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What is a tourbillon? Full explanation of tourbillon technology

12 Apr 2021

The tourbillon technology was successfully invented by the Swiss watchmaker Louis Breguet in 1795. This invention marked another huge advancement in the manufacturing process of the watch industry. The tourbillon was first used in pocket watches because of pocket watches. Hanging on the neck or putting it in a pocket for a long time will be disturbed by gravity, which will affect the swing speed of the balance wheel and cause errors. The invention of the tourbillon successfully solved this problem.

The working principle of the tourbillon The annual error is less than one second

The principle of the tourbillon is basically to design the balance spring, fork lever and escapement system to operate on the same axis. The tourbillon will continue to rotate when it is running to reduce the influence of gravity. In this way, the influence of gravity on the swing of the balance wheel is solved, and the accuracy of the travel time is increased. The accuracy of the travel time of the tourbillon can reach an annual error of less than one second. Tourbillon development history

A. The first structure-Tourbillon (Breguet style)

The first generation of tourbillon was the inventor of the tourbillon technology, the Swiss watchmaker Louis Breguet, who successfully researched and invented it. At that time, the invention was mainly used in pocket watches. After evolution, it gradually divided into two types. Coaxial type on the same axis. The second type is the eccentric type in which the center of the balance wheel and the center of the flywheel are not on the same axis, which is also called non-coaxial type. Click to see a detailed explanation of what is a Breguet tourbillon

B. The second structure—Flying Tourbillon (floating type)

After Louis Breguet invented the tourbillon technology, no one has been able to shake or break through his top craftsmanship in the history of the watch industry for more than 100 years. It was not until 1927 that a German watchmaker Alferd Helwig successfully manufactured it without a flywheel. The "fixed bracket" tourbillon pocket watch enhances the mystery and dynamic artistic beauty of this watch during operation. In this combination, the "balance bridge" still has to rotate with the flywheel. This second-generation tourbillon watch also has two types: coaxial and eccentric. Click to see a detailed explanation of what is a floating tourbillon

C. The third structure—Mystery Tourbillon

It is very proud to mention the third tourbillon structure editor, because the third-generation tourbillon technology was invented and successfully produced by our Chinese watchmaker Jiao Dayu in 1993 at "Tianyi Xuan" in Hong Kong. Compared with the previous two generations, the improvement of this generation of tourbillon is the elimination of the "flywheel fixing bracket" and the "flywheel rotating frame" that is essential in the first and second generations, and the material of the "balance bridge" is changed from the original metal material. It is made of sapphire glass and does not rotate with the flywheel. This improvement not only reduces the weight of the flywheel but also increases the stability of timekeeping.

D. Double tourbillon

With the development of watch technology, watch manufacturers make their watches more and more exquisite. Tourbillon technology also has a breakthrough from the original single tourbillon to the double tourbillon. The Chinese watches "Beijing" and "Seagull" also have the ability to make double tourbillons. This is really something to celebrate. Tourbillon technology competitor Caruso

After the invention of the tourbillon technology in 99 years, the watch industry finally had another big breakthrough, which was the invention of the "Carruss" watch technology similar to the tourbillon technology. The Blancpain One Minute Co-Axial Carrussell watch is hailed as a great masterpiece that surpasses the tourbillon. It is a great event with milestone significance in the history of the world watch. After that, it was made into the only contemporary watch in the Palace Museum's collection. Click to see what is the difference between tourbillon and carussell

Tourbillon origin introduction

The invention of the tourbillon originated in "Switzerland, the country of clocks". Most of the craftsmanship were handmade, and in the early days were made by top Swiss watch manufacturers. The ability to produce this kind of watch is a demonstration of the technical strength of a manufacturer. In recent years, many watch factories in my country, such as Seagull and Shanghai, have successfully developed tourbillon movements on their own, leading to the emergence of civilian tourbillon watches.

Price positioning of tourbillon

Since the tourbillon is one of the three most complex watchmaking technologies in the watchmaking industry, it represents the top level of watchmaking craftsmanship. Therefore, as long as the watch with the word tourbillon is worth doubled, the entry-level prices of foreign brands are now more than 200,000, and the slightly better ones are millions. And our domestically produced ones are much cheaper, and the cheapest ones are only a few thousand yuan.

Tourbillon maintenance

Since the invention of the tourbillon technology, whether to be able to make a tourbillon watch seems to be the standard to test the strength of a watch manufacturer. In the history of the invention of the tourbillon for more than 200 years so far, our watch house has a tourbillon function. There are only 708 models of watches, so it is an amazing technology to be able to repair and maintain the tourbillon. Click to view tourbillon repair and maintenance technology

Tourbillon, minute repeater, and perpetual calendar are known as the three most complex production processes in the watch industry. Watches using these three technologies are bought and collected by a wide range of watch enthusiasts.

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