Video: What is the Difference Between a Tourbillon and a Carrousel?

Blancpain is unique in the world of watchmaking, as it is the only house that has mastered the art of placing a carrousel in a wristwatch. Carrousels were originally conceived to defy gravity and the associated rate errors incurred when the watch is in a vertical position. In this way, carrousels are like tourbillons. But watch connoisseurs often get confused in trying to understand how carrousels and tourbillons differ from each other. Fortunately, Blancpain has created two watches that are perfect vehicles for understanding the similarities and differences between carrousels and tourbillons: its Le Brassus Tourbillon Carrousel from two years ago, the L-Evolution C Tourbillon Carrousel, which debuted at Baselworld 2015. Our visit to the world’s oldest watch brand’s complicated workshop in Le Brassus allows us to place the movement under a microscope and closely examine these two timing elements to show how they are the same and how they are different.


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  1. Joe Conway

    Many years ago I learned that a tourbillon escapement revolves the balance alone 360 every minute; a carousel revolves the entire assembly (which includes the balance cock) 360 in 60 minutes. Position error is averaged in both cases, but, in a carousel, an error would have that much longer to throw the watch off before getting to a better position. The other thing that always bothered me about carousels and tourbillons was the horizontal. I can’t see position error being compensated for in the dial up or down positions. In the 21st century we have, finally, tourbillons that rotate 360, meaning position error averaging in all positions in watches made a bit thicker to accommodate the new dimension. With sophisticated bulges in the right place, perhaps Blancpain will be able to accommodate my demand with a dual orbital version of its carousel/tourbillon combo.

  2. Thanks for the video.

    But why two escapements?

    I suppose because they could so they did, to be different. And different it is.

  3. Sam Harris

    In the real world of costs:kids,collage,home etc these watches are just not coming home with me.

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