Press release, Basel 2009 – A classically elegant masterpiece is the latest result of the long-time collaboration between the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory and the Glashütte Original watch manufactory. Two world-famous Saxon inventions unite in the Senator Meissen Tourbillon: Meissen porcelain and the flying tourbillon.
The latter is an invention by Alfred Helwig from 1920, who served as an instructor at the German School of Watchmaking in Glashütte. 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 subsidiary seconds display is attached to the carriage of the flying tourbillon and is framed by a polished gold second scale for added clarity.
The Senator Meissen Tourbillon is a picture of stylish classicism in its 40 mm rose gold case, outfitted with exquisite technology. The passing of time is measured by traditionally blued hour and minute hands that glide across the surface of the wafer-thin, white Meissen porcelain dial. The hours are marked by hand-painted Roman numerals that are painstakingly applied to the dial and require the utmost skill from the Meissen factory’s script painters. The Glashütte Original lettering and the crossed swords that are the trademark of the Meissen porcelain manufactory are also hand painted. The painting of the dial alone requires eight hours to complete.
Another significant challenge is posed by milling the cutaway needed to observe the flying tourbillon at the 6 o’clock position on the extremely thin porcelain dial—a process necessitating long years of accumulated knowledge at the Meissen manufactory in dealing with the porcelain’s unique qualities.
The Senator Meissen Tourbillon is powered by the exquisitely finished automatic manufacture Caliber 94-11, which can be admired through the antireflective sapphire crystal back of the rose gold case. The 48-hour power reserve makes for easy handling, efficiently meeting the needs of the modern wearer. The Louisiana alligator skin strap and folding clasp, attached to the case by integrated lugs, ensures a comfortable and secure fit.
Glashütte Original represents a living, authentic manufactory, high exclusivity, traditional watchmaking since 1845, exclusive mechanical masterpieces, and “handmade in Germany.”
Background information on the creation of the Meissen porcelain dial:
The ceramic properties of porcelain’s brilliant, pure white surface paired with exquisite painting allow a dial of extraordinary aesthetic quality to be created. Production begins with the formation of a disk from liquid porcelain that is fired at 1400°C. Ensuing processing ensures that the exacting dimension specifications for a Glashütte Original watch are upheld.
Each individual disk is subject to strict quality control, and only hand-selected disks are painted. The Roman numerals are painted by expert script painters using the finest of brushes. Colored porcelain glazes are applied in two coats, and each coat is fired at 900°C in order to achieve the desired color intensity. When finished, the piece undergoes a final firing.
Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb GmbH
Altenberger Str. 1
D-01768 Glashütte / Sa.
Telephone: +49 350 53 46 239