WatchTime New York, America’s luxury watch show, hits the Big Apple like a horological whirlwind this weekend! “Whirlwind,” incidentally, is the literal translation of “tourbillon,” one of the watch world’s most coveted high complications. Here are five of the most intriguing tourbillon-equipped timepieces that will be on display at Gotham Hall.
Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde
This watch is a reinterpretation of the brand’s groundbreaking flying tourbillon watch — an industry first when it was launched in 1989 — with two new complications used for the very first time in Blancpain’s über-elegant Villeret collection. In this model, which comes in a double-stepped 42-mm rose gold case, the tourbillon cage, already unobstructed by the upper bridge used in traditional (i.e., non-flying) tourbillon construction is fully in view, as Blancpain has removed the lower bridge and replaced it with a clear sapphire disk. The visual effect makes it appear as though the balance wheel and escapement inside the tourbillon cage are floating in space. Blancpain has also added, for the first time in any of its models, both a jumping hour and a retrograde minutes display. The round, gold-rimmed window indicating the digital hour numerals has been placed inside the minutes subdial, under the tourbillon aperture, to complete the look of the classical grand feu enamel dial. For more details, click here.
Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367
Released at Baselworld 2018, the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 combines many of the hallmarks we’ve come to associate with Breguet timepieces — such as the iconic Breguet numerals, a tourbillon, and an off-centered dial — along with a heaping of new features for the Grande Complications collection. Technically, the model has been in Breguet’s catalog since 2013, but this time around, a grand feu enamel dial has been added and the power-reserve indicator removed to create an impressively austere dial layout. It’s a surprisingly thin timepiece, coming in at just 7.45 mm, thanks to the self-winding caliber 581, which is only 3-mm thick. The movement provides an 80-hour power reserve with a 4-Hz rate. The case comes in either 18k rose gold or platinum, with a fluted caseband and exhibition caseback so you can see the hand-engraved bridges, barrel, and oscillating weight. More info and additional photos can be found here.
Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital
The Recital 22 Grand recital is the third and final part of a trilogy of timepieces that began with the Récital 18 Shooting Star Tourbillon in 2016 and continued with the Récital 20 Astérium in 2017. As with the exceptional watches that preceded it, a tourbillon is only one element in its array of complications. The 46.3 x 19.6 mm case functions as a horological tellurium, with a stunning, hemispherical, birds-eye view of the Earth at 12 o’clock and a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock that represents the sun with a carriage bridge acting as fiery rays shooting out of the sun’s body. Among the many astronomically derived functions is a spherical moon that orbits the Earth according to the exact length of its synodic period of 29.53 days. The carriage of the solar-inspired tourbillon is raised above the actual surface of the movement — Bovet received a patent for this construction, one of five applied to this watch’s innovations — which allows for an increased level of transparency. The five arms of the titanium bridge feature a rounded hand-finish and frame the regulating organ. By rotating once every sixty seconds, the tourbillon indicates the seconds by a hand affixed directly to the carriage wheel and travels over a scaled twenty-second sector. To learn more about the Recital 22 and its cornucopia of functions, read our full report on the model.
Kerbedanz Tourbillon Maximus
Kerbedanz made waves in 2017 with the announcement of the Kerbedanz Maximus, which contained what the brand claimed was the world’s largest tourbillon housed in a wristwatch. This year, the timepiece, and its 27-mm-diameter titanium tourbillon cage, returned for a victory lap. The tourbillon itself makes one full rotation every six minutes and was designed completely in-house by the Kerbedanz R&D team. The movement is made of 415 total components, 73 for the tourbillon alone. Its production is only possible thanks to a uniquely-developed balance spring, a rack assembly with fine-tuning screw, and a balance wheel. For such a complex timekeeper, reading the time is surprisingly simple: The hour and minute hands extend off the tourbillon cage and are mounted on geared discs. More details on the Kernedanz Maximus can be found here.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon
The Traditionnelle Tourbillon, unveiled at this year’s SIHH, marks a milestone for the 280-plus-year-old watchmaking maison: its first-ever self-winding tourbillon movement, the ultra-thin Caliber 2160. Housed in an elegant 41-mm rose gold case, the movement’s signature feature is its openworked tourbillon carriage, visible through an aperture at 6 o’clock on the silvered opaline dial, shaped like a Maltese cross, the classical emblem of Vacheron Constantin. Just 5.65 mm in thickness and composed of 188 pieces, Caliber 2160 offers a lengthy 80-hour power reserve and is enhanced with a 22k gold rotor. Dauphine hands indicate the hours and minutes on the dial, while the small seconds are displayed by the graceful motion of the tourbillon itself.
WatchTime New York kicks off tomorrow evening at Gotham Hall. Friday’s session is sold out, but tickets are still available for Saturday, the second day of the two-day event, and can be ordered here.