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Tourbillon Watch History

Tourbillon can be explained as the addition to the mechanics of a watch escapement. Many have questions as to what a tourbillon is? Why a horologist may say you need one as part of your collection? and why are they are they so expensive? The tourbillon watch was initially developed around 1795 and then patented in June 1801 by Abraham-Louis Breguet. The watch was designed to address the issue that mechanical watches have that affect pression. The word tourbillon comes from the French word whirlwind. The reasoning behind the name of the watch was because the mechanism spins on itself. In a tourbillon the balance wheel is mounted in a rotating cage. To put it in simplistic manner, a tourbillon can be considered a balance wheel that itself rotates. This balance wheel, however, rotates in one direction and not oscillation. This rotation typically takes 60 seconds to complete but can at times be completed every 30 seconds. 



Type of Tourbillon Timpeices

There are many different types of tourbillon movement, two of the most common are the traditional and flying tourbillon which have a single axis and the multi axis tourbillon. The multi axis, the escapement rotates on multiple axis. The idea behind the tourbillon is to provide gravity canceling effects. This would mean that no matter what position your watch is in, the watch will continue to works properly. Many tourbillon watches are extremely expensive and can range from $1,200, the JUAL Tourbillon movement Luxurious Watch to the $500,000 Zenith Defy Xtreme Zero G Multi-Dimensional Tourbillon Watch. 

The Flying tourbillon is quite different than the rest. The traditional tourbillon is mounted with a bridge or cock as a support system on both sides. The flying tourbillon has only supported on one side. This is what makes this type of watch so intriguing and at times very valuable. This type of timepiece remains as the manifestation of superior and exceptional watch.  Because of this, a flying tourbillon is a kind of luxury watch that is only associated with a selected audience of real and addicted connoisseurs.

Zenith Defy Xtreme Zero G

JUAL Tourbillon Timepiece[/caption

Gyro Tourbillon

The first wrist watch tourbillon was first introduced in 1993 by Jaeger-LeCoultre. In 2004 the company introduced the Gyrotourbillon which was the first of its kind during that time. The Gyrotourbillon is created with a double-axis tourbillon, it is designed with a perpetual calendar, and since then, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created numerous variations of the multi-axis tourbillon timepiece.

Triple-axis Tourbillon

Thomas Prescher created the first triple-axis tourbillon in 2004 for the Thomas Prescher Haute Horlogerie. This timepiece was designed to possess a constant force in the carriage in a wristwatch. The three axis tourbillon movement watch, the external cage has a distinctive form which allows for the possibility of utilising jewel bearings everywhere, rather than ball-bearings. There are very few wrist watches and pocket watches that use the triple-axis tourbillon escapements and therefore are difficult to find.

Is tourbillon watch right for me?

The true questions is, can you handle a luxurious times piece like a tourbillon? This timepiece  is a serious watch that will definitely attract a great deal of attention to your wrist. Tourbillon timepieces are considered, by many collectors, to be one of their most prized possessions. Once again, the answer to the question is; acquire a tourbillon watch only if you can handle this great possession. Additionally, the intellectual curiosity of a tourbillon timepiece isn't for everyone and with such a high price tag it is not for every wallet! Even with so many negative reviews out there and the high price tag, I  still find tourbillons charming – given the chance, I would wear the JUAL timepiece as my everyday wristwatch.

For additional information on Mechanical Watch movements visit our blog.

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