Yesterday I had the honor to get a private presentation of this magnificent watch, that packs the world and its 37 time zones into precisely 8.72 cubic centimeters and straps it onto the traveller’s wrist.
These moments are rare! You do not often see such an intelligent world time mechanism and you do not play around with a 325.000 Euro watch every day. The Glashütte Original Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon is at present the most sophisticated world-time-watch. It shows and displays all the 37 different time zones. You may change the travel-time in 15 minutes step and so the watch covers the time in all possible time zones. The watch also offers a perpetual calendar and a flying tourbillon, a specialty of the Saxon watchmaker. When you travel the watch then will surprise you: If for instance you start your journey you just set and synchronize the time on the two dials. The dial at 6 o´clock position will always show your home time, while the two big hands, indicating hours and minutes, will follow your time zone changes. The perpetual calendar has been constructed in a way so you can adjust it forward and backward without harming the complex mechanism. So if you travel and if you pass the dateline the indications of the perpetual calendar will always be correct, since by advancing or going back in time zones the date and day will follow 1:1 all your steps. This feature makes the watch very unique. In my opinion it is the most intelligent time zone mechanism ever built in a watch.
To start my report about the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon I will today post some pictures I took yesterday showing the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon in different angels. In the next days I will post a video that will show you all the different steps necessary to set the watch and how to use it. Actually I am in Dresden in Saxony Germany and the video is just to heavy to upload it at that time. I will have to do some editing during the weekend and than you shall see it.
Here are some of the pictures I took yesterday… You can enlarge them by clicking on them…
This is are two pictures of the movement:
Case material: Platinum
Strap: Louisiana Alligator leather
Limited Edition: 25 pieces worldwide
Case diameter: 48 mm
Height: 16 mm
Waterproof up to: 5 ATM
Glass: Sapphire crystal, anti-reflective on both sides
Bottom: Sapphire crystal, officer’s case back with engraved time zones
Caliber: Manual winding movement, Caliber 89-01
Individual components: 528
Dimensions: Diameter 39.2 mm, Height 7.5 mm
Oscillating frequency: 21.600 A/h, equivalent to 3 Hz
Power Reserve: 72 h
Jewels: 70 and 2 diamond endstones
Balance: screw balance with 18 weighted screws in the tourbillon carriage, one revolution per minute
So, did you get real curious what the video will be about? This is the theoretic knowledge you will need to easy understand what I will be showing you …
Saxon watchmaker Glashütte Original packs the world and its 37 time zones into precisely 8.72 cubic centimeters and straps it onto the traveller’s wrist. Following a highly focused development phase, Glashütte Original’s constructors, designers and master watchmakers completed the most unusual and sophisticated masterpiece in the history of the company: the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon. This exquisitely complicated wonder enables the world traveller to track the time of day or night at home and on the road simultaneously, in any two of 37 world time zones, while accounting correctly for Daylight Saving (DST) or Standard Time (STD) and for travel forward in time (to the East) or back in time (to the West). All destination time and date changes made by the wearer are displayed by a Perpetual Calendar geared to register changes in both directions, forwards and backwards in time. This unique combination of complications – an absolute world first in mechanical watches – is crowned by the extraordinary Flying Minute Tourbillon, developed in 1920 by the master watchmaker, Alfred Helwig. Glashütte Original has applied for four separate patents to protect the expertise that made this unique work of art possible. This exclusive masterpiece is limited to 25 pieces worldwide. The Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon is designed for the world traveller who wishes to keep track of both the home time and the destination time while travelling. The home time remains an unchanging point of reference and is presented at 6 o’clock on a dedicated 24-hour dial with a day/night indicator. The destination time appears at the centre of the main dial and tracks the local time at a given location away from home.
To begin using this exceptional timepiece, the owner first sets the hour and minute of the home time, which is followed by the synchronization of the home and destination times. When selecting the home time, the owner sets the time zone governing his or her usual place of residence, selecting it from among 37 different world time zones on the city ring, including those that respect 30-minute (e.g. Delhi) and 45-minute offsets (e.g. Eucla), and then adjusts for Standard Time (STD) or Daylight Saving Time (DST). The time zones on the city ring are indicated using three-letter IATA codes (international airport codes, e.g. FRA for Frankfurt am Main, LAX for Los Angeles International, DXB for Dubai, etc.) and are displayed in two small windows at 8 o’clock on the dial, one dedicated to Standard Time (STD), the other to Daylight Saving Time (DST). The owner then sets the Perpetual Calendar to reflect the current weekday, date, month and (leap) year. If heading East (forwards in time), the traveller turns the crown positioned at 2 o’clock clockwise; if travelling West (back in time), the crown is turned counter-clockwise. If the destination time is ahead or back a day, up to 5 displays of the Perpetual Calendar change accordingly. The ingenious time machine can handle even a change from March 1st to February 29th or 28th, with no additional manual intervention required. It is an absolutely extraordinary combination of hand-crafted complications – an astonishing achievement, and a world first for mechanical watches. This exquisite set of display is put on show on a silver-grained, massive 18 karat gold dial and is framed by milled black Roman numerals and a railroad chapter ring. The 24-hour home time display at 6 o’clock joins the destination time displays in a functional array crowned by an outstanding example of the watchmaker’s art: the Flying Minute Tourbillon, developed in 1920 by one of Glashütte’s most admired master watchmakers and teachers, Alfred Helwig.
The back of the 48 mm platinum case frames an antireflective sapphire crystal offering a clear view of this most complicated of manually wound movements, the Glashütte Original manufactory Calibre 89-01 with more than 500 components. The base plate features characteristic Glashütte ribbing, screw-mounted gold chatons, winding wheels and the 72-hour power reserve display. The case back is protected by a platinum hunter case fitted with a graphic presenting 37 time zones, each represented by a three-letter IATA airport code. The masterpiece is fitted with a black Louisiana alligator strap and fold-over clasp in platinum.
As befits this extraordinary example of the art of making watches at Glashütte Original, this grand complication masterpiece is presented in a finely crafted presentation case made of peat bog oak. A stainless steel globe presides over the case, which displays along its sides a series of maps evocative of past and present adventures of discovery around the world. When the exclusive timepiece is placed inside the case, an integrated winding mechanism ensures that the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon remains wound running at all times.
Possible changes of the time zones will not cause a problem for the master watchmakers and construction engineers at Glashütte Original in the near future. To the contrary, as a service to its customers, the Saxon watch manufactory will gladly exchange the city ring should there be a change to the time zones in the future. A special personalization is offered to the proud owner who can have his home town – in the form of an IATA code – printed on the city ring.
Such a piece of art has of course it´s prize: to get one you will need to spend 325.000 Euros… Just in case you do not remember… I mentioned the price before …