Glashütte Original celebrates 100 ° anniversary of the sophisticated flying tourbillon of Alfred Helwig. In true understated style Glashütte Original, the tourbillon is positioned on the back of the movement. A watch for connoisseurs, the only clue to the presence of a tourbillon escapement on the watch is the word “tourbillon” engraved in the small seconds counter of this extraordinarily elegant and sober dial.
Limited to just 25 pieces in 18-karat rose gold, the final assembly of the watch was carried out by specialists from the Glashütte Original historical laboratory, housed in the German watchmaking school of Glassworks.
The Saxon city of Glassworks it is the cradle of the finest German watchmaking tradition and home to the renowned German watchmaking school founded in 1878. Alfred Helwig (1886-1974) completed his education and taught at the Glashütte German Watchmaking School for 41 years (the school bears his name). An inspiring teacher, Helwig (pictured below) is the man behind the creation of the flying tourbillon. The tourbillon escapement of Abraham-Louis Breguet, invented around 1781 and patented in 1801, was designed to counter the effects of gravity on the movement of a pocket watch by housing the balance wheel and escapement in a rotating carriage.
in 1920 Helwig produced a spectacular "flying" version of the tourbillon. Unlike a normal tourbillon, which is anchored both at the top and at the bottom, Helwig has developed a cantilever mechanism anchored on one side only. This meant that the upper bridge could be dispensed with and the tourbillon rotations admired in all their fascinating beauty. Known at the time as "rotating gear clocks", Helwig's flying tourbillons were tested by the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg and achieved excellent results.
Three years ago, Glashütte Original produced a limited edition from the Senator collection dedicated to Alfred Helwig with its flying tourbillon displayed in a prominent aperture at 6 o'clock. This refined edition of the 100 ° anniversary is clearly a watch for connoisseurs and hides the flying tourbillon on the back of the movement, a design choice that matches historical models from the era of Helwig.
The 40mm rose gold case has a slim 11.6mm height and features an onion crown that resembles the crowns you might find on a pocket watch. The stepped bezel frames an exquisitely thin dial made of solid gold that has been silvered by friction. With its classic black railway minute ring around the perimeter, the other elements of the dial are “lighter” than the other Senator models with their Roman numerals and stylized hands. The wand hands and applied “wand” indexes - both made of rose gold - give the watch a refined and sober elegance.
The small seconds counter at 6 o'clock is slightly recessed and also features a black railway chapter ring with marks every 10 seconds. A blued steel hand lands squarely on the track, and the only clue that there is more than meets the eye is the word "tourbillon" inside the counter.
Turning the watch reveals the spectacle of the hand-wound caliber 54-01 flying tourbillon. Il flying tourbillon it is located below the three-quarter plate, with nothing in the immediate vicinity to distract from the spectacle of the balance wheel and escapement rotating around their axis at 360 ° per minute. With only one anchor on the underside (it is “cantilevered”), it seems to fly in its cage. Decorated with the typical Glashütte stripes on the three-quarter plate, the overall finishes are flawless and include blued screws and screw-mounted gold bezels, a sunburst decoration on the barrel and smooth, beveled edges. Equipped with the hand-wound Caliber 54-01 manufactured by Glashütte Original, the movement can store a phenomenal 100-hour power reserve.
As already mentioned, the final assembly was carried out by specialists from the historical laboratory of Glashütte Original who share their premises with the German watchmaking school, the original place where Alfred Helwig he taught and pursued his dreams of watchmaking.
THEAlfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 It features a beautiful brown Louisiana alligator strap and rose gold pin buckle. It is a limited edition of 25 and is sold at EURO 116.970.