Tourbillons symbolize the finesse of mechanics and the highest precision in timekeeping. Elevating this popular complication, which translates to “whirlwind,” is the flying tourbillon, showcasing this lightweight and filigree mechanism in all its glory. This masterpiece was invented in the 1920s by Alfred Helwig who taught at the German Watchmaking School in Glashütte, Germany.
Now Glashütte Original, which has an impressive prowess on this field of micro-mechanical precision, introduced a new milestone in the art of tourbillon featuring a “flyback” mechanism. When the crown is pulled, a vertical clutch halts the balance and locks the tourbillon cage in place. When the crown is advanced to its next position and held there, the tourbillon cage swings up smoothly until the second hand at the tip of the cage comes to a stop at the zero marker.
Limited to just 50 pieces, the Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is further distinguished by an innovative minute detent. When the tourbillon is set to zero, the minute hand simultaneously moves ahead to the next index. This synchronization of the second and minute hands permits the time to be set with greatest precision while also offering a mechanical “melody” as one can hear the minute hand jump from one index to the next.
At the heart of this horological masterpiece ticks the manual winding calibre 58-06 that runs at a frequency of 21,600 half oscillations per hour and has a 70-hour power reserve. Its silicon balance spring protects watch against the influence of magnetic fields and changes in temperature.
This manufacture movement, visible on the dial side within the 42mm platinum case, is designed to put the spotlight fully on the tourbillon, including intricate details such as the damping wheel, which ensures a smooth upward movement when the tourbillon is reset. It is set within an awesome laser-engraved decorative Clous de Paris pattern which further highlights the stunning architecture. The dial and tourbillon cage are mounted like two small towers above the movement.
Another eye-catcher can be found within the off-centered hour and minute sub-dial. There is a depiction of a globe including a day/night display, with the sun and moon completing their orbits around the spherical axis once every 24 hours.
In order to put the Senator Chronometer Tourbillon’s rate precision to the ultimate test, each watch is examined by the independent Thuringian Weights and Measures Office to ensure it meets the German DIN 8319 official chronometer standard. During this process, the watches undergo a test lasting 15 days, during which they must prove their reliability in five different positions and at three different temperatures.
Pricing of the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon Limited Edition is marked at $168,200.
To learn more, visit Glashütte Original, here.