The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.

Glashutte Original Senator Excellence Panoramic Moonphase

From incredible grained dials, genuinely useful and beautifully embellished complications, and innovative bracelet details, no one does it quite like Glashütte Original. Especially within the Senator Excellence collection, which packs an immense punch for the brand's most classical offerings, and represents some of the best top-down value in watchmaking – Swiss, German, or otherwise.

While it might make the most sense to start with what's immediately apparent about the Senator Excellence Panoramic Moonphase (re: it's immediately beautiful), let's take a step back and look at one of the more lesser-known details about the brand and collection as a whole: before every Senator Excellence model leaves the manufacture, each one is cased and tested for a full 24 days under conditions designed to far exceed that of the Swiss Chronometer (COSC) testing. You'll receive a special engraving and individual test certificate for every watch, so you can see how your watch performed in the various tests.

On to the watch itself – you'll be able to choose between steel or gold cases, blue or silver dials, and either a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet, but it's in stainless steel with the silver dial and on the bracelet where we'd argue the Senator Excellence truly sings. Classic at a glance, but with a distinct modernity in the weight, sliding it on the wrist reveals truly best-in-class detailing at every level – particularly on the bracelet itself, which we've routinely ranked amongst the very best available at Topper. In addition to the patented expanding clasp that adjusts at the push of the 'GO' button, the bracelet itself does everything right – distinct link shaping, nice contrasting finishes, confidence-inspiring screwed pins, and the beautifully machined clasp – with no stamped parts anywhere. The Senator Excellence does all this without wearing overly thick or heavy, a welcome characteristic on a watch with such classic styling.

Speaking of styling, the 40mm x 12.20mm case is markedly versatile, wearing like a very thoughtfully-sized modern sport watch, but with the overall execution of a contemporary dress watch. On the bracelet, this would make for an excellent everyday piece for those who spend a fair amount of time in the office. Alternatively, on the dressy Louisiana Alligator leather strap, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more interesting and versatile black tie companion.

While there might be many underrated nuances when it comes to Glashütte Original, their dials are not certainly amongst them. Truly exemplary detailing is on full display with the Panoramic Moonphase dial, starting with the deceptively deep varnished silver-graining, the oversized beveled date aperture at 4:00, and the subtly three-dimensional moonphase indicator at 11:00, all contrasted perfectly by the heat-blued hands. It's rare to see such an overt display of texture and layering in such an understated, classic package, but it's one that demands the loupe (don't worry, we're happy to include one as an option with every watch), and as close a crop as your camera lens is willing to allow. In addition to the grained dial itself, the moonphase display is made in-house at Glashütte Original's dial manufactory in Pforzheim, where a diamond milling process creates the uniquely rounded silver moon which contrasts the blue disc base, and yields a complication that's as beautiful as it is legible and useful.

Flip the Senator Excellence over, and you'll find GO's Caliber 36 (not the base 36 though, this is the 04, which delineates the moonphase and 'panoramic' date), embellished with a bi-directionally winding 21 carat gold rotor, along with beveling and striping galore. And just like the moonphase on the other side, it's a treat to behold on every level. What's not readily visible at a glance, is the movement's generous 100 hours of power reserve, thanks to an oversized barrel which houses an equally oversized 68cm mainspring, developed by Nivarox. The Caliber 36 was designed to excel within the parameters of that 24-day testing process, as part of Glashütte Original's mission to create a strong value proposition between finishing, precision, and long-term serviceability.

If you are interested in the Senator Excellence Panoramic Moonphase, have questions about the availability of this dial layout in other models, or simply want to learn more about Glashütte Original, we'd welcome you to inquire by calling Topper Jewelers at 888-730-2221 or emailing

Photos by aBlogtoWatch contributor Zach Pina. Follow him on Instagram

The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.