The tourbillon. Conquering physical laws

The tourbillon. Conquering physical laws

The tourbillon. A device that was invented over 200 years ago to improve the accuracy of pocket watches and is still used in high-end mechanical watches today. It is a fascinating piece of engineering, a beautiful addition to a watch, and a symbol of prestige. But how does it work? In this blog post, we will explore the tourbillon mechanism and how it manages to conquer the physical laws that it is based on.

How tourbillon conquered physical laws

The tourbillon was invented in the 18th century as a way to improve the accuracy of timekeeping devices. Abraham-Louis Breguet invented it in 1795. The mechanism is designed to counter the effects of gravity on a watch's balance wheel, which can lead to inaccuracies over time. The tourbillon rotates the balance wheel and escapement continuously, which averages out any positional errors. This makes the watch more accurate over time, as the gravitational pull on the balance wheel is constantly changing depending on its orientation.

The tourbillon was a breakthrough in watchmaking, and it quickly became a symbol of prestige and luxury. Today, tourbillon watches are still highly sought-after by collectors and connoisseurs, even though their usefulness in terms of accuracy has been surpassed by other advances in watchmaking. Nevertheless, the watch with tourbillon remains a fascinating example of how human ingenuity can triumph over physical laws.

The most sought-after watches with tourbillon

1. Vacheron Constantin

With its Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph, Vacheron Constantin combines two of watchmaking's most refined mechanisms — a tourbillon and a monopusher chronograph in an elegant container.

2. Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Tourbillon Slate

The Toric Tourbillon Slate was presented first at Watches & Wonders 2020. It is the first tourbillon piece to join Parmigiani Fleurier's.

3. Omega De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition

Omega created the first wristwatch tourbillon in 1947 and made it to the top with the first manual-winding, wrist-borne tourbillon in 2020, which meets the standards of Omega's in-house Master Chronometer certification.

4. Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon

The Grand Sport Tourbillon always stood apart from other models in the luxury-oriented market segment. Its unique design honors the brand founder's longtime enthusiasm for motorsports and sports watches worn by drivers in the 1970s.

5. Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon

The Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon, a limited edition of just 15 pieces, was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lucerne-based brand's most noteworthy contribution to horology.