Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Glashütte Original Senator Navigator Will you flyback to the 2000's for €3,960? by Michael Stockton June 10, 2020 MIN READWrist Game or Crying Shame: Glashütte Original Senator Navigator Wrist Game Crying Shame
Welcome back to Wrist Game or Crying Shame, the weekly article that lets you play Commander in Chief. This week, we view an uncommon one with the Glashütte Original Senator Navigator. But first…
Last week, I showed you a freshly serviced Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33. It turns out that a service, boxes and papers, and a super geeky Speedy are a recipe for success. As such, the X-33 returned to orbit with a healthy 58% Wrist Game win. Not bad for a quartz watch, is it? Well, today, we take to the air in lieu of space with the Glashütte Original Senator Navigator.
The Return of Glashütte Original
I can still remember Glashütte’s return to the USA. It was sometime in the 1990s and both it and Lange & Söhne made their reintroductions after the fall of the Berlin Wall. They were both very different from the Swiss dress watches I’d become accustomed to seeing in boutiques. If you want a prime example, just picture those giant, panoramic date displays with individual wheels for each digit. Lange was clearly aimed at the high-end Patek market while Glashütte Original perhaps a touch lower.
To be fair, both Lange and Glashütte Original made a lot of watches that weren’t for me at that stage of my life. Today, I regard Lange as a serious competitor to the highest of the high in watchmaking. I hold Glashütte Original in high esteem, but as slightly more approachable in both price and design. I know that the haute horologists will cringe, but Glashütte simply makes more watches that I would wear. Case in point — today’s Senator Navigator.
Surprised by the Senator Navigator
If you’ve never been to Chicago, you should visit. After all, Chicago is “the city that works”. I respect that. Plus, people are nice and the food rocks. My family and I decided to meet and enjoy these delights sometime in the early 2000s. And as always, my Dad and I hit the watch shops and stumbled upon the Senator Navigator.
It’s hard to believe, these days especially, that one can be surprised at a watch boutique. But the Senator Navigator was unexpected. Here was a respected, rather high-end brand making a sportier watch. Yes, it aped the World War II era B-Uhr Type B bomber watches (note: historically Glashütte did not make B-Uhr watches). But still, it looked good.
An Uncommon Watch
At a beefy 44mm in diameter, the Senator Navigator was and is not for the meek. On the other hand, it has relatively short lugs and a slim 13mm thickness that help bring it into line. I guess that Glashütte offered this watch in order to battle other military-esque pieces like the IWC Big Pilot or Panerai Radiomir. And as a more toned-down model. I guess it lost that battle.
Despite a fine looking printed dial with loads of lume and an in-house caliber 100-09 automatic, the Senator Navigator wasn’t overly popular. In fact, during its production period of something like ten years, I’d go years without seeing one in a shop. Still today, they’re not plentiful on sale sites.
The Senator Navigator actually features a cool little “complication” of sorts. A button at 8:00 can be depressed at any time to send the sweep hand back to 12:00. Think of it as an ultra fast way to hack your watch. I’d probably use it in competition with another wearer at the local Aldi to see who can grab the most Aktionspreis articles within 60 seconds. Anyhow, it’s neat and could be fun to use as a handy timer.
The Senator Navigator gained one appreciable change during its lifetime and that was the addition of a display back. I don’t dislike seeing a pretty movement, but I like the earlier solid back. After all, this is meant to be a rugged aviator watch. I’ve found what looks like a gorgeous example here on Chrono24. The pictures and the watch come from Zeitauktion in Germany and it comes with everything. All this can be yours for €3,960.
The Senator Navigator is most certainly a more stealthy sleeper of a watch than its high-end competitors. Detractors may say that something like a Laco or Stowa could be had for far less. That’s fair, but I like the thought of rocking a relatively rare Glashütte Original. But in Wrist Game or Crying Shame, it’s ultimately YOU that decides.
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About the author
Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became… read more
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