Complicated Watches: 7 Standout Tourbillon Watches

Baselworld 2015 is over, and we’ve seen a number of new tourbillon watches among the offerings. Here’s a look back at the most interesting, clever, and daring variations on the now-ubiquitous tourbillon watch presented in this year and last year..

For its Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpetuel, which combines a tourbillon with a perpetual calendar, Breguet (the modern brand named for the tourbillon’s inventor) strove for an intuitive display of the indications by lifting the hours and minutes chapter to the foreground of the dial, above the one-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock. A triple hand on the tourbillon cage indicates the seconds, a subdial at 9 o’clock with an engine-turned wave pattern shows the days, and a blued steel hand at 3 o’clock points to the months on another subdial with an engine-turned sunburst finish. At this subdial’s center, a blue sun provides the leap year indication. For more on this watch (including live photos taken at Baselworld), click here.

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpetuel

TAG Heuer’s Monaco V4 Tourbillon, the next generation of the brand’s game-changing Monaco V4, uses a system of micro-belts — just 0.7 mm thick, thinner than a single human hair — to drive the tourbillon cage rather than traditional gears. The result, TAG claims, is no backlash on the tourbillon and a more fluid rotation of its cage. The timepiece is also equipped with an automatic, linear “railroad” rewinding system, as opposed to a more traditional swinging rotor. Click here for more details and photos of the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon.

TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon - front

Another of Baselworld’s most talked-about watches was the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon. Its tourbillon mechanism is designed on three planes, rather than the traditional one, and uses a triple-cage tourbillon for which a domed lens needed to be integrated into sapphire crystal to provide extra space. The regulation of the movement occurs on three separate axes: a traditional tourbillon at the center, making one rotation every 60 seconds; which is integrated into a structure on a second axis, rotating every 30 seconds; with both then inserted into another system, on yet a third axis, which makes one rotation every two minutes. Click here for more details.

Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon - frontBulgari wowed Baselworld visitors with the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, which currently claims the title of “world’s thinnest tourbillon.” Its movement is only 1.95 mm thick — thinner than a Swiss five-franc coin — and its case measures a mere 5 mm thick. To achieve this horological milestone, Bulgari’s watchmakers devised a solution that includes two bridges, one for the minute wheel and one for the gear train of the tourbillon cage, and uses ball bearings — instead of jewels — for many of the moving parts. More details on the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon and its movement can be found here.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon - front

Dubey & Schaldenbrand unveiled a “masterpiece” watch at the fair that combined haute horlogerie with haute joallerie. The Dubey & Schaldenbrand Coeur Blanc (“white heart”) is set with an astonishing 709 “invisible-set” baguette diamonds, including 255 on the dial, 400 on the case and lugs, and 54 on the buckle. The in-house-developed movement has a tourbillon cage, showcasing the balance wheel beating at 21,600 vph, at 6 o’clock. Skeletonized blued steel hands complete the glittering picture. Only three pieces of the Coeur Blanc will be made.

Dubey & Schaldenbrand Coeur Blanc
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  1. Carl Dreher

    The article states that the belts on the Monaco V4 are .7mm, thinner than a human hair. That is .027 inch. Maybe thinner than elephant hairs, but not human hairs.

    • macewindufan

      Yes, you’re definitely right–a human hair is less than a tenth of a mm thick. (between .08 & .1mm thick)

  2. charbel zod

    Hi I have audemars piaguet it was made in the 1990 but I dont know the price of the watch if you can help me to know the price of the watch I will you all the information you need. Yours charbel zod

  3. It proves that the tourbillon is a real mecca for the jeweller’s creativity. The tourbillon was an old fashioned way to increase accuracy of mechanical movements. Now far more accuracy is achieved by quartz watches for just a view dollars. But when it comes to creating luxurious jewellery (luxury watches) as well as prestige and status, nothing beets the tourbillon.

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