German watchmaker Glashütte Original has reached a milestone in haute horlogerie with its patented Flyback Tourbillon. This technical masterpiece appears to defy gravity when it stops in its tracks, performs a smooth turn and resumes its original position.
The Senator Chronometer Tourbillon’s stepped-level design presents this magical dance of precision mechanics on a worthy stage. Limited to only 50 pieces, the new timepiece features a laser-engraved movement visible from the front and a finely crafted dial with recessed day/night indicator, bringing together the latest advances in the high art and craft of watchmaking in Glashütte.
The Flyback Tourbillon – a new stage of evolution
The tourbillon is considered the most elaborate of all complications in haute horlogerie. With this “whirlwind”, the entire oscillation and escape system rotates around its own axis in the course of one minute. In the year 1920, Glashütte’s master watchmaker Alfred Helwig taught the tourbillon to fly by anchoring the construction on one side only, thus freeing it from the upper part of its cage. And now Glashütte Original’s constructors have succeeded in removing the last obstacles to the tourbillon’s flight.
The Flyback Tourbillon solves not one, but two problems that have challenged watchmakers for over a century. 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 – a masterpiece of horological artisanship, and a true original. Two patents protect this unique construction and underscore Glashütte Original’s claim to its place as one of haute horlogerie’s leading innovators.
In the tradition of optimal accuracy
As ever, the Glashütte Original team continues its drive to perfect the art of watchmaking and to construct timepieces of unparalleled precision. The Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is thus 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.
The manual winding Calibre 58-06: a tourbillon with certified precision
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 half oscillations per hour and has a 70-hour power reserve, whose indicator at 9 o’clock can be read at a glance.
Deep insight into technical sophistication
The movement, visible from the front within the 42mm 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 entire top side of the movement presents a laser-engraved decorative finish. As the laser strips away layer after layer, the Clous de Paris pattern emerges, further enhancing the three-dimensional look of the dial’s stepped levels.
The dial and tourbillon cage are mounted like thrones 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 sketch of a globe on the dial represents the fact that all the experience gained in over 175 years of watchmaking art has come together to form this exceptional timepiece. In addition, 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.
This edition of the Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is limited to 50 pieces worldwide, available in all Glashütte Original Boutiques and from selected retailers worldwide starting in October 2023.
Proud to be the Original #PTBTO