Tag Archives: tourbillon

Zelos Tourbillon Mirage Skeleton: Rare Earth Tech

Zelos have a strong fanbase online and it’s easy to see why; tough, beefy watches with quality components, fantastic dive ability too.

But not every watch has to be a dive model right? Dress watches, everyday chronographs, old school three hand mechanicals, they all have their place. Then there are tourbillons, arguably Breguet’s greatest leap of imagination and skill. Perhaps the greatest technical advance in watchmaking from the 1780s to the mass production line techniques and toolmaking strategy at Waltham in the 1860s.

Here’s the latest from Zelos and it’s kinda different. Expensive too, but when you check the spec you’ll understand that Zelos are raising their game to the Swiss level here.

The sequel to last year’s Mirage Tourbillon, the 8 days skeleton is a showcase of engineering and design. A custom skeletonised, twin barrel movement powers the Mirage 8 day. This movement is supplied by La Joux-Perret, a prestigious movement manufacturer located in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

OK so they merged titanium with another metal called zirconium which creates a unique case design. Sapphire crystal of course, both sides, with the movement from La Joux Perret skeletonised on the dial plate. It’s a twin barrel 8-day tourbillon and you have to say there are very few watches using the LJP movements, so it has a real exclusivity, as this type of watch engine is usually seen on an Arnold & Son, Angelus, Hublot or Armin Strom perhaps.

The turbine effect on both barrels adds a jet age era feel and the dial has that carbon-fibre racing car dashboard feel too. It isn’t a throwback tourbillon which has elements of mantel clocks and fancy poker style hands. There are a range of colours and each option is limited to 25 pieces.

Yes, you would hesitate before spending $4000 on a Zelos. You could lose $2000 of that value in a  few years, or it might just hold about 70% of its retail price. It would be safer to buy a Tudor Black Bay for £3300 or so and watch the value creep upwards. Yeah, it is a safer choice, also you’re running with the herd to an extent.

Bottom line; you love technology and rarity? Buy one because you can dare to be different. And afford it.

More here at the Zelos website.

TAG Carrera Tourbillon, With That Titanium Edge

TAG Heuer’s Carrera is an ever popular model and who wouldn’t like a deep blue tourbillon version? The limited edition is just 250 pieces and the watch also features a titanium bracelet. Inside it is a COSC rated, TAG in-house movement, and on the reverse there is a see-thru caseback with a stunning skeleton rotor on the automatic movement to catch the eye. Beautiful pushers too, we love the details on this beefy 45mm watch, which if you have a larger wrist is arguably the perfect case diameter.

For the first time, the Carrera Heuer 02T has a full dial with a blue sunray design creating the most beautiful effect, says TAG. Even the ceramic tachymetric bezel is finished in this cerulean blue with hypnotising reflections. The oscillating mass has been given a PVD coating so as not to be out of place in this azure composition.

Fitted with a 45 mm grade 5 titanium case, this chronograph has another surprise in store. Previously sporting alligator straps sewn on black rubber, or even just soft rubber, it dares to make the switch to this new model with a grade 2 titanium bracelet. That is a first! In addition to its lightness, this
material gives this Carrera Heuer 02T timepiece a sporty yet elegant look. This exceptional watch is priced at 20,500 Swiss francs. (approx £17,400)

More info here at the TAG website.

Omega Tourbillon is Old School Watchmaking Writ Large

The latest from Omega; a truly unique tourbillon that’s hand-crafted and ultra resistant to magnetism. Why does that matter? Well mechanical and automatic watches can be affected by magnetic fields and we are increasingly surrounded by them. From computers to modern cars, smartwatches to smart fridges, almost every device emits a magnetic field because everything is becoming more connected.

This watch also offers genuine handmade build quality, which is rare in age of robot systems and mass produced parts production, sourced from global supply chains. Does that matter to you? Well it should if you truly value old fashioned watchmaking becuase when it’s gone, and the watchmakers retire, all we will have left are friendly Google and Tesla robots. So yeah, good luck in Westworld everyone.

Here’s the press kit info from Omega;

Throughout OMEGA’s iconic history, the renowned Swiss watchmaker has earned a special reputation for its advancements in the art of Tourbillon craftsmanship. Today, the next chapter in the story is unveiled, through the release of the new De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition.

The exceptional timepiece is OMEGA’s first ever Master Chronometer certified manual-winding central Tourbillon. Not only does this certification assure the Swiss industry’s highest standard of precision and performance, but it also serves as a testament to OMEGA’s expert watchmakers, who have crafted a tourbillon cage that is able to keep rotating even under a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss. The skilled watchmakers also set the Tourbillon’s speed to one revolution per minute allowing the display of seconds, which is essential for achieving certification. Two extraordinary feats in Tourbillon creation!

Watch the promo video here;

Customers can view the impressive OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 2640 through the sapphire crystal caseback, and also note its 3-day power reserve indicator. To add luxurious beauty, the bridges and mainplate are made from 18K Sedna™ gold, and have been hand-bevelled for a decorative finish.

Beyond the superb accuracy is the design, which incorporates the brand’s watchmaking expertise and advanced materials, including two precious alloys made famous by OMEGA. Presented on a black leather strap, the 43.00 mm central casebody, buckle logo and crown logo are made from 18K Canopus™ gold – an exclusive white gold alloy, distinctive for its high brilliance, whiteness and longevity. Meanwhile, the lugs, bezel and caseback of the watch are formed in 18K Sedna™ gold – OMEGA’s own fiery rose gold alloy.

Omega de ville tourbillon movement

The sun-brushed dial is also in 18K Sedna™ gold, but has been given a captivating dark shade, thanks to its black PVD treatment. Also unmistakable at the centre of the dial is the tourbillon cage with hand polished bevels in black ceramised titanium. This ingenious device drives the movements of the unique and mysterious hands, which give the timepiece its incomparable OMEGA style.

Each timepiece has been handcrafted by a select group of horologists at OMEGA’s Atelier Tourbillon, taking around an entire month of dedicated work to complete.

This latest industry-changing wristwatch is the next major accomplishment in OMEGA’s Tourbillon history. Other historical highlights include the first-ever wristwatch Tourbillon calibre, which was created by OMEGA in 1947 and entered into the precision competitions at three major European Observatories. These calibres obtained excellent results, even setting a record in Geneva in 1950. Almost 50 years later, in 1994, OMEGA introduced the first self-winding Central Tourbillon wristwatch, with the Tourbillon carriage positioned in the middle of the watch. A decade later, in 2004, OMEGA would produce the first Tourbillon wristwatch to be Chronometer certified.

The new De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition comes with OMEGA’s full 5-year warranty, and is delivered in a special box with a travel pouch and watch crown winder. There is also a certificate that mentions the specific number of each watch.

TAG Shows Covid-19 Support With Carrera Tourbillon Charity Auction

The latest from TAG Heuer, who are raising money for the WHO Covid-19 relief fund, with this one-of-a-kind Carrera Tourbillon edition.

Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer presents a special edition of its iconic COSC-certified tourbillon chronograph Carrera to be auctioned as part of the “ODD BALLS Charity Auction” imagined and led by founder of Revolution, Wei Koh. The unique piece will join other watches and artworks in the digital fundraiser mid-June. The totality of the proceeds will be donated to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

TAG Heuer is leveraging its watchmaking expertise to give a generous watch enthusiast the opportunity to directly contribute to the global efforts in fighting the pandemic. This unique piece of horological excellence will forever be a meaningful tribute to the world’s strength, resilience and solidarity in these difficult times. The one-of-a-kind design will be presented in the one-week online auction hosted on a Giverny platform for Revolution (#bidonourballs). The buyer will be invited to TAG Heuer’s Swiss manufacture in the Fall to meet the watchmakers who worked on their watch and receive it, complete with a personalized engraving. They will also be hosted by the brand for an exclusive experience at an iconic motor-racing event in 2021.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, all of us at TAG Heuer have been deeply touched by the heroic efforts displayed daily and with such grace by those at the forefront of this crisis, working tirelessly to keep us safe. Although the threat seems to be subsiding in many countries, the fight is not over and the mid- to long-term consequences will be severe. We’re gladly contributing this exclusive piece which expresses our admiration and gratitude, via the ODD BALLS Charity Auction, to the WHO programs worldwide which will directly aid the people in need. On behalf of the teams at TAG Heuer we thank you for all for your courage, we stand with you, and know that we will come out of these trying times stronger and more united than ever” says Stéphane Bianchi, CEO of the LVMH Watchmaking Division and CEO of TAG Heuer.

TAG Heuer connected golf watch dial maps

About the COVID-19 Response Fund

The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading and coordinating the global effort with a range of partners, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. Donations support WHO’s work, including with partners, to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need, and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them.

More detailed information available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/donate. To make a direct donation please visit https://covid19responsefund.org/.

About the Carrera Chronograph Calibre Heuer 02 Tourbillon “ODD BALLS” Edition

The Carrera Chronograph Calibre Heuer 02 Tourbillon is a striking wrist-worn work of art in a 45-mm black sandblasted ceramic case with a fixed black matte ceramic tachymeter scale bezel, black PVD steel pushers, crown and sapphire case back, on a black leather-on-rubber alligator strap. The avant-garde black opalin skeletonized dial design, with rhodium-plated chronograph subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock, features an exclusive variation of the TAG Heuer shield logo, inverted to represent the #StayHome spirit in the form of a house. The applied indexes and the hour and minute hands are polished and satin-finished, then lined with Super-LumiNova®. The black flying tourbillon beats subtly within the latticework dial at 6 o’clock. Around the open case back, a special engraving including the name of the donator and “REVOLUTION – COVID-19 SOLIDARITY AUCTION – UNIQUE PIECE” recognizes the extraordinary circumstances which led to the creation of this special edition.

The COSC-certified Calibre Heuer 02T in-house movement features a black column wheel and a carbon tourbillon upper cage, it beats at 28’800 A/h (4 Hz) and has a power reserve of at least 65 hours.

The special edition TAG Heuer Carrera marries bold design and Haute Horlogerie technical prowess, infused with an emotional message of courage and hope that will accompany the wearer of this exclusive piece for a lifetime.

H. Moser & MB&F Team Up on a Technical Tour-de-Force

Here’s the word from H Moser, who have created something kinda mind blowing in partnership with MB&F. A cylinder shaped tourbillon is a real masterpiece of engineering in miniature – hypnotic we think;

H. Moser & Cie. has borrowed from MB&F the concept of three-dimensional movements, a strong element of the Geneva Maison’s identity, protected by a sapphire dome and featuring a one-minute flying tourbillon that rises above the main dial through a ventricular opening appearing at 12 o’clock.

Benefiting from the expertise of its sister company Precision Engineering AG, H. Moser & Cie. has equipped its tourbillon with a cylindrical balance spring, the same as that developed by Precision Engineering AG for MB&F’s LM Thunderdome. Invented in the 18th century, the cylindrical balance spring is reminiscent of a worm- or corkscrew, rising perpendicularly around the upper rod of the balance staff. Commonly used in historical marine chronometers at the time, it offers the advantage of developing concentrically, and therefore geometrically, since it works perfectly along the axis of its pivots.

This gives it a significant advantage over the flat balance spring, whose opposite ends tend to exert forces on the pivots, despite the Philips or Breguet terminal curves which were specifically developed to partially correct the non-concentric opening of the balance spring.

Fitted with a Breguet overcoil at both attachment points, the cylindrical balance spring reduces pivot friction and greatly improves isochronism. Due to its specific shape, the cylindrical balance spring is far more difficult to produce and takes ten times longer to make than a traditional balance spring.

HMoser-MBF_Lifestyle Endeavour

Another reference to MB&F’s identity lies in the tilted dials, which H. Moser & Cie. has adopted for its hour and minute subdial. This is inclined at 40° so that the owner of the watch is the only one to whom it reveals the secret of time, and mounted on a conical gear train ensuring optimal torque transmission from one plane to the other. As Edouard Meylan explains:

“We have Moserized the MB&F universe by developing a sapphire subdial, which melts into the background so as to highlight the beauty of our fumé dials. And to preserve the purity and elegance of this true work of horological art, we have inscribed our logo like a watermark on the sapphire subdial, thereby underlining the personal character and intimate relationship binding it to its owner”.

Available in five different versions, the Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser x MB&F model comes in a steel case topped by Funky Blue, Cosmic Green, Burgundy, Off-White or Ice Blue dials, all of the fumé variety.

Richard Mille Re-Invents The Pocket Watch

Luxury watchmaker Richard Mille has given the old school pocket watch a modern twist, with a tourbillon movement inside a square case, attached to a keychain. It’s a high quality bespoke piece as you’d expect, with carbon fibre and titanium all over the shop.

Inside is the RM20 movement and on the dial you’ll see a kind of gearbox indicator which lets you know when you’re in the winding position, or hands setting mode. Interesting detail; it runs at quite a low 21,000vph speed, so should have long term reliability, as in a lifetime of service.

Here’s a little bit of tech detail from the RM website;

The RM 020, the only pocket watch in the Richard Mille collection, has a unique, slightly rectangular case housing its exceptional 10-day tourbillon movement, with the two bezels curving outwards in two directions. The creation of a case like this, including the front and back sapphire glass which offers an open view of all parts, is a veritable tour-de-force of Swiss casemaking in haute horlogerie. The case is assembled with 16 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion-resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.

rm pocket watch

Here’s the tech specs from RM;

Movement dimensions: 42.20 x 42.20 mm
Thickness: 8.40 mm
Tourbillon diameter: 12.30 mm
Number of jewels: 28, set in white gold chatons
Balance wheel diameter: 9.12 mm
Balance: Glucydur®, 2 arms, 4 setting screws, moment of inertia 10 mg•cm2, angle of lift 53°
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Balance spring: elinvar by Nivarox®
Shock protection: KIF Elastor KE 160 B28
Barrel shaft: nickel-free Chronifer® (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics: stainless – antimagnetic – suitable for tempering

We cannot see any clues as to the UK price on the RM website,but let’s take a guess at about £70,000. Reassuringly expensive.