Timekeeping
By Ed Estlow
on 5.20.14

There’s a cool thing about skeletons: because everything else has been stripped away, their inner workings are laid plain. The same is true with skeletonized watches.

Only in the case of watches, the skeleton isn’t a bag of bones. Instead, it’s a fascinating, mesmerizing puzzle, hundreds of tiny pieces working together in a miniature world to keep time with the universe. The boys in the back room at German company Glashütte Original have done a masterful job at sculpting the skeletonized version of their Manual Winding Senator to make those inner workings clear as day. It’s 42 millimeters of hand-wound, see-through, 18k red gold bliss.

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Drawn first to the eye is the exquisite hand engraving on the watch’s rhodium plated bridges. Gears (wheels, in horological parlance) are gold-tone, offering a sharp contrast. The hands are blued stainless steel to improve visibility while reading the time, which is always a challenge with skeletons. Sapphire crystals front and back make the Senator easy to inspect while keeping the innards safe from harm via random smacks. A black Louisiana alligator strap with a red gold folding clasp completes the package.

The effect is extravagantly mechanical. This politician resembles Frank Underwood drawling into the camera: inner workings given away, seen if not quite understood in their astonishing complexity. Oh, and Frank has some skeletons in his closet too, doesn’t he?

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