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One might presume — not unreasonably, mind you — that a large number of our readership is made up of seasoned frequent flyers. Whether you travel regularly for business or leisure, it’s always invaluable to have a second timezone (i.e. that of your destination) on-hand. Nowadays, local time can be identified with a push of your smartphone; but don’t let the technophiles hoodwink you — nothing will ever be as intuitive (or feel as satisfying) as glancing down at your wrist. That brings us to the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite.

Senator Cosmopolite
Despite its unavoidable wrist factor, the 44mm Senator Cosmopolite is a release in the best tradition of Glashütte Original. Clean, legible, and displaying only essential information, it’s well suited to those whose travels take them through multiple timezones on the regular.

Announced at Baselworld earlier this year, the new Senator Cosmopolite in stainless steel is a watch tailor-made for horologists who travel widely and often. Centred around a sophisticated world time complication, Glashütte’s newest release operates in 15-minute increments; meaning that the Senator Cosmopolite is capable of displaying 36 different timezones including those with a half and three-quarter hour setoff. Furthermore, each “destination” timezone is identifiable by an IATA code. Adjustment of the IATA apertures causes the time to click into place — an action that is convenient, smooth and infinitely more stylish than fumbling about on your generic mobile device.

A modern spirit writ large 

Clocking in at 44mm, the Senator Cosmopolite is hardly a dainty watch. The objectively large proportions are a necessity, in light of the information that needs to be presented on the dial. Notwithstanding a mild miscalculation in terms of fonts used — at least half a dozen are visible on the dial — the overall execution is clean and modern. The watch’s contemporary vibe is embellished by considerable tweaks to the basic design codes established in 2015 — when the original red and white Cosmopolites were first announced. Unlike its precious metal brethren, Glashütte’s latest take eschews Roman numerals in favour of applied Arabic indexes. The 12 o’clock sub-dial too has undergone some changes, with “ab” and “auf” (i.e. up and down) replaced by less esoteric text that simply reads “home time”.

Senator Cosmopolite
The Senator Cosmopolite’s generally patrician looks bely a fistful of features including: a daytime/nighttime indicator; two sub-dials; big date; and (crucial) IATA apertures.

All of this contributes to a layout that is surprisingly easy to read (following a period of adjustment): proportions are well calibrated in relation to one another; and the use of Arabic numerals brings a nice continuity to the entire dial. Having said all that — by almost any metric — the Senator Cosmopolite is a busy watch; and whether you warm to its aesthetic really boils down to your familiarity with and affinity for the world timer complication.

Seamless timezone travel

Two little apertures (located at the 8 o’clock position) are at the core of the new Senator Cosmopolite. Marked DST (“daylight savings”) and STD (“standard time”), setting these with the adjacent winding crown enables the central hour and minute hands to alternate between summer/winter time in a variety of IATA-coded regions. Meanwhile, home time — displayed in the titular sub-dial at 12 o’clock — can be set using the winding crown at the 2 o’clock position. In case you find yourself at a loss as to the IATA code of the destination you’re traveling to, central time can be adjusted via the winding crown at 4 o’clock.

Senator Cosmopolite
At a flick of the 8 o’clock crown, the Senator Cosmopolite’s various displays shift into action — reflecting the local time, date and phase of the day at your destination.

Selecting a time zone using the aforementioned IATA codes “clicks” the watch’s various displays into place: with the day/night indicator and big date aperture shifting to reflect conditions in your destination timezone. The action of changing timezones is pleasingly tactile — one that’s certainly faster than Googling or waiting for the inevitable din of the cabin PA as your aircraft descends.

A big movement with an even bigger wow factor

Like its predecessors, the current Senator Cosmopolite is powered by the calibre 89-02. An automatic movement good for 72 hours, the more interesting detail is in its size. At 39mm, the calibre 89-02 is the kind of movement that begs for an exhibition caseback — large enough for wearers to admire in full profile.

Senator Cosmopolite
The Glashütte calibre 89-02: note the distinctive 3/4 plate and eye-catching skeletonise oscillator.

Glashütte are well known for the quality of their finishing and rightfully so. The present example is decorated with the German manufacture’s distinctive striped 3/4 plate, off-kilter gold rotor and hand engraved “GO” initials. Made up of over 400 individual components, it takes up a lot of the Senator Cosmopolite’s real estate — not necessarily a bad thing given the quality and consistency of the finish.

The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite in stainless steel is now available for US$21,200. For more information, visit Glashütte Original online

Randy Lai
Watches Editor
Having worked in the Australian digital media landscape for over 5 years, Randy has extensive experience in men's specialist categories such as classic clothing, watches and spirits. He is partial to mid-century chronographs and a nice chianti.