Glashütte Original has long been a big supporter of the arts, and particularly the German arts. For two years now, the Saxon manufacture has been a sponsor of Germany’s premier film festival, the Berlinale.
Glamour, made in Germany
This first-class, well organized, traditional film festival at times seemed like Hollywood transplanted to Germany’s capital city. A section of the most historical part of the city is blocked off to allow the red carpet fanfare that attracts hundreds of well-known celebrities from all over the world to take place.
Naturally, the February event is attended by all A-list German celebrities, many of whom have films in the running, in addition to a surprisingly large number of international stars. Jake Gyllenhaal was part of the film festival’s 2012 jury; Angelina Jolie was on hand to promote her directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” and Meryl Streep wouldn’t have missed accepting her honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement during the screening of “The Iron Lady.”
Glashütte Original accompanied the exciting goings-on from a bird’s eye view high on the 24th floor of the Kollhoff Tower on Potsdamer Platz in the heart of the German capital. Celebrities and guests reached the Glashütte Original VIP Lounge via Europe’s fastest elevator, which made the 90-meter trip in just twenty seconds. The lounge not only provided an excellent view of the red carpet leading into the Berlinale Palast, which is festival’s main theater, but also provided a meeting point where the brand’s guests and celebrities could try on the German-made timekeepers.
The Berlinale, aside from the glitter, cameras and busy film industry chatter, it is something of a proving ground for documentaries and films outside the spotlight that mainstream audiences seldom get the chance to see.
One section of this 62nd edition of the festival features the Made in Germany Award, for which Glashütte Original is co-partner. This award not only singles out the outstanding work of a young German director, but also provides an extra 15,000 euros to this director for the research of a new project.
“There are ties between the art of filmmaking and that of making watches, and in both areas supporting up-and-coming talents is important,” said Dieter Pachner, sales director at Glashütte Original.
The actual award, comprising a handmade set of gears moving a black-and-white roll of film, this year presented to director Annekatrin Hendel, was created by Glashütte Original apprentice Noah Braig, who made the award following an internal Glashütte Original competition. Hendel received the award for a documentary screenplay entitled “Disko,” which focuses on the terrorist attack of West Berlin disco La Belle in 1986.
Many film industry observers have commended Glashütte Original for fostering young, little-known filmmakers that may possibly shape our future world of entertainment and artistic expression. The watch manufacturer simultaneously supports young artists who tackle difficult themes while remaining true to its “made in Germany” credo.
Watches for stars
Glashütte Original presented a new timepiece during the Berlinale called the Senator Observer. A 44 mm watch available in a limited edition of 25 pieces in gold and an unlimited version in stainless steel, it reflects the purity of the design of a century-old Julius Assmann observation watch that recently turned up at an Oslo museum.
Celebrities—and indeed anyone else—who stopped by the lounge had the opportunity to get to know this watch and others thanks to an on-site watchmaker with bench.
Had these visitors had the opportunity to go to BaselWorld this year, they most likely would have been awed by the main launch there: the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon. The most complicated and sophisticated timepiece to emerge from the workshops of Glashütte Original thus far, it is dedicated to the world traveler.
Only available in a limited edition of twenty-five pieces in platinum, its displays remain incredibly clean for the amount of information it provides. The 12 o’clock position catches the eye first with its cutaway for the flying tourbillon including a screw balance with 18 weighted screws. Oscillating at a frequency of 21,600 bph (3 Hz), small seconds are also displayed on the tourbillon cage by means of a little blued arrow-tipped hand pointing to a scale around the cutaway.
Local time is shown by the hour and minute hands originating in the center, which are easily set using the crowns. The second time zone (home time or any other second time zone) is shown in the subdial at 6 o’clock in 24-hour format. Both time zones are capable of displaying any of the world’s 37 time zones, regardless of whether they are cleanly “on the hour” or have half or quarter hour differences to GMT. It also automatically takes Daylight Savings Time into consideration.
This is a far cry from a standard worldtimer, which only allows one to choose from the 24 “clean” time zones on the hour.
The time zone displays are governed by a perpetual calendar that can register changes to the east and to the west, both forward and backward in time, with no need for manual adjustment. The zones in question are shown by two little windows placed at the 8 o’clock position. The three-digit initials shown in them are airport code designations.
Remarkably, if the owner decides to change the main time zone, the entire perpetual calendar will reset itself, adjusting automatically to the new conditions of the time zone.
The perpetual calendar is also proudly displayed on the dial: the day of the week and day/night indicator in a subdial between 9 and 10 o’clock. The month and leap year indication are just across the way, and the large panorama date display, which can be set forward and backward, is just below that.
The flip side of this 48 mm masterpiece is almost as interesting as the front: an officer’s case back with the 37 time zones engraved opens to reveal a sapphire crystal allowing a view of the superbly finished movement.
Manually wound Caliber 89-01 boasts a power reserve of 72 hours. It comprises more than 500 components, 70 of which are jewels and 2 of which are diamond endstones in best Glashütte tradition. Screw-mounted gold chatons, blued screws, Glashütte ribbing on the base plate and sunburst finishing on the wheels combine with a power reserve indication to make the back an aesthetic experience all its own.
Truly luxurious, the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon comes in a high-quality wooden presentation box capped by a stainless steel globe. For complete convenience, it is outfitted with a sensitive winding mechanism so this perpetual beauty is always ready and fully wound for the next adventure.
Reflecting true luxury, Glashütte Original will even personalize the Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon with the owner’s own airport code and update the world time disk as necessary—a perfect accessory, it turns out, for many of the jet-setters Glashütte Original hosted during the Berlinale.