Precision reaches new heights with the presentation of the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon. Inspired by the original mission of the tourbillon to improve rate precision, the Senator chronometer Tourbillon marries a flying tourbillon with a stop-seconds mechanism, a zero reset and a minute detent to ensure hyper-precise time setting. Certified as a chronometer by the German Calibration Service in Glashütte, the latest Senator model displays a beguiling dial with three-quarters of its surface area on show.
PURSUIT OF PRECISION
With the Senator Chronometer Tourbillon, Glashütte Original is determined to recover the original vocation of the tourbillon. The tourbillon was designed by Breguet in the 19th century to improve the rate precision of portable mechanical timepieces in the face of gravity. Hidden below deck, tourbillons were utilitarian contraptions. Today, the function of the tourbillon is largely negligible and is used often more as a display of watchmaking prowess. Alfred Helwig, the head of the watchmaking school in Glashütte, took the tourbillon to the next stage with the invention of the flying tourbillon in 1920. More an aesthetic tweak than a major overhaul, Helwig developed a cantilevered mechanism anchored on one side only, negating the need for the top bridge and thus offering unobstructed views of this mesmerising escapement.
BRAKING THE TOURBILLON IN FULL FLIGHT
A stop-seconds mechanism on a tourbillon is not entirely new. A Lange & Söhne patented its stop-seconds mechanism in 2008 followed by its zero-reset function in 2014 – both were combined in the 1815 Tourbillon. However, Glashütte Original has upped the antes with an incorporation of a minute detent and chronometry certification.
The combination of stop-seconds, zero reset and minute detent ensure the synchronisation of both the minute and small seconds hands and can all be activated at the crown. The stop-seconds function stops the tourbillon’s rotating cage the instant the crown is pulled to position 1. This triggers a vertical clutch that locks the tourbillon cage and balance. By pulling the crown one step further, the small seconds hand snaps back to zero while the minute hand advances to the next index. By releasing the crown the time can be set. By pressing the crown at the desired point, the seconds hand is released.
SHOWING OFF THE HARDWARE
The Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is housed in a 42mm platinum case with a height of 12mm. The rich architecture of the dial is made up of different levels, exposed areas and lavish finishes. The blue off-centred hours and minutes dial at 12 o’clock sits above the openworked area of the dial on a bridge decorated with hallmark Glashütte stripes. The flying tourbillon and small seconds are located at 6 o’clock, surrounded by dense foliage created by the highly ornamented hand-engraved finishes. Both the dial and flying tourbillon rise up from the background enhancing the 3D effect. A transparent sapphire crystal ring with the small seconds scale ensures no detail is lost. Other classic GO finishes include the sunburst decoration on round and flat components, screw-mounted gold chatons, blued screws, perlage and bevelled edges.
CHRONOMETER-CERTIFIED CALIBRE 58-05
The Senator Chronometer Tourbillon also boasts a new movement –manual-winding calibre 58-05 – an evolution of the calibre 58-01 with its German chronometer certificate. A special condition of the German Calibration Service in Glashütte chronometer-testing institute is that it must be possible to adjust each timepiece to the nearest second. 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. This sophisticated movement, 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 on the dial.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is a limited edition of 25 watches in platinum and comes with a dark blue alligator strap with a platinum folding clasp. The retail price of the watch is EUR 150,000 (incl. VAT). For more information, please consult glashuette-original.com.