Every so often we will be inspired by certain timepieces that exhibit exceptional craftsmanship both in terms of their aesthetics and inner workings. Timepieces with tourbillon complication offer us a glimpse into the mechanism that powers the watch, a whirlwind of energy that is simply mesmerising to watch.
Here are 9 different timepieces with tourbillons that are too marvellous to miss.
Want the weight and size of your watch to belie its technical prowess? This angular masterpiece ticks all the boxes: Housed in a 42mm by 42mm case crafted from multi-layer CTP (carbon thin ply) carbon fibre, and just 5.38mm thick, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic Carbon weighs an ultra-lightweight 48g. Its size is proportionately inverse to its technical content: this timepiece is powered by an in-house movement equipped with a flying tourbillon.
A Lange & Söhne’s latest iteration of its 1815 Tourbillon comes close to being a textbook example of a classic tourbillon timepiece. A crisp, glossy white enamel dial provides a tastefully quiet backdrop that accentuates details such as that red number 12 – which is printed and fired separately, and is a tribute to classic pocket watches – and the handsome tourbillon at six o’clock. This 39.5mm platinum watch features zero-reset and stop-seconds functions for precise time-setting.
DIAL IT UP
Audemars Piguet has released several versions of the Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin since the model was launched in 2012. The edition shown here features an update that might be literally surface-deep but represents a milestone for the brand. Instead of the brand’s signature Tapisserie guilloché dial, this deep-blue dial features a new engraved pattern named Evolutive. The pattern appears to radiate out of the tourbillon, highlighting this gravity-battling regulator to stylish effect. The manually wound in-house Calibre 2924 powers this 41mm pink gold timepiece.
ELEGANCE, TWO WAYS
Two watches, two charmingly contrasting faces of what a fine tourbillon timepiece should look like. Presented in a 41mm pink gold case, Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle Tourbillon (left) features the brand’s first in-house automatic tourbillon movement, Calibre 2160. Vacheron Constantin’s signature Maltese cross-shaped carriage distinguishes its tourbillon. Jaeger-LeCoultre fans who have yearned for something a tad more attention-grabbing than the beige dial of the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon will be pleased with this new enamel edition – featuring a brilliant blue enamel with a guilloché sunray finish. This 41mm watch features an updated version of Calibre 978.
One of the sportier-looking tourbillon watches we have seen from Chopard is the automobile-inspired L.U.C. Engine One Tourbillon. A polished tonneau-shaped titanium case (44.4mm by 35.4mm) houses the manually wound tourbillon Calibre 1TRM – which, like an engine, is mounted on silent blocks to absorb shocks. Vertical lines similar to those of an engine block and bright red accents further accentuate the speedy, sporty character of this distinctive model.
Tag Heuer’s Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph stands out for many reasons, one being the hexagonal motifs that decorate its skeletonised dial. The six-sided figure refers to the key new feature of this 45mm black PVD titanium watch: a hairspring made from a carbon composite. The carbon atoms of this material are apparently arranged in a hexagonal structure. For the user, what’s important is that this hairspring is light, shock-resistant and resistant to magnetism.
Richard Mille watches have plenty of wrist presence, but this RM20 tourbillon timepiece takes things to the next level. Shown here in white gold (front and back bezels) and titanium (caseband), the RM20 – measuring an unmissable 62mm x 52mm x 15.6mm – can be used as a pocket watch, mini desk clock or (if you dare) even a time-telling pendant. Featuring a baseplate made of carbon nanofibre that apparently helps to boost movement stability, this statement piece comes with a titanium chain as well as a desk stand.