The ladies’ tourbillon is a sign that watch companies have begun to take the female aficionado very seriously, acknowledging a high level of taste and technical knowledge. There have always been diamond watches for women and plenty of astounding feats of decorative craftsmanship, from feather-set rotors to straw marquetry dials. The tourbillon, however, is the ultimate complication, and its introduction in several ladies’ models is a sign that watchmaking for women has become a serious endeavor. Because it is naturally combined with gemsetting and other high finishes, the ladies’ tourbillon is set to redefine the parameters for the ultimate luxury timepiece.
Richard Mille RM 26-01 Panda Tourbillon, with a baseplate machined from black onyx, a chalcedony quartz that is said to absorb negative energy. The 18k white gold panda is integrated into the tourbillon and is entirely set with diamonds and black sapphires. It sits in its natural habitat, a bamboo forest, featuring leaves and bark hand-sculpted from yellow gold and painted by hand.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Monogram Tourbillon, with a movement designed by La Fabrique du Temps specifically for this watch. A micro-rotor is strategically placed at the 12 o’clock position, allowing an unobstructed view of the tourbillon cage from both front and back. The design of the cage and bridge represent the petals of the Louis Vuitton floral motif (called the Lozine). Together, they show the full flower once every minute when the rotating tourbillon cage aligns crossways with the bridge.
Ulysse Nardin Royal Ruby Tourbillon, with a bridge and mainplate made of synthetic ruby, serving as a window through which to view the movement. The inner bezel is set with 12 rubies to mark the hours, surrounded by 48 diamonds. Another 69 diamonds are set into the outer bezel, and 92 more illuminate the case, for a total of 3.27 carats. The case is platinum. It’s a limited edition of 99 pieces.
De Grisogono Tondo Tourbillon, with a manual-wound tourbillon made by Concepto, positioned off-center at 8 o’clock. There are three versions: one in white gold with 33 white diamonds totaling just under 8 carats and a white galuchat strap; a PVD brown version with 7.83 carats of brown diamonds, a bezel set with white diamonds and a brown galuchat strap; and another with 4.44 carats of black diamonds on the case and 3.52 white diamonds on the bezel, and black galuchat strap.
The Chanel Première Flying Tourbillon takes diamond setting beyond the bezel to components. The 18k gold hands are set with 15 brilliant-cut diamonds. The tourbillon is set with 19 brilliant-cut diamonds and the 18k gold crown is set with 16 baguette-cut diamonds and 11 brilliant-cut diamonds. There are another 47 baguette cut diamonds in the case, totaling 3 carats, and 38 baguette diamonds in the bezel and 52 brilliant cuts on the side of the bezel. The grand total is 7.7 carats.