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Tourbillons keep on spinning
Baselworld

Tourbillons keep on spinning

Friday, 12 April 2019
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Christophe Roulet
Editor-in-chief, HH Journal

“The desire to learn is the key to understanding.”

“Thirty years in journalism are a powerful stimulant for curiosity”.

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5 min read

If there could only be one, chances are this would be it. Among the smaller crop of complications at Baselworld, the tourbillon still reigns supreme. A delight to observe, technical, scientific even, this type of regulator continues to offer brands an excellent means to demonstrate their expertise.

Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Tourbillon

Part of Arnold & Son’s Instrument collection, this skeleton tourbillon movement is built on three levels with the tourbillon, carrying the subsidiary seconds, and the two power-reserve indicators superposed by the sapphire crystal hour dial, itself crowned by a ring to indicate the minutes. The gear train runs vertically to connect the two barrels at 6 o’clock with the tourbillon escapement at 12 o’clock, thus giving the movement its pyramid structure.

Time Pyramid Tourbillon © Arnold & Son
Time Pyramid Tourbillon © Arnold & Son
Bulgari Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire

Nothing to hide for this tourbillon, whose blue movement reveals all inside a 44mm case in pink gold and sapphire crystal. The softened contours of the Octo Roma accentuate the crisp lines of the movement. Instinctively, the eye is drawn to the flying tourbillon whose classic form contrasts with the contemporary architecture of 11 bridges set with gold hour markers.

Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire © Bulgari
Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire © Bulgari
Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral

As the inventor, in 2008, of a peripheral automatic winding system, Carl F. Bucherer has applied the same principle to suspend the oscillator of the Tourbillon Double Peripheral. The tourbillon is supported peripherally by three ceramic ball bearings. As a fitting end to its 130th anniversary year in 2018, the brand presents this limited edition in the Heritage collection, complete with an engraving of the city of Lucerne on the caseback.

Heritage Double Tourbillon Peripheral © Carl F. Bucherer
Heritage Double Tourbillon Peripheral © Carl F. Bucherer
Chopard Flying T Twin

Hallmarked Poinçon de Genève and the highlight of Chopard’s collections this year, the L.U.C Flying T Twin is crafted from ethically sourced Fairmined pink gold. The movement, Calibre LUC 96.24-L, is Chopard’s first flying tourbillon, remarkable for a height of just 3.30mm inside an equally slender case at 7.20mm thick. Also in gold, the ruthenium grey dial is hand-decorated with a guilloché pattern.

Flying T Twin © Chopard
Flying T Twin © Chopard
Graff GyroGraff Endangered Species Gorilla

This collection of five one-of-a-kind watches represents one of Graff’s most ambitious projects to date. The aventurine dial of each one is decorated with “diamond marquetry”, a technique that uses shaped pieces of gold, some set with diamonds, to portray the head of five endangered species, such as this gorilla. The movement is equally impressive as it features a double-axis tourbillon and a three-dimensional moon-phase display.

GyroGraff Endangered Species Gorilla © Graff
GyroGraff Endangered Species Gorilla © Graff
Greubel Forsey GMT Quadruple Tourbillon

This watch is the fusion of Greubel Forsey’s second Fundamental Invention, the Quadruple Tourbillon, and the brand’s vision of the GMT function by means of a spinning terrestrial globe. This powerfully structured timepiece displays three time zones. They are completed on the reverse side by a world time indication, shown on a 24-hour scale with day/night divisions, and a disc carrying three-letter abbreviations for world cities.

GMT Quadruple Tourbillon © Greubel Forsey
GMT Quadruple Tourbillon © Greubel Forsey
H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Tourbillon

A red gold case with black DLC titanium inserts that’s water-resistant to 120 metres gives this Pioneer Tourbillon the “all-terrain” exterior it needs to stand up to the rough and tumble of daily life. On the mechanical front, the movement is Moser’s own HMC 804 automatic calibre. The tourbillon is designed as an interchangeable module that can be assembled and regulated independently of the movement via a “plug and play” system.

Pioneer Tourbillon © H. Moser & Cie
Pioneer Tourbillon © H. Moser & Cie
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbon

Hublot captures the Big Bang “spirit” in a 42mm carbon fibre case with blue occlusions. Inside beats the HUB 6020 movement, a new tourbillon calibre with a five-day power reserve that was designed specifically to fit the tonneau-shaped case. This is also the first Spirit of Big Bang watch to adopt the One-Click system for quick and easy strap changes.

Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbone © Hublot
Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbone © Hublot
Louis Moinet Mogador

This new Mogador by Louis Moinet is fitted with the LM-35 tourbillon movement, which won first prize in the International Chronometry Competition after four months of testing and sustaining impacts. The dial is remarkable for its blue colour, exclusive to Louis Moinet, and for its concentric Clous de Paris decoration. The redesigned case is crafted from grade 5 titanium and weighs 33 grams. Topping it is a six-screw bezel.

Mogador © Louis Moinet
Mogador © Louis Moinet
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT

Until now, MB&F founder Max Büsser had only ever imagined men’s watches, despite the many feminine influences in his life. A “wrong” now righted with this Legacy Machine FlyingT for women, whose flying tourbillon forms a kinetic art piece beneath its crystal dome. The dial at 7 o’clock is tilted so as to be visible only to the wearer of the watch.

Legacy Machine FlyingT © MB&F
Legacy Machine FlyingT © MB&F
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph

This is the watch TAG Heuer has chosen to debut its latest groundbreaking invention, namely a balance spring in an ultra-light, low-density carbon composite that is totally anti-magnetic, makes perfectly concentric oscillations and is highly shock-resistant. The result is a COSC-certified tourbillon chronograph inside a 45mm black PVD titanium case, with a carbon bezel.

Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanographe © TAG Heuer
Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanographe © TAG Heuer
Zenith Defy Double Tourbillon

Zenith builds on its Defy El Primero 21 with the introduction of a new double tourbillon movement. One tourbillon escapement operates at 36,000 vibrations/hour to regulate hours and minutes. The other, beating at 360,000 vibrations/hour, drives the chronograph hand once around the dial in one second to measure short intervals with astounding one-hundredth of a second precision.

Defy Double Tourbillon © Zenith
Defy Double Tourbillon © Zenith
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