Tourbillons are one of the most elaborate and intricate complications in watchmaking. Only the most innovative brands and talented watchmakers are able to successfully create tourbillon watches. While we are still in the early months of 2015, some of the most incredible tourbillon watches have been introduced, many at SIHH in January and at Baselworld in March. Let’s discuss some of our favorite tourbillon watches of the year thus far.
Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon Carrousel
In 2013, Blancpain released the first Tourbillon Carrousel, an innovative and revolutionary complication. At this year’s Baselworld, Blancpain introduced another cutting-edge watch with its L-evolution Tourbillon Carrousel. Both complications are meant to counteract the effects of gravity. The two complications are powered by different gears and have designated barrels. The tourbillon rotates around the fixed seconds wheel to keep the escapement in constant motion. The carrousel powers its rotation with a gear train. The Blancpain L-evolution differs from the brand’s original tourbillon carrousel with its case designs and materials and the lengthy power reserves. The case and dial have many hard angles, with abstract numbers that differ greatly from the classic, traditional designs that are typical and expected from Blancpain. The platinum watch case is abstract and has a futuristic look. At 11 o’clock, one can see the tourbillon and the carrousel is placed at 5 o’clock. The caliber 2322V2 movement has over 350 parts and is on display through the transparent case back. This watch retails at $373,130 and only 50 will be made. Learn more about the watch here.
Jaeger LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon
The Jaeger LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon watch features an interesting feature, the Spherotourbillon. This complication is a tourbillon built to counteract the effects of gravity by rotating on two axes. The tourbillon sits in a titanium cage that rotates at a 20 degree angle. The beautiful spherotourbillon is located at an opening in the dial at 9 o’clock. The dial opens at this space and silver steps lead to the spherotourbillon. The main subdial is at 3 o’clock, with a lapis lazuli moonphase in its center, which is accurate to 3,887 years. There is a 24-hour indicator at 12 o’clock and a running seconds subdial at 6 o’clock and each counter had its own power reserve. To reset the running seconds without disrupting the balance wheel, one just presses on the pusher at 2 o’clock. This watch is limited to just 75 pieces. Visit Jaeger LeCoultre for more details on this watch.
Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon
Offered in either white or rose gold, the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon has a diameter of 44mm with curved lugs and a leather strap. The beautiful white enamel dial has a window at 6 o’clock that displays the 60-second tourbillon with a power reserve indicator surrounding it. The transparent caseback displays the caliber UN-178 movement that has a minimum power reserve of seven days. This watch is limited to 18 pieces in white gold and 18 pieces in rose gold.
De Bethune DBS Tourbillon Watch
The De Bethune DBS Tourbillon was introduced at Baselworld 2015 to celebrate the 10-anniversary of the De Bethune DBS and to show how far the watch brand has come. De Bethune watches are recognized for their unique designs, interesting aesthetics, and colors. A superlight 63 piece tourbillon is displayed at 6 o’clock on the silver dial. The 18kt white gold case has a diameter of 45mm. This large watch has “floating lugs,” which are unique to many De Bethune watches, and is fitted on a leather strap. The silver-brushed dial features several tones and colors, a silver minute track, vibrant blue hands, and a ruthenium-coated outer ring, making for a very bold design. Only 10 of these incredible watches will be made.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph
With retail price of $258,600, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph is an incredible watch. The matte grey titanium case has a diameter of 44mm and a grey rubber strap. The skeleton dial features the tourbillon, pink gold hour markers, and two subdials, one for the seconds and the other for the chronograph. The caliber 2936 movement can be viewed through the transparent display case back. It has a power reserve of 72 hours and is comprised of 299 parts.
Owning a tourbillon watch is a privilege that only few watch enthusiasts will be able to enjoy. Because tourbillons take such skill, expertise, and time to create, price tags for these watches are often very high and can only be afforded by the more affluent. However, just because one cannot afford the price tag does not mean they cannot appreciate them. These five tourbillon watches are some of our favorite of the year thus far.