Top 5 Tourbillon Watches

Aug 28, 2012

The tourbillon is one of the cherished complications of the watch-making world. Developed in the 18th century by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the tourbillon (meaning “whirlwind”) is a rotating framed within a watch that carries the balance and escapement. Breguet created the tourbillon as a means to make a watch movement more stable and accurate by counteracting the effects of gravity. Today, watch aficionados mostly appreciate the tourbillon for its complicated design and aesthetic appeal as they don’t make the movement more accurate. Do we need them? No, but we sure do love them.

1.) Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon

Presenting the tourbillon from the future! This very modern-looking watch has a case of 18 karat white gold and Zalium, a lightweight, thermal resistant, and durable alloy of zirconium and allium lily. What’s more is that Harry Winston has included not one, but two inclined single axis tourbillons with 36 second rotations to greatly reduce the gravitational effects on the regulator. Even with the complexity of this watch, the entire system only weighs 0.46 grams. Unfortunately this piece is limited to only 20 pieces.

2.) Breguet Tourbillon Messidor

That’s right. That Breguet. You can’t have a list of top tourbillons without mentioning one from the master himself. Abraham-Louis Breguet ‘s first tourbillon movement was developed for one of Napoleon’s carriage clocks.

The Messidor is one beautiful watch. The case is made of 18 karat rose gold with a coin edge and the dial and the case back are completely skeletonized in order to view the movement in its entirety. A nice touch is the gold hoop in the six o’clock position that puts the tourbillon right in the spotlight and gives it the appearance of floating in the case. The Messidor also boasts a 50 hour power reserve.

3.) IWC Portuguese Tourbillon Mystere Retrograde

This particular tourbillon from IWC stands out from the rest for one big reason. The Portuguese Tourbillon is the largest IWC-manufactured automatic wristwatch movement with a hefty seven day power reserve. Not many tourbillons have that big of a reserve, and IWC even has a reserve indicator on the black ruthenium dial. The flying tourbillon consists of 82 parts and it weighs only 0.635 grams.

4.) Breitling for Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon

Breitling wants to make a tourbilllon for you and only you. The Mulliner Tourbillon from Breitling for Bentley is an extraordinarily rare watch because 1) only two are made per year and 2) each watch is made specifically for the person buying it. The future owner of this watch has a range of options for the case material, dial color, and strap color as well as the wooden veneer on the case back, making sure that each watch is one of a kind. The watch case houses a 30 second COSC certified chronograph movement with a 42 hour power reserve and a tourbillon cage in the six o’clock position.

5.) Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Reserve Tourbillon

This is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s frist Master Control with an integrated tourbillon. The tourbillon itself sits in a T5 titanium cage weighing 0.28 grams which oscillates eight times per second. The beauty of the watch speaks for itself looking at its rose gold case, silvered dial, and the blue arms of the tourbillon. The Master Reserve also goes under a rigorous 1000 hours of testing to ensure its reliability and accuracy.

King Jewelers is an authorized dealer for over forty luxury Swiss watch brands including Bell & Ross, Breguet, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, DeWitt, Harry Winston, Hublot, Jaquet Droz, Montblanc, Roger Dubuis and TAG Heuer. King Jewelers is a member of the American Watch Guild and has been named a Leading Watch Retailer in North America by International Wristwatch Magazine. King Jewelers also offers expert watch repair and watch restoration at their retail locations in Aventura, FL and Nashville, TN.


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