The beauty of the luxury watch space is that is room for just about any type of timepiece. From the understated ultra-slim dress watch to the outrageous high complication piece, watch brands today are looking to cater to all walks of watch enthusiasts. While the benefit of a tourbillon to a wristwatch’s accuracy is still up for debate, what is not disputed is the expertise, investment, and time required to craft these ultra-complex mechanisms worthy to spin away inside a topnotch timepiece. Buckle up as we roll through some crazy tourbillon watches that flaunt mechanical mastery and powerful designs.
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days Blue Sapphire
Hublot certainly does not shy away from producing statement-making watches, proudly combining complex in-house movements, innovative materials, and striking styles. One particular case material that the Swiss watchmaker has focused heavily on in recent years is sapphire—and not just transparent executions either but in vibrant colorways too. New to the Hublot catalog for 2019 is the limited edition (30 pieces) Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days Blue Sapphire, sporting a massive 45mm polished blue sapphire crystal topped with a matching bezel punctuated with the customary exposed screws. Housed inside the watch is the manual-winding HUB60616 movement, clearly visible through the sapphire dial and caseback, featuring a five-day power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and a skeleton tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
Richard Mille RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm
Not only is the freshly released RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm Richard Mille’s most complicated watch to date but it is also the first alarm watch ever made to use vibrations rather than audible signals. Collaborating with Airbus Corporate Jets, the external design of the RM 62-01 includes a crown inspired by a jet turbine, pushers that mimic an aircraft pylon, a sapphire crystal shaped like a plane window, and a case (42mm) finishing fashioned after the dark wood paneling of custom cabins. Richard Mille’s newest grand complication watch features a tourbillon at 9, a green-handed UTC indicator for a second time zone at center, an oversized date window at 12, a power reserve indicator at 11, and a two-handed alarm subdial at 5 complete with an on/off display inside and an AM/PM indicator adjacent to it.
Zenith Defy El Primero Double Tourbillon
What’s better than one tourbillon? According to Zenith, two of them paired with a 1/100th of a second chronograph complication, as illustrated by the Defy El Primero Double Tourbillon introduced at Baselworld 2019. One tourbillon escapement serves the timekeeping train and the other keeps the chronograph in check. Particularly intriguing is that the first tourbillon oscillates at the typical one rotation per minute speed, while the one reserved for the chronograph makes a full rotation in a swift five seconds! Couple that with the central chronograph hand that sweeps around the dial in one second and you’re presented with an incredibly dynamic open-worked dial with so many fast-moving parts that it’s tough to take your eyes off it. What’s more, with a 46mm case craft in black carbon (limited to 50 pieces) and a blue rubber strap, this Zenith watch has massive wrist presence to match its boundary-pushing technical innovation.
Greubel Forsey Art Piece Edition Historique
No stranger to tourbillon watches, Greubel Forsey often places the “whirlwind” mechanism at the forefront of their fascinating timepieces. The latest Art Piece Edition Historique, limited to 33 pieces (11 in platinum), includes Greubel Forsey’s famed double tourbillon inclined at 30°, which sits on a vibrant blue main plate on the deepest section of the multidimensional dial to emphasize the mechanical splendor of the whirling regulator. The hours and jumping minutes are displayed on a concentric subdial permeated with brand affirmations accompanied by a running seconds register on the same blue plane of the double tourbillon. Shielding the stepped dial is a massive domed sapphire crystal affixed to an oversized 44mm case.