Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Date: August 18, 1995
And here we are! 1995 - just one year after Heinz W. Pfeifer privatized Glashütte Original (formerly known as GUB - Glashüttener Uhrenbetriebe) and 5 years before Swatch Group took over the brand... I was challenged to work on the first flying Tourbillon prototype under Paul’s incentives.
Two prototypes were made in Paul Gerber’s garage : a Julius Assmann wristwatch/pocket watch and the first Alfred Helwig wristwatch.
The distinctive design of the Tourbillon cage was laid out on 2D and then cut out with the pantograph machine.
Besides the lower and upper part of the cage and its pillars, the regulator index, the plates for the endstones and two wheels needed to be crafted.
A real challenge was the pivoting procedure of the balance-staff (see below picture) with a total height of only 2.72 mm !!! Needless to say that I was turning more than one piece...
Finally the total height of the rubies used in the Tourbillon cage needed to be decreased in order to fit the cage properly.