference regarding other watches I've bought here, the warranty card comes sealed/stamped by Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb which is basically Glashütte Original. Then I checked the authorized dealers and I found out that Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb is listed as a service center. The date, serial number, case material aren't filled but provided I've got the seal/stamp, I think I can fill the rest and basically I've got official warranty and it seems that the vendor is indeed Glashütte Original. Really nice surprise getting a valid seal/stamp on the warranty card (on grey market), even if I'm really confident because this is a Glashütte Original, made in Germany watch, so I don't really expect using the warranty at all.
Also, as usual, I never keep the leather strap (this one is beautiful and it's curved at the end near the case, not straight) so first thing I did was to install a 19 mm bracelet from strapcode.
Here you have a nice review of this specific watch: http://www.frequentbusinesstraveler.com/2012/01/glashutte-original-senator-perpetual-calendar-watch-review
Adjusting the watch is easy, provided you read the instruction manual. If you follow the instructions, it's easy to do, so maybe it won't be a chore if I stop using the watch winder. Personally speaking, I prefer having access (pushers) to correct every single part of the calendar. Maybe that's related with the fact that I enjoy configuring, programming, setting up technological things and I don't like to be "limited". Of course if you set a future date, you'll spend some time correcting that, but you can do it by yourself, and I emphasize this one because there are other perpetual calendars where you need to stop wearing the watch, let it stop and wait for the date to "catch up" or you must send it to the manufacturer to correct your mess. I present you with online versions of the manual (not easy to find):
Another novel for me is that there's a special pusher that will "flyback" the seconds hand so you can easily synchronize the time with another reliable source (cell phone in my case). I have never got this feature: only for a chronograph but that's not the same. Finally, by reading the manual, there are some "prohibition" times where you should not adjust the perpetual calendar, but you also read that if you mess with the pushers at the "wrong times" the indicators may not be reliable... no mention about "the movement may be destroyed". This is important because there are other movements that may be actually destroyed if you mess with the perpetual calendar at the wrong times.
Analyzing the editions of this perpetual calendar, I concluded this watch was manufactured between 2006 & 2011, check this link for further information: https://wristreview.com/the-glashutte-original-senator-perpetual-calendars-20th-anniversary/
I really like this model and I love the lumed hands as well as the applied hour markers. I don't mind the following iteration (2012) because while it still has the "dot" to identify the leap year, it uses an older caliber (1999-2004), has painted hour marks and maybe nicer hands (I don't mind, I still prefer the lume), and finally the latest iteration (2017) has a more traditional leap year indicator, which I don't love because I don't think it really adds useful information and additionally it reduces the cleanliness of the dial, but it has the new caliber 36 with 100 hours power reserve.
I never measure how many seconds the watch gains/loses a day, but I can confirm that after several weeks of usage (in the wrist or the watch winder), when I compare the time with my cell phone, the minute is still the same. Impressive. Also, this modular movement is adjusted to 5 positions. The newest caliber is adjusted to 6 positions.
After some time, I decided to compare different perpetual calendars and I went to try some Jaeger LeCoultre, IWC, Montblanc and Frederique Constant. So quick comparison begins:
- Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual. My watch, I love the readability, legibility and cleanliness of the dial. Also this one has a big central seconds hand: I don't understand why many traditional perpetual calendars put the seconds hand on a subdial, or they even exclude it altogether. Other traditional perpetual calendars use subspheres instead of simple windows like this one. Usually, reading the day number is a chore because the subsphere is little to begin with, and so are the tiny numbers which you can only find be the odd numbers (so you need to check if the hand is pointing between numbers and then you must deduce the day). Now that I can compare, what a difference! I can easily read everything on this watch, no need to suffer trying to look/deduce (if not present) the tiny number day: mine has that huge and beautiful panorama day. Also I don't need to check where are the multiple hands pointing to, just look the 4 simple indicators which always have the complete and correct information (no need to "deduce" here). Even when I first saw this watch, I didn't realize it is a Perpetual Calendar because everything is so simple and pragmatic... so German lets say. You get 55 hours power reserve (the current model, caliber 36 gets 100) which is almost the maximum you get with a perpetual calendar (IWC is the only better, that I know of, with 7 days) The craftmanship is impressive, when you compare it to other watches this one is clearly superior, I can't easily pinpoint specific details, you really need to have both watches side by side and then it's pretty obvious. For example, now that I compare my other watches with moonphase, I can conclude the disc on the Glashütte is on another league.
- Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual. Nice watch, but not as desirable anymore, now that I have the Glashütte. This was my target watch (steel) to get some day. I like the big centered seconds hand. Also, I really hate that the perpetual calendar is "preprogrammed" so there's only a single pusher which will advance everything at once. So if you push it more than required or you change timezones going the time "backwards" (so a future date is presented on the watch) you're basically screwed: you really have to wait for the watch to stop and then wait for the date to "catch up" with the watch (provided your trip lasts that long of course), or you can adjust backwards the hands so you keep losing 12 hours (no more hours or you'll destroy the movement) until you reach the correct date... what a chore. Also, on February 29, 2100 (this date doesn't exists, 2100 is not a leap year), you're even more screwed because you must send the watch in order to correct the programming directly with Jaeger LeCoultre: there's simply no way you can correct this by your own. Think about this: how long will you have to wait to get your watch back considering everybody will have to send their watch aproximately at the same date? Finally, this movement even has a visual maker indicating "prohibition times" where you must not mess with the pusher, or you'll damage the movement. I think this is one is risky and it would really be a pity if someone else (or you) accidentally destroy your watch. As I understand, the Glashütte won't be destroyed, this one may be (I haven't confirmed this risk, but other sources warn about this damage)
- IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar. Exquisite craftmanship and quality, feels solid. I've always liked this specific watch, but I don't like buying watches made with gold. 7 days power reserve which I really love: the best in the perpetual calendar category (as I know). This movement is also "preprogrammed" (I hate this), and you just use the crown (no pushers here) to advance everything at once. So the same considerations for the Jaeger LeCoultre apply here: avoid extra turns of the crown, prepare for a mess when traveling "backwards" in time, on February 29, 2100 forget about wearing your watch until fully serviced, which everyone will do at the same time you'll do.
- Montblanc Heritage Perpetual Calendar (2014). Not really impressed. You don't feel a great craftmanship (I'm saying this considering this is a perpetual calendar). The current (soon previous) model has a perpetual calendar module which is not designed for the case size, so the subspheres are all cramped in the center, wasting a lot of blank, unused space. Also, I hate this one doesn't have a seconds hand... The movement has several pushers so you can adjust every single part of the calendar, similar to Glashütte so this is a plus for me. The new perpetual calendar (2019) will add GMT complication, the subspheres are better distributed, but it's still lacking the seconds hand. Anyway, it looks nice on the photos...
- Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar. I almost bought this one, I'm glad I didn't in the end. Not really impressed, the craftmanship is not really great (it's nice but not that much considering this is a perpetual calendar) but it's important to note this is indeed the "cheaper" (mechanical) perpetual calendar you can buy today (as of 2019 at least). The modular movement has pushers so you can adjust every individual component, which is a plus for me. I hate that there's no seconds hand.
- Honorable mention: Vacheron Constatin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar. I didn't have the chance to actually wear this one, so I can't speak about the actual feel (craftmanship) of the watch. Considering the price, I would assume this one must be on another league. I like that the movement has multiple pushers to correct every individual part of the calendar. But I dislike that there's no seconds hand to find.
- Other exotic perpetual calendars: I don't even consider those. I like a legible, traditional watch. So I didn't bother analyzing those.
- Quartz perpetual calendar: I indeed have the Seiko Kinetic Perpetual Calendar which has that "traditional look" I've been talking about. There are other movements where you need to change the mode of the watch to actually see the date: I don't mind these kind of watches.
Would recommend to a friend.
I bought this watch and all I got was this very long review .
Didn't you receive your ⌚😱⁉️
Great review, lots of information provided, and lots of reasons to be nervous about messing with one. I have many vices--fortunately for me, Perpetual Calendar watches are not one of them!
The Strapcode Shark Mesh was an excellent upgrade!
How much was it? I really hate that you can't see what things sold for in the past. I am new to Drop. Is this a thing they do purposely?
It was $8,700.00 last drop was closed when one buyer joined, so I think it's unlikely we'll ever see this drop again. Anyway, click on the request button so you get an email when this watch is available again.
You may have more luck searching on Google and restricting the results to the site www.massdrop.com or www.drop.com
Damn, thanks for the info! That's a great price for that watch!
Now that's a pretty watch! Wish I could have also picked one up.
Thanks 😅 I 💭 the last one was sold @ the end of last year 🥺
At around $8,700 it's gonna be a little while before I get to pull that trigger. I'm still paying off my last watch purchases :D.
Still looks like the old scoreboard at Yankee Stadium--always room for one more complication!
But I prefer this style instead of the 🛩️ cockpit you get with the traditional perpetual 📆
Indeed, this one has the least amount of ℹ️ windows needed for it's function 😉
Hi, Mario, I bought this watch last year (first batch), everything worked fine till last week, I altered the winding direction from anti-clockwise to clockwise, the watch didn't gain/store energy anymore and stopped eventually. When I changed it back to anti-clockwise, it runs again. The caliber 100 should be bi-directional winding system if I haven't misread the user manual, it's so weir to me, Have you check this issue yet?
I've always wound it 🔄 9️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ TPD. Read here https://watch-winder.store/watch-winding-table/glashuette_original/
Nowadays I don't keep it in the winder anymore. I usually wear it at the end of the month (I'm wearing it right now until next Sunday) so I just use the universal adjustment pusher & the 🌘 phase pusher... it's not as hard to do.