The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon introduces a series of world-firsts to the horological world.
In the small Saxon town of Glashütte, elegance and mechanics have long been combined in elaborately finished timepieces. In 1920, the master watchmaker Alfred Helwig gave the tourbillon, one of the most challenging complications of haute horlogerie, the appearance of weightlessness by anchoring the mechanism on one side only.
Today Glashütte Original presents Alfred Helwig’s invention in an advanced and highly sophisticated version. The Saxon manufactory has succeeded for the first time in combining a flying tourbillon with a second-stop mechanism, zero reset and minute detent, allowing the time to be set with great precision.
This world-first edition in platinum is limited to 25 pieces and officially certified as a chronometer.
The Tourbillon: traditionally in motion
As fascinating as it is to observe the turning of a tourbillon cage, it was originally intended to enhance the precision of a watch. Whether cantilevered (“flying”) or anchored with a bridge in the classical manner: this “whirlwind” turns, together with the entire oscillation and escapement system, on its own axis. In the past, this made it possible to counter the impact of gravity on the rate performance of pocket watches. With modern wristwatches, the tourbillon serves above all to demonstrate the maker’s exceptional horological expertise, which connoisseurs around the world are certain to appreciate.
Glashütte Original shows that a tourbillon can still serve its original purpose. The second-stop mechanism, zero reset and minute detent ensure that the minute and second hands are synchronised, allowing time to be set with great precision: the tourbillon’s rotating cage stops the moment the crown is pulled, and since the second hand is mounted on the cage, it also stops immediately. The watchmakers of the manufactory welcomed the challenge to find a way to stop the flying tourbillon “in full flight” and to combine it with the ability to set the time precisely. Their solution is as well-engineered as it is innovative. Glashütte Original has applied for two patents on the complex construction.
To set the time the crown is pulled out. This triggers a vertical clutch that locks the tourbillon cage, and with that the balance, in its current position. If the crown is then pulled out further and held in position, the second-hand advances clockwise to zero, and the minute hand advances to the next full index. In the process, a rotational damper ensures a smooth movement. Now the crown can be released and – while the small second remains at zero – the time can be set precisely to the minute while the crown is still pulled out. At the desired point in time, the crown is pressed back again, which releases the second’s hand, thus ensuring that minutes and seconds are synchronised perfectly. This version has also been fitted, for the first time, with shock protection on both sides of the flying tourbillon.
The manual winding Calibre 58-05: Chronometric precision in elegant attire
The high rate precision of the Senator Chronometer Tourbillon – Limited Edition has been confirmed by an independent testing institute. Each watch is certified as a chronometer, in conformance with the DIN 8319 standard, by the German Calibration Service in Glashütte. The watch undergoes 15 days of testing in five different positions and at three different temperatures. In addition, a silicon balance spring offers greater protection against magnetic fields and changes in temperature. The manual winding calibre 58-05, which beats at a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, has a power reserve of 70 hours when fully wound, indicated by the display at 9 o’clock.
The design: multi-layered and transparent
The 42 mm platinum case presents a movement with highly refined decorative finishes. Beneath the off-centre, galvanic blue dial, fascinating views emerge from the combination of different levels and finishes. The dial and Flying Tourbillon rise like little towers over the upper and lower halves of the movement, resulting in a remarkable three-dimensional effect. The open design and a partially transparent sapphire crystal ring bearing the seconds scale draw the viewer’s gaze into the depths of the watch. Various hand engravings and the classic Glashütte stripe finish round off the decoration.
In addition, a particularly sophisticated detail is positioned discreetly on the upper edge of the dial. The mirrored upper ring displays, at 12 o’clock, the inscription “Chronometer Tourbillon”, engraved back-to-front on the dial fastener. Also, the back of the watch features fascinating, elaborate traditional finishes. A dark blue Louisiana alligator leather strap with a fold fastener in platinum completes this model.