Earlier this year at the Baselworld watch fair, German high-end watch brand Glashütte-Original introduced the new Senator Tourbillon.It features a flying tourbillon, which is positioned prominently on the dial, and rightfully so, because the flying tourbillon is actually invented by master watchmaker Alfred Helwig, who is from the town of Glashütte. The new Senator Tourbillon is Glashütte Original’s new masterpiece.
In January of this year we already showed you the restyled new Senator Panorama Date and Senator Panorama Date Moonphase (see here). Both models have been restyled and feature similar looks as the Senator Chronometer that was launched back in 2009. The new Senator Tourbillon has has been styled accordingly, with a very classic and stylish dial, and I think that the new Senator-looks are more stylish than ever before.
The grey dial with Roman numerals is lacquered and has a very fine grainy surface. Framing the dial is a classic railroad chapter ring that is, like the Roman numerals, engraved in the dial’s surface and subsequently receives a silver inlay. The new white gold case, measuring 42 mm in diameter, features a slimmer bezel, just like the other “new & improved” Senator models. This means more space for the dial and it will look larger on the wrist as previous Senator models. The new case feature a beautiful alteration between polished and brushed parts.
The flying tourbillon was developed in 1920 by Alfred Helwig, who started as an instructor at the German School of Watchmaking in Glashütte in 1913. The traditional tourbillon mechanism, designed to counter the effect of gravity on the rate precision, is anchored at both the top and the bottom.
Alfred Helwig’s version implemented a cantilevered mechanism anchored on one side only, which led to becoming known as a ‘flying’ tourbillon. The balance, pallet lever, and escape wheel are housed in a cantilevered carriage that turns 360° every minute, thus neutralizing rate deviations of the balance due to gravity.
The iconic Panorama Date takes place in the upper half of the dial and features black date wheels with white printed numerals. This is one of the key features that Glashütte Original is known for. They managed to present both numerals – date wheels – of the large date at the same level. Usually one of the date wheels overlaps the other, so the numerals are not exactly on the same level.
The in-house movement used in the Senator Tourbillon is caliber 94-03, which offers a 48-hour power reserve. The screw balance, visible in the tourbillon cage, features 18 gold screws. The sapphire crystal in the case back reveals other characteristic features of Glashütte watchmaking such as Glashütte ribbings (the German equivalent of Côte de Genève), galvanised bridges, blued screws and beveled bridge edges. The off-centre rotor has an oscillating mass in 21-carat gold, Glashütte ribbing and the iconic double-G Glashütte Original logo.
Specifications of the movement – Caliber 94-03
- Dimensions: 32.2 mm in diameter and 8.45 mm in height
- Frequency: 21,600 vph
- Jewels: 50
- Power reserve: 48 hours
- Finishing and decorations: Glashütte ribbing, skeletonized rotor (off-centre) with stripe finish, double G and 21-carat gold oscillation weight, screw balance, balance bridge engraved by hand, blued screws, beveled edges, polished steel parts