With the new Senator Chronometer Tourbillon Premiere, Glashütte Original is launching a world first with its patented Flyback Tourbillon. Following the invention of the tourbillon by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801, a significant improvement to this Haute Horlogerie feat only came after more than a century when Alfred Helwig, a master watchmaker and instructor at the German School of Watchmaking in Glashütte, designed the first flying tourbillon in 1920.
With this innovative architecture, the tourbillon was anchored on one side only, thus freeing it from the upper part of its cage and offering an unobstructed view of the mechanism.
Now, the Glashütte Original’s watchmakers have succeeded in innovating and improving the behaviour of the tourbillon. When the crown is pulled out, a vertical clutch halts the balance and locks the tourbillon cage in place. When the crown is pulled 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, performing a fascinating dance of precision mechanics. Two patents protect this unique construction, emphasizing Glashütte Original’s position as a prominent innovator in Haute Horlogerie.
The Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is further distinguished by an innovative minute detent. When the Flyback 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 great precision, as one can hear and feel the minute hand jump from one index to the next. 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 DIN 8319 official chronometer standard. In the process, the watches undergo a test lasting 15 days, during which they must establish their reliability in five different positions and at three different temperatures.
The Chronometer Certificate, delivered with each watch in a fine white oak box, serves as official recognition of the most accurate timepieces of a given generation. In addition, the silicon balance spring protects the Senator Chronometer Tourbillon against the influence of magnetic fields and changes in temperature.
The manual winding Calibre 58-06 runs at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and has a 70-hour power reserve, with its indicator at 9 o’clock being easily readable at a glance. The 572-part movement, visible from the front within the 42 mm x 12.6 mm platinum case, reveals just how the Flyback Tourbillon functions. The cleverly designed control mechanism, for example, is visible to the naked eye, as is the damping wheel, which ensures a smooth upward movement when the tourbillon is reset. The dial and tourbillon cage are mounted upon two small towers over the movement. The dial carrier conceals an engraving at 12 o’clock that reflects the lettering “Chronometer Tourbillon” on the mirror-polished inner wall of the case. The day/night display behind the transparent part of the dial has the heavenly bodies, sun and moon, complete their orbits around the spherical axis once every 24 hours. A Clous de Paris pattern further enhances the three-dimensional look of the ensemble.