Patented in 1801 by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the tourbillon was invented to counter the negative effects of gravitational forces on pocket watches and, in doing so, increase their accuracy. This ingenious and complex mechanism has been described as the “king” of complications. So which tourbillons claim the throne online? Read on to find out.
As the hashtag has been used more than 185,000 times, and each image must be reviewed individually, we calculated percentages from a sample of 2,500 images to decide which is the most popular watch across the entire hashtag. So here they are: the top 5 #tourbillon watches on Instagram.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin
- Percentage of total: 7.73%
- History: Created in tribute to the Royal Oak collection, the first prestige sports watch in steel, and to the first tourbillon wristwatch introduced in 1986, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin was first released in 2012. Since then, it has been issued in different iterations of metals and colours, such as platinum in 2016 or titanium in 2017.
- Why: A slim watch powered by the manual-winding Calibre 2924 tourbillon movement, the Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin delivers exceptional engineering in a comfortable, everyday watch. As thinner watches conquer the market and break records, despite being six years old it stands its ground as one of watch lovers’ favourites.
Richard Mille RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman
- Percentage of total: 3.59%
- History: The RM 71-01 is the brand’s latest release, and their very first automatic tourbillon movement to be developed in-house. There are ten design variations, each available as a very limited edition of five pieces. Each variation is enhanced with diamonds, mother-of-pearl, onyx and black sapphires, doing away with the distinction between jewellery watches and performance watches.
- Why: The Richard Mille RM 71-01 is the newest tourbillon on the block, unveiled early June at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Already popular on Instagram, the Tourbillon Talisman testifies to the brand’s dedication to reclaiming women’s place in Fine Watchmaking with its blend of design and functionality.
Moser & Cie Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time
- Percentage of total: 3.31%
- History: There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the H. Moser & Cie Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time, the brand’s debut tourbillon. First of all, the in-house tourbillon has been developed as a stand-alone element. This “plug-and-play” system facilitates maintenance as the tourbillon can be serviced by any watchmaker, not just one with special expertise. The watch also uses a Straumann Double Hairspring® to further compensate for the negative effects of gravity. This results in enhanced accuracy and greater precision. The Tourbillon Dual Time also features a second time zone function with a red hand that can be hidden behind the usual hour hand when not used.
- Why: Boasting old-school vibes with its domed crystal and Bauhaus-inspired dial, this highly technical watch doesn’t try to overcompensate with looks. Combining accuracy, ease of servicing, clean design and fine craftsmanship, it’s no surprise to see it in the top five.
Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367
- Percentage of total: 2.76%
- History: Another recent release, or re-release. First unveiled in 2013 as reference 5377 with a guilloché dial, its new rendition, the Extra-Plat 5367 which launched at Baselworld 2018, has been given a beautiful Grand Feu enamel dial. When first introduced, it ranked among the thinnest automatic tourbillon watches, and even though it has since been surpassed it remains one of the most remarkable pieces in its category.
- Why: Crafted in true Breguet fashion, the watch features open-tipped hands in blued steel and the signature Breguet Arabic numerals. Playing on elements of tradition and modernity, its looks are unaffected by time and trends. A beautiful tourbillon from the brand whose founder patented this complication.
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition "150 Years"
- Percentage of total: 1.66%
- History: The Portugieser collection was first unveiled in 1939, after two Portuguese dealers contacted IWC with a request for a larger wristwatch that would be as easily readable as a marine chronometer. To celebrate its 150-year anniversary, the brand released a new set of watches at SIHH 2018 that includes the first ever IWC watch to combine a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon – made possible by the newly developed IWC-manufactured 51950 calibre. This is an extension of the 51900 calibre, with the addition of a perpetual calendar.
- Why: Classic watches have been back on watch lovers’ radar since SIHH 2017, where the elegance and simplicity of classic designs inspired new editions. The IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “150 Years” is one of them. The unprecedented combination of complications added to a classic design makes this a truly special piece.