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Exquisite Elegance BASELWORLD 2013: The new Senator Tourbillon

For BASELWORLD 2103, German high-end watchmaker Glashütte Original celebrates fine mechanical watches with the exceptional new Senator Tourbillon. The new model places the Flying Tourbillon, developed by Glashütte watchmaker Alfred Helwig in 1920, within the elegant frame of a contemporary redesign of the Saxon manufactory’s classic Senator series.

The watchmaker’s in-house design team has made a number of changes to the existing Senator models to achieve a classic and contemporary work of art. This extraordinary timepiece belongs to the manufactory’s Art & Technik Pillar, including masterpieces combining unique expertise, extraordinary skills and artful craftsmanship from Glashütte Original.

Senator Tourbillon

The Senator Tourbillon is a picture of stylish classicism executed in white gold. The 42 mm case of this timepiece features a somewhat slimmer bezel than previous Senator models, allowing the bezel to serve as an elegant frame for the fine lacquered gray grained dial. The dial visuals feature Roman numerals and a classic railroad chapter ring engraved in the surface which subsequently receives an elegant silver inlay. The distinctive Panorama Date is presented in white on a dark ground beneath hour 12, and the ‘poire’ hands in white gold enhance the transcendent elegance of the design. Taking pride of place on the dial is the superb Flying Tourbillon with seconds indicator, positioned at six o’clock in harmonious counterpoint to the Panorama Date.

The Flying Tourbillon

The Flying Tourbillon was developed in 1920 by the master craftsman Alfred Helwig, one of Germany's most remarkable watchmakers and 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 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 it becoming known as a ‘flying’ tourbillon. The balance, pallet lever, and escape wheel are housed in a cantilevered carriage that turns 360 ° once a minute, thus neutralizing rate deviations of the balance due to gravity. The Flying Tourbillon remains an extraordinary aesthetic and horological invention, and finds an exceptional environment in the manufactory’s new Senator Tourbillon.

The Glashütte Original Calibre 94-03

At the heart of the Senator Tourbillon is the exquisite automatic calibre 94-03, which has a power reserve of 48 hours. The Flying Tourbillon mechanism can be admired through the antireflective sapphire crystal protecting the dial. The screw balance in the tourbillon cage features 18 weighted gold screws. The sapphire crystal on the case back reveals the beauty of characteristic features of Glashütte watchmaking such as stripe and sunburst finishings, a great number of galvanised surfaces, polished steel components, blued screws and bevelled edges. The off-centre rotor has an oscillating mass in 21-carat gold, Glashütte ribbing and an elegantly worked double-G Glashütte Original logo.

The finely finished movement was conceived in Glashütte Original’s design department and built using traditional manufacturing methods. The design of this masterpiece is completed by a finely worked grey Louisiana alligator nubuck leather bracelet with a fold-over clasp in white gold.