The tourbillon was originally developed and patented in 1795 by renowned watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. Essentially this technological advancement (which is an addition to the escapement mechanism) was invented to counter the effects of gravity and make the timepiece more accurate. However, in the present world of horology this innovation signifies a level of skill and prestige rather than functionality. Many watch collectors will pay huge amounts of money for the chance to own one of these exquisite creations. That is why brands have reacted accordingly with some outrageously bold and innovative designs. In some cases, these magnificent watches have multiple tourbillons rotating on different axis. No longer is this just an instrument that tells the time but more of a sublime piece of wrist art. Here are some great examples, which display why this mechanism is considered the holy grail of watchmaking.
Louis Moinet Mobilis
Louis Moinet is an exceptional Swiss based brand that pays homage to legendary 19th Century horologist (same name) who is acknowledged by the Guinness World Records organization for inventing the chronograph. The business is the brainchild of founder/creative director Jean-Marie Schaller and is based in Saint-Blaise, Switzerland. One of the company’s latest creations is an outstanding limited edition timepiece (12 pieces) called the Mobilis. What makes this timepiece so appealing is the architectural open worked “Clous de Paris” decorated dial with double flying tourbillon feature. This mind blowing complicated manual winding mechanism was developed in collaboration with Tec-Ebauches and has a power reserve of 52-hours.
Antoine Preziuso Chronometer Tourbillon of Tourbillons
Antoine Preziuso is an amazingly talented craftsman who graduated with honors from the prestigious Geneva Watchmaking School. Subsequently he became a restorer and worked for Patek Philippe before establishing his own exclusive label. The Tourbillon of Tourbillons is a highly complicated watch that is designed for connoisseurs. Within the well proportioned 45mm 18-karat Gold, steel and Grade 5 titanium case are three revolving tourbillons. These magnificent mechanisms are perfectly showcased on the open worked dial and powered by a sophisticated Swiss made 65-jewel movement.
ArtyA Gold Sculpted Tourbillon
ArtyA is considered one of the most innovative brands in the world of horology and was established by Yvan Arpa. Prior to launching his own label, he created exciting timepieces for companies like RJ Romain Jerome and Jacob & Co. His recent collaboration with electronic giant Samsung (on stylish smart watch project) has gained him further global recognition. The Gold Sculpted Tourbillon is one of his latest unique 1/1 pieces that has been meticulously fabricated from gold and platinum. The “Neo-Renaissance” carbon and gold dial by a Master-engraver Bram Ramon is an absolute revelation. Ultimately this amazing detail perfectly frames the exposed tourbillon movement.
It is hard to dispute that Bovet is one of the Swiss watch industry’s most creative forces. This company was originally founded by Henri-François Dubois-Bovet and has been revived by entrepreneur Pascal Raffy. Ultimately his primary objective is to design a range of sensational timepieces for the discerning collector. The Ottantatre is a wonderful limited edition (83 pieces) piece that has been co-created with Italian design house Pininfarina to celebrate the company’s 83rd anniversary. What make this watch so extraordinary is the meticulous skeletonized dial. This beautiful feature displays the complex mechanics of the piece. Functionally the watch features a 5-Day Tourbillon, Jumping hours and retrograde minutes.
Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon Full Sapphire Watch
Cabestan is synonymous with the production of remarkably sophisticated timepieces. This Geneva based company was established in 2003 and continues to push the boundaries of avant-garde watchmaking. The Triple Axis Tourbillon Full Sapphire is one of their latest timepieces and was recently unveiled at Baselworld 2017. What makes this watch so spectacular is the perfectly formed polished sapphire crystal case which allows the recipient to view the highly complicated mechanism from all aspects. This phenomenal achievement involved over 2,000 hours of painstaking work from some of the world’s finest master craftsmen. Therefore, only 50 limited pieces will ever be manufactured.