Should you get a tourbillon?

Should you get a tourbillon?

If you are already familiar with tourbillon watches, then you are probably aware of their great appeal. However, if you are not well-versed in the subject, you might have a few lingering questions about  what exactly a tourbillon is, why so many watchmakers in the luxury market insist that it's something worth desiring, and why these watches carry such hefty price tags. This article aims to provide insight into the main qualities that make a tourbillon watch so unique and prized within the industry.

This is a watch from Tufina's Pionier collection, Geneva Tourbillon GM-902-7 - an automatic co-axial tourbillon with an open heart window, blue dial, real leather band and sapphire crystal lens.

Tufina Pionier Geneva Tourbillon GM-902-7.

The Invention of the Tourbillon

More than two centuries ago, in 1801, the tourbillon was patented for the first time.  Abraham-Louis Breguet, considered the father of modern mechanical watchmaking, recognized the impact of gravity on pocket watches' balance wheel and took action to solve it. Beginning his work on a prototype in 1795, he successfully obtained a functional patent for what we now refer to as the tourbillon after six years.

The concept is quite straightforward, even though the implementation is intricate. In timepieces, the movement of the second hand relies on a lever that repeatedly engages and disengages with the escape wheel. Consequently, the speed of this mechanism is controlled by the rotation of the balance wheel. This process can be likened to how a grandfather clock's pendulum swings but on a smaller scale.

Pocket watches faced a challenge because they remained in a pocket throughout the day, causing the balance wheel to be upright. This upright position caused gravity to impact the balance wheel's oscillation over time, leading to inaccuracies within 24 hours. The significance of the tourbillon lies in its ingenuity and its ability to showcase watchmaking expertise with elegance. While wristwatches no longer require tourbillons for their original purpose, modern versions still uphold this level of sophistication. Crafting tourbillon watches demands meticulous attention to detail, making them exclusive luxury items with only a limited production of several thousand pieces each year.

Crafting a tourbillon is a complex endeavor due to various factors. Horologists strive to create a lightweight cage for the mechanism, which necessitates meticulous assembly by hand using numerous small components. 

The significance of the tourbillon lies in its ingenious invention and skillful representation of watchmaking prowess. Although the original purpose of the tourbillon is obsolete in wristwatches, modern iterations still exude elegance and sophistication. The intricate craftsmanship involved in producing these timepieces elevates them to the status of exclusive luxury items, with only a limited production run of several thousand pieces per year.

This is a watch from Tufina's Theorema collection, Zurich Tourbillon GM-901-2 - a mechanical multi-function tourbillon with a skeleton dial, dual-time function, sun and moon phase compilation and real leather band.

Tufina Theorema Zurich Tourbillon GM-901-2.

Tourbillon Benefits in a Nutshell

First and foremost, the value of these watches cannot be overstated. The intricate task of constructing tiny moving components within a small enclosure is an immense challenge for watchmakers. As a result, these timepieces are a testament to exceptional craftsmanship.

Additionally, tourbillon watches offer a unique feature within the realm of mechanical watches. While  automatic  and  quartz  models often steal the spotlight, there is an increased desire for timepieces with  mechanical movements. This can be attributed to the rarity of tourbillon watches, which greatly appeals to watch enthusiasts.

Lastly, it is virtually impossible to match the aesthetic appeal of tourbillon watches. The allure lies in the captivating display of complex mechanisms on an exposed dial – something that no true watch lover can resist.

This is a watch from Tufina's Pionier collection, Geneva Tourbillon GM-902-10 - an automatic co-axial tourbillon with a blue dial, open heart window, leaf hands, real blue leather band.

Tufina Pionier Geneva Tourbillon GM-902-10.

Why do people pay millions?

Considered by numerous experts and enthusiasts as the most challenging mechanism ever crafted within a timepiece, the tourbillon is renowned for its intricate complexity. In fact, it is commonly regarded as the most intricate complication imaginable. Such is its level of intricacy that numerous owners choose not to wear their tourbillon watches, fearing that they may inadvertently damage this delicate mechanism. Consequently, only a select few tourbillons have ever been created. These extraordinary creations have become an indispensable element in many high-end timepieces and are virtually essential in million-dollar watches renowned for their unrivaled elegance and sophistication.

Tourbillons serve as a celebration of extravagant, uninhibited, and unapologetic beauty. Observing a tourbillon in action is akin to appreciating a work of art. One becomes completely absorbed in the moment and experiences an overwhelming sense of presence. Moreover, tourbillons remind us that not everything in life needs to have a practical purpose or make logical sense. This imparts almost a spiritual quality to the timepiece.

Luxury is a captivating concept, and one aspect that adds to its allure is the element of difficulty. Although not fully comprehended, there are signs and theories suggesting that difficulty plays a significant role in driving the value of luxury. Essentially, the more challenging something is, the more it holds value for individuals. This taps into our innermost motivations by allowing us to demonstrate our ability to conquer difficult tasks, nurture delicate things, and possess sufficient expertise to appreciate them.

The tourbillon represents all of these qualities. While it may not serve any practical purpose, it is a work of art that only a select few can own and is undeniably captivating. It serves as the ultimate source of inspiration, showcasing the mastery of complexity and pushing human abilities to their limits. Ultimately, it holds immense value, with prices reaching several million dollars to reflect its worth.

Our Tourbillon Recommendations

This is a watch from Tufina's Pionier collection, Basel Tourbillon GM-903-1 - a mechanical dual-time tourbillon with an open heart display, white dial, sapphire crystal lens, real white leather band.

Tufina Pionier Basel Tourbillon GM-903-1.

Tufina Pionier Basel Tourbillon 

For a classic look choose this timeless tourbillon watch. This timepiece matches the exclusivity of a tourbillon wristwatch with mechanical mastery. The manually wound tourbillon offers a dual-time GMT function and sun and moon phase compilation. At 3 a’clock a nice onion crown which makes for an easy grab, and it complements the case very nicely. The case is all highly polished and rest assured there are no sharp ages anywhere. It’s so smooth on the wrist. The dial has a two tone pattern and is adorned with the elegant Breguet Arabic numerals.

The face of the  Basel Pionier Tourbillon  is quite attractive to the naked eye. The hands are very fine spade hands and they got a little flashing of loom on them. We aim to provide an elegant charm mixed with functionality and durability. At 288000 VPH it is a high beat movement which will give you a better accuracy along with a decent tick. Thus, this chic wristwatch is made with high-grade stainless steel and a sapphire crystal lens. 

This is a watch from Tufina's Pionier collection, Geneva Tourbillon GM-902-10 - an automatic co-axial tourbillon with a blue dial, open heart display, leaf hands, genuine brown leather band.

Tufina Pionier Geneva Tourbillon GM-902-7.

Tufina Pionier Geneva Tourbillon

Considered a rare and highly-sought after mechanical timepiece, the  Tufina Pionier Geneva Tourbillon  brings luxury up a notch with 12 white diamonds adorning its indices. The co-axial automatic real tourbillon movement can be seen through the open caseback which lets you see the skeletonized movement letting you make out all working parts from the exposed spring barrel through the train of wheels right up to the tourbillon cage. Adding to the notion of sophistication that defies tourbillon watches. The open heart window delivers an amazing visual show, exposing the automatic co-axial mechanism in a subtle and yet mesmerizing way.

It is a very dressy timepiece and very fascinating to look at since you are constantly staring at the tourbillon going round and round. 10 out of 10 for visual aesthetics. The watch is paired with a sapphire crystal lens and a genuine leather band. The timegrapher does not disappoint as well, showing a decent rate and amplitude for both dial up and dial down positions in a straight line with all numbers consistent and fantastic accuracy.

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