With the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon, Glashütte Original have created an instrument ideal for travellers who have to keep track of time zones and daylight saving. It includes a perpetual calendar, which can accommodate the changes both forwards and backwards in time according to its wearer's movements. For the first time for this brand, Glashütte have combined a perpetual calendar with a flying minute tourbillon, the horological masterpiece created by Alfred Helwig in 1920. This edition is limited to 25 pieces.
The dial is remarkably uncluttered considering the complexity of the information provided, and it has the classic beauty that has become a Glashütte Original hallmark. The home time is shown at a 24-hour subdial at 6 o'clock, which also has a day-night indicator. The local time is shown on the centre hands. The user first sets his or her usual time zone, selecting it from the 37 different world time zones on the city ring. These even include 30-minute and 45-minute offsets (such as Delhi and Eucla). The local time is adjusted for Standard or Daylight Saving Time zones are shown on the city ring using three-letter airport codes, such as LAX for Los Angeles, DXB for Dubai and so forth. The codes are displayed in two windows at 8 o'clock, one for Standard Time, one for Daylight Saving Time. Then the owner sets the Perpetual Calendar, for weekday, date, month and year.
Then comes the good bit. If the traveller needs to change the destination time - the central hands - he or she just uses the crown at 2 o'clock, moving time forward if travelling east, and backwards if travelling west. The destination time could be a day ahead or back, and in this case, up to five displays of the Perpetual Calendar change. The watch can even handle a change from 1 March to 29 February or 28 February, depending on whether we are in a leap year or not.
The dial is in silver-grained 18-carat gold, with Roman numerals and a railroad chapter ring. The 48 mm case is in platinum, with a sapphire crystal case back that offers a view of this complex movement. The Glashütte Original Calibre 89-01 movement has over 500 components. The watch is presented in a peat bog oak case, that includes an integrated winding mechanism so that when the watch is put back into the case, it is kept running at all times.
The watch was presented at ART HK 12, held from 17 to 20 May 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This was the first stop on the world roadshow for the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon, which will later go to Beijing, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the United States and other countries. In the photos below, models presenting Glashütte Original watches, and the installation in Hong Kong.