Glashütte Original PanoLunar Tourbillon – Limited Edition
The Glashütte Original PanoLunar Tourbillon – Limited Edition pairs Alfred Helwig’s flying tourbillon with a hand-engraved dial and movement. This incredible creation is a shining illustration of German hand-craftsmanship and watchmaking expertise.
Abraham-Louis Breguet recognised that gravity has an adverse influence on the regularity of a pocket watch movement. He conceived a device, the ‘tourbillon’ (whirlwind) which enhances precision by mitigating the effect of gravity on the regulating organ (balance wheel and hairspring).
With a tourbillon, the escapement and regulating organ are placed within a rotating carriage or cage. The cage rotates 360° once every minute, the adverse influence of gravity in one position is negated by an opposing error of equal magnitude, positioned opposite at 180°. Breguet patented his invention in 1801.
In 1920, Alfred Helwig, once the head of Glashütte watchmaking school, invented the flying tourbillon. Unlike, Breguet’s design, the flying tourbillon eschews an upper bridge, conferring unhindered views of the escapement, regulating organ and carriage all in motion. This visual spectacle proves mesmerising.
While other brands offer flying tourbillons, Glashütte Original has become renowned for this über-complex complication. Now, the esteemed Manufactory has paired Helwig’s invention with an expanse of dial-side hand-engraved filigree. Furthermore, the movement shares the same artistic embellishment, punctuated with thermally blued screws.
With just 25 pieces available, the Glashütte Original PanoLunar Tourbillon – Limited Edition is a shining exemplar of horological excellence.
The brand’s press release (July 2020)
The PanoLunarTourbillon is a new edition of its predecessor model from 2013 and a true work of art. Elaborate engravings adorn the galvanic silver surface of the dial and the back of the movement. These filigree decorations bear witness to the rich traditions of Glashütte watchmaking, lending each watch its uniquely individual character.
Artful and aesthetic
The Pano collection captivates thanks to its striking dial layout, which is particularly evident with the new PanoLunarTourbillon. The lavishly decorated dial with the characteristic off-centre displays is framed by a case in platinum.
Both the auxiliary dial for hours and minutes and the Flying Tourbillon with the small second are positioned on the left side of the dial. An exquisite moon phase display with blue night sky and the watchmaker’s signature Panorama Date grace the right side.
The skeletonized hour and minute hands, indexes and the blued steel tip of the seconds hand provide accents in blue.
All engravings on the dial side are executed in Glashütte Original’s own dial manufactory in Pforzheim. The engravers work without a pattern, using a burin to inscribe the design freehand in the solid gold dial blanks.
After 27 separate steps and an entire day’s engraving time – if not more – the dial of this masterpiece is complete.
Elaborate decorations adorn the back of the movement as well, combining craftsmanship, tradition and perfection once again.
Tradition-rich Glashütte complication
The Flying Tourbillon oscillates, lightly and gracefully, on the left side of the dial. As fascinating as it is to watch, the complication was originally designed to improve precision. With this “whirlwind“, the entire oscillation and escapement system revolves on its own axis within a minute. This served to counter the effect of gravity on the rate precision of the era’s pocket watches.
Precisely 100 years ago, Alfred Helwig’s innovative “cantilevered“ mounting of the cage (on one side only) lent one of the most intricate complications of haute horlogerie, the classic tourbillon, the appearance of weightlessness.
The PanoLunarTourbillon is powered by the automatic movement Calibre 93-12. The timepiece has a power reserve of 48 hours and a fully integrated moon phase mechanism. The oscillating system with 10 weighted screws and 8 regulation screws ensures optimal rate precision. Characteristic features of the Glashütte art of watchmaking, such as sunburst finish, blued screws as well as bevelled and polished edges, reveal their beauty through the sapphire crystal case back.
The off-centre, skeletonized rotor has an oscillating mass in 21-carat gold. On a screw-mounted decorative stainless steel plaque, one finds the words “Flying Tourbillon” engraved and lined with gold. The new timepiece is fitted with a matching blue Louisiana alligator leather strap with fold fastener in platinum.