A worldtime watch is by definition a tricky exercise. There is nothing simple about wanting to display local time in all time zones around the globe. Firstly, there are 37 of them in all, and not 24 as people are inclined to think. Moreover, some of them adopt the summer/winter time change. Finally, the wealth of information on their dials usually makes this type of watches look overcrowded and excessively “busy”. The Senator Cosmopolite by Glashütte Original delivers a simple answer to each of these three issues.

Firstly, it is readable. The reference time zone, often called ‘home’ time, appears in a subdial at 12 o’clock, while local ‘away’ or destination time is displayed via central hands sweeping the finely grained main dial. Since they show the time in 24 time zones, worldtime watches tend to display them all simultaneously – which requires 24 dial segments, together with a local time disc. To ensure this bewildering array of information remains legible, colour codes are often used to differentiate between tiny inscriptions. This leads to excessively large watches with unpalatable colours and which still require a magnifying glass to make out the details. By way of contrast, the Senator Cosmopolite is monochrome and pleasingly uncluttered.

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Front view of the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite displaying the time in Caracas (CCS), meaning UTC – 04:30 © WorldTempus / David Chokron

What’s more, this simplicity is very real. The watch shows the time in one time zone at a time, through apertures positioned at 8 o’clock. In some instances, it displays the time of two neighbouring time zones when they share the same time due to summer time (Daylight Saving Time or DST) or winter time (Standard Time, STD). Otherwise, one of the apertures remains empty. Instead of bizarrely abbreviated city names, the Senator Cosmopolite uses the three-letter IATA codes referring to the airports of the reference city for each time zone. Local time and reference time each has its own day/night indicator.

Thirdly, this watch is exhaustive. Since there are 37 time zones and only 24 times, 13 of the time zones are offset by a half-hour, or even a quarter-hour such as Katmandu which is located at UTC + 04:45 hours. Most models on the market have only 24 time zones and are incapable of showing local times with a dedicated minutes display that is adjustable as required. The Senator Cosmopolite can be adjusted to the nearest quarter-hour. Whatever time it is, when changing time zone, the large minutes hand jumps in 15-minute increments, meaning it can accurately display the time anywhere in the world.

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Calibre 89.02 with three-quarter rotor and duplex swan-neck, driving the Senator Cosmopolite. © WorldTempus / David Chokron

This white or pink gold watch adopts a very classical style typical of the Saxon brand. It is driven by a base movement with a three-quarter mainplate – a rare characteristic – and featuring a hand-engraved double balance cock with duplex swan-neck fine adjustment, as well as an exclusive complication module. The latter first appeared in the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon, a Grand Complication watch that Glashütte Original had launched in 2012. Drowning in an ocean of prestige, its worldtime function had not enjoyed the prominence it deserved.

The last point worth mentioning extends well beyond mere functionality. The Senator Cosmopolite is elegant. It offers a variety of indications without getting overcrowded and has a simple case which, despite its 44 mm diameter, avoids invading the wrist thanks to its vertical caseband. It is endowed with a 72-hour power reserve that affords a comfortable degree autonomy and thus adopts the standard met by most Glashütte Original watches.

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The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite and its 44 mm pink gold case on the wrist. © WorldTempus / Keith Strandberg