Hands-On with the new Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite Blue and the OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra Green
Two classics get readily dressed for summer 2020. But in one case, there’s more to it…
Changing the dial of an existing watch is a very straightforward way to breathe new life into it. Almost all manufacturers do what Glashütte Original and OMEGA, respectively, have just done with the Senator Cosmopolite and the Seamaster Aqua Terra: updating to colours to fashionable blue and the up-and-coming new must-have, green:
(New for 2020: the OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra with green and the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite with blue dial (right), respectively)
The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite turns – cosmopolite
I’d like to focus a bit on the former, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite: The watch is something very close to an ultimate travel watch, being able to display home time (off-centre at 12 o’clock) and a second time zone (central) at one glance.
What’s more and what makes the Cosmopolite a real versatile exception amongst the traveller’s watches are three aspects:
- it is able to be set to time zones with rare 1⁄2 and 3⁄4 h differences, e.g. in India, making for a total of 35 time zones
- it can be set to daylight saving time and standard time
- it can be fully adjusted via its crowns, using standard IATA airport codes, back and forth even across date lines.
On top of the above, the watch shows day/night indicators for both home and second time zone, the typical panorama date, the power reserve and a small stop seconds:
All this is made possible by the known automatic Cal. 89-02 movement with 72-hour power reserve, an eccentric rotor and the characteristic ¾ plate and the engraved balance bridge:
Initially I mentioned that the news is the colour, but while the new blue dial colour indeed is the most recognisable change yet, this is certainly not all: the hands have changed from the more conservative poiré to lance hands, and the Arabic indices made way for simple applied rod indices. Also, the main hands are now luminous – important when I think at my own frequent travels.
Overall, however, the overall change is much more than this: Many ‘Senator’ watches felt downright conservative with their almost baroque hands, being somewhat at odds with their hanseatic, well-travelled and open-minded connotations of the word ‘senator’. The new dial layout and colour addresses this nicely as the juxtaposition with the white dialed older version below illustrates:
(The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite – new blue (left vs. known white (right) version – spot the differences?)
With the makeover Glashütte Original expands the target audience of the Cosmopolite to cater for a younger, design-oriented and globally minded clientele, as if the brand would take the (otherwise aptly chosen) name ‘Cosmopolite’ a deliberate bit more serious:
The Shades of Green on the OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra
The second watch to be discussed here is the new OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra with the new green dial. The novelty here is a nod to the upcoming trendy dial colour (at least if you consider this year’s novelties from Swatch Group brands):
Positioned close the entry level of OMEGA’s sports watches, it still comes with a number of details which stand out – chiefly among them the patterned dial that OMEGA calls ‘teak’, which is designed to evoke ideas of boat decks and an overall nautical feel, but comes across a bit nautilously (there you have it, I would be surprised if that is not intentional…), the facetted arrow hands and – small but not to be overlooked – the colour matched date at 6 o’clock with silver printed numbers.
For completeness reasons, the watch is housed in a 41mm stainless steel case with screwed crown, and driven by the Master Chronometer certified workhorse Cal. 8900 with antimagnetic properties up to 15,000 Gauss, 60h power reserve and a co-axial escapement:
There is a reason (or two) why I did not choose the equally new blue dial variant (one reason: see above) and instead selected the new green one for this article here. But my main motivation is a positive one: the colour just plays so well with the plank patterned dial structure, exposing numerous fine shades in colour and luminescence. Green is not (yet) totally hyped and beaten to death like the now mainstream blue, and I applaud OMEGA for getting outside their comfort zone with this rather acquired-taste colour.
Both watches are solid business cases and exemplify what one can expect from major watch brands. They don’t express the personality of any given watchmaker, but they demonstrate that sometimes small modifications can make for a lot of change – it all depends on the baseline!