German watchmaker Glashutte Original’s new Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon comes in a relatively large 48 mm by 16 mm platinum case — at a time when the watch industry is moving towards smaller timepieces — but not without good reason. After all, it is packed with an impressive combination of complications: a world’s first combination of 37 time zones and a perpetual calendar, actually.
All destination time and date changes are displayed correctly, thanks to the specially geared perpetual calendar mechanism, which registers changes in both directions, forwards and backwards in time — a function which is currently being patented. And that is not the only patent, there are actually three more. Also, as if that isn’t enough, the Cosmopolite is equipped with a flying minute tourbillon.
A timepiece that is the source of four patent applications must have a lot of parts. There are 528 components, 70 jewels and 2 diamond endstones. The movement alone measures a massive 39.2 mm by 7.2 mm. The manufacture movement, caliber 89-01, is manually wound and runs at a rate of 21,600 vph (3Hz), with a maximum power reserve of 72-hours.
Functions include: hours, minutes, flying minute tourbillon (small seconds), home time 24 hour display (off-center), 2nd time zone with hours and minutes (switchable to 37 time zones including 1/2 hour and 3/4 hour differences), daylight savings/standard time indications, perpetual calendar with day, month, leap year, panorama date (switchable forward and backward), day/night indicator, power reserve display (on movement side).
The movement is exquisitely finished with: beveled edges, polished and brushed steel parts, screwed gold chatons, blued screws, Breguet spring, wheel-train bridge with Glashütte ribbed finish, winding wheels with double sun burst decoration.
A sapphire crystal, anti-reflective on both sides protects the silver-grained, 18K gold dial and which is framed by milled black Roman numerals and a railroad chapter ring. Sapphire crystal protected by “hunter” officer’s case back with engraved time zones (can be customized for client, it can even be changed in future if needed).
Home time can be selected from among 37 different world time zones on the city ring, including those with 30-minute (Delhi) and 45-minute offsets (Eucla) — it even adjusts for Standard Time (STD) and Daylight Saving Time (DST) automatically. Time zones on the city ring are indicated using three-letter airport codes, for example: FRA for Frankfurt, LAX fro Los Angeles and so on.
The codes are displayed in two small windows at 8 o’clock on the dial, one dedicated to STD and the other to DST. The owner then sets the perpetual calendar to reflect the current weekday, date, month and (leap) year. As you would expect, this timepiece can handle the change from March 1st to February 29th or 28th, with no additional manual intervention.
The Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon is presented in a beautifully crafted wood case with a stainless steel globe that rotates to reveal the timepiece. When the timepiece is inside an integrated mechanism winds the timepiece.