Why “Tourbillon” in the Main Watches’ Brands Is a Hyped Complication?

We have long been accustomed to the fact that the non-stop rotation of the tourbillon carriage fascinates buyers who are ready to part with $100,000 USD (the average price of a tourbillon watch). Apparently, watchmakers believe in the magic influence of this complication.

From year to year, they continue to throw on the market, albeit in limited editions, all new models with tourbillons. This is understandable: no other, even more, an expensive complication is comparable with the marginality of the “whirlpool”.

Audemars Piguet Automatic Tourbillon, 1986

Oh, the Audemars Piguet manufactory would have known, which released the first automatic movement with a tourbillon Caliber 2870 in 1986, which supposedly have created the fashion for this complication, which Pandora’s box it opens!

For the 35th year, a tiny unit (60-80 parts, the weight of the best samples is up to 0.2 grams), patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet back in 1801, feeds watchmakers nourishingly.

MWR Team will not go into endless discussions about the justification for placing the escapement unit inside the rotating carriage in a wristwatch, but just see what new tourbillon watches the brands have presented on the watchesandwonders.com platform. To demonstrate our complete impartiality, the stamps are alphabetically listed.

Cartier Pasha de Cartier Tourbillon Skeleton

Within the updated – or, rather, the “well-forgotten old” – collection of Pasha de Cartier (“Watch Alphabet” will tell about it in detail) there are two skeleton models with a tourbillon.

Cartier Pasha de Cartier Tourbillon Skeleton

Lastly, in a case with a diameter of 41 mm and a thickness of 10.45 mm, made of pink or white gold (in the latter case, with diamond inlay), there is a 3 hertz (21,600 vph) in-house hand-wound movement Caliber 9466 MC with a 50-hour power reserve.

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon

The IWC brand is committed to a one-year, one-collection renewal principle. This year it was the turn of our likable “Portuguese”, the Portugieser. In due time, we will devote a separate story to them.

However, for now, we will inform you that among the new products there are models related to the Portugieser Complications line. These lines combine a tourbillon with a perpetual calendar.

The in-house automatic Caliber 51950 with its signature 7-day power reserve is housed in a 45 mm diameter and 15.3 mm case made of platinum or rose gold. Both versions are released in series of 50 copies. The gold one will be sold only in monobutics of the brand.


The ruble prices have already been announced: $141,639 in gold and $163,783 in platinum.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication

One of the most sophisticated models of the Jaeger-LeCoultre manufactory with a minute repeater, a “floating” (hidden) tourbillon, and a map of the starry sky debuted 10 years ago. It has been reissued in two series of 8 pieces each: in 45 mm rose or white gold cases, inlaid with baguette diamonds.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication

The innovation lies in the multi-layered domed dial. The tourbillon is part of the automatic Caliber 945 with a 40-hour power reserve. Thereafter, it is distinguished by its “orbital” design.

The regulator not only rotates around its axis in 60 seconds. However, due to its placement is inside a rotating disk, makes a full revolution around the dial counterclockwise in one sidereal day, that is, 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds.

Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon

The independent brand born 12 years ago by Laurent Ferrier, who gave Patek Philippe more than three decades and ended his career as technical director there.

According to the Patek tradition absorbed by Ferrier, his tourbillons are of a hidden location. That is, they are visible only from the inside of the case. The voluntary self-denial of the visual wow inspires genuine purists’ respect for both Patek Philippe and Laurent Ferrier.

To illustrate, the tourbillon is beautifully observable into the recognizable architecture of the hand-wound 3-Hertz caliber and a solid 80-hour power reserve. Last year, Maestro Ferrier presented a 44 mm model with a sporty design with a tourbillon on a rubber strap. And now he has “put” it on an integrated steel bracelet, vaguely reminiscent of the design of the Nautilus bracelet.


A series of 12 copies, $172,000 before taxes. Laurent Ferrier watches are not available in Russia, and we seem to guess why: they look “neat, but poor”.

Panerai Submersible Ecopangaea Tourbillon GMT

The tourbillon is not a frequent visitor to Panerai watches. Although the brand in 2007, with the launch of the manual P.2005 caliber, came up with an excellent visual way of identifying it. The tourbillon carriage, placed between the 10 and 11 o’clock positions, rotates in a vertical plane. This is why nickname chicken-grill.

tourbillon: Tourbillon in the Main Watches' Brands Is a Hyped Complication

The period of the carriage revolution is not a traditional minute, but 30 s. The skeletonized in-house movement, whose platinum and bridges are of titanium (!). Also features a second time zone, day/night indicators, and a power reserve (6 days).

The sealed up to 300m 50mm hull of the PAM01108, announced in just 5 pieces, is made of recycled steel from the 35m sailing yacht Pangea by explorer and brand ambassador Mike Horn, on which he made a 2-year voyage around the world, visiting both poles of the Earth.


The price of the watch reflects the steepness of the route traveled and the exoticism of the movement: $190,000.

Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Infinitely Personal

Piaget decided to combine its ultra-thin movements with a customized approach to finishing. Thus, the manual-winding Caliber 670P with a 48-hour power reserve. The spaced dial with hour and minute hands (at 8 o’clock) and a tourbillon with a seconds scale (at 2 o’clock) helps to recognize the watch. These are obviously inside the diamond-encrusted cases with a diameter of 38mm or 41mm white gold.

The small versions have red guilloché mother-of-pearl or diamond pavé dials. The larger ones are gold, finished in translucent hot green enamel.

Purnell Escape II Carbone Pink and Escape II Carbone Yellow

An illustrative example of parasitizing on the interest of wealthy clients to hyped complication is the independent brand Purnell, founded in 2006. She simply does not produce watches without tourbillons!


Life is not exactly honey (you have to limit yourself to the release of only 20 copies of each version), but you will not die of hunger either (prices start from – attention! – $472,330 per copy).

Purnell Escape IIS Treasure Baguette Diamond and Escape IIS Treasure Rainbow

Now the brand is actively promoting high-speed three-axis Spherion tourbillons by watchmaker Eric Koudre. They have three carriages. The inner one rotates around its axis in 8s, the middle one in 16seconds, the outer one in 30 seconds.

Movement Caliber CP13: even the spheres of both tourbillons have diamonds encrusted.
So as not to seem a little, the hand-wound Caliber CP13 with a power reserve indicator contains two triaxial tourbillons at once.

The energy consumption, however, is atrocious: the power reserve is only 32 hours. But Purnell buyers, it seems, are not up to the smallest detail.

Rebellion Weap-One Diamond Asymmetrical Flying Tourbillon

The sweeping design of the asymmetrical tourbillon was developed by the master Fabrice Gonet. He was known for his participation in the HD3 brand. The carriage on the right makes one revolution horizontally in 1 minute. The gear on the left scrolls the entire assembly in a vertical plane in 2 minutes.

tourbillon: Tourbillon in the Main Watches' Brands Is a Hyped Complication

The hand-wound 3-hertz movement with a 50-hour power reserve was made in collaboration with Concepto. It has been used by the Rebellion brand since 2017. A titanium case measuring 40 x 25 mm houses the movement. The rollers rotating along the edges indicates the hours and minutes.

A unique feature of the Weap-One Diamond model is a tourbillon carriage of artificial diamond, by the Japanese company Adamant Namiki Precision.


A unique specimen last year got the nomination for the Geneva Grand Prix in the category “Exceptional Mechanics”, but did not impress the jury and did not even enter the shortlist of the competition. It is possible that due to the price: it exceeds $1,111,366!

Roger dubuis excalibur twofold

Equipped with two “flying” tourbillons at once, previously, the brand used the skeletonized manufacture movement Caliber RD01SQ with manual winding and a 50-hour power reserve has been

This year’s novelty, released in a series of 8 pieces, features a case made of white mineral composite MCF, 99.95% silica. Diameter – 45 mm, thickness – 15 mm. Other innovations relate to the use of the LumiSuperBiwiNova phosphor: it illuminates the bevels of the movement and the FKM strap.


The Panerai brand also demonstrated something similar on the watchesandwonders.com platform (of course, in models without a tourbillon), which MWR will discuss later. Thus, the cost is no match for Paneraevskaya: Roger Dubuis estimates its product at $276,000 USD.

Speake-Marine One & Two Openworked Flying Tourbillon

The brand that lost its founder (Peter Speake-Marine left the company a couple of years ago) was in a creative crisis for some time, but now it seems to have found a way out of it.

Using an automatic skeletonized movement with a tourbillon, she released watches in cases with a diameter of 38 mm and 42 mm, thickness is 12.35 mm for both versions. The materials can be titanium or rose gold. Each of the references issued 5 copies only.

In particular, for its geometricity, all remembered the movement. The tourbillon carriage is visually opposed to the power reserve wheel (72 hours) between the 1 and 2 o’clock marks, and the winding barrel mounted on a triangular bridge at 10 o’clock is fitted with a micro-rotor of the automatic winding system on the same bridge.


The price of titanium versions is tolerable: about $66,000.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Tourbillon

The venerable Geneva manufactory Vacheron Constantin showed several models with the “king of complications” at once. We chose the ladies’ one for our review. This is the first case for the brand to use an automatic tourbillon movement for a ladies’ watch.

tourbillon: Tourbillon in the Main Watches' Brands Is a Hyped Complication

The 2.5-hertz Caliber 2160 with an 80-hour power reserve, which was first presented two years ago. This itself marked with the “hallmark of Geneva”, is commendably “slim” thanks to the peripheral self-winding rotor: its thickness is 5.65 mm. Therefore, it is the perfect fit for the women’s watch case with a diameter of 39 mm. The is thickness 11.22 mm.


The case is made of pink gold with diamonds on the bezel, sides, and lugs of the strap. This version costs about $ 140,000. The high jewelry version in a white gold case and fully encrusted with diamonds, including baguette-cut diamonds. This gem estimates at almost $200,000 USD.

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