Watchmaking is a wonderful thing, a small machine contains great power. In mechanical watchmaking, the tourbillon device has attracted everyone’s attention, and the rotating machinery can’t help but be fascinated. Tourbillon device, as one of the three traditional complex functions in the watchmaking world, there are not many brands that can make tourbillons. Even though the practical functions of tourbillons are no longer necessary nowadays, its mechanical beauty is still invincible. .
How was the tourbillon born? Its appearance is due to Abraham-Louis Breguet. In 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet obtained a patent granted by an official institution with a validity period of ten years. This patented invention was the tourbillon. The tourbillon solved the problem that plagued the industry at that time, that is, gravity easily caused errors in pocket watch travel time. Abraham-Louis Breguet placed the entire balance wheel and escapement in the same cage, rotating once a minute, so that the negative effects of gravity on the clock at different positions can be offset by each other.
BLAST skeleton tourbillon watch from Ulysse Nardin
The tourbillon device has affected the entire watchmaking world, and its status is still unshakable to this day. The flying tourbillon and planetary tourbillon afterwards are also based on the traditional frame-type tourbillon.
Nautical Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel Tourbillon Watch from Ulysse Nardin
Nowadays, brands like Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ulysse Nardin, etc. have tourbillon watches, but we can clearly find that each brand has different interpretations of the tourbillon, from the component materials , Styling, and complexity are all where watchmakers break their limits. Today, we will take the Athens watch as an example to see how it interprets the tourbillon.
Tourbillon & anchor constant escapement
To be clear, most of the tourbillons of Athens Watch are flying tourbillons. The difference between the flying tourbillon and the traditional tourbillon is that the single-arm support structure of the upper splint is removed, the tourbillon is no longer blocked by the bridge, and the mechanical operation posture of the tourbillon can be seen more clearly.
BLAST skeleton tourbillon watch
Now we see the Ulysse Nardin BLAST skeleton tourbillon, the nautical series Grand Feu enamel tourbillon watch, the wheel of freedom, etc. The flying tourbillon on these watches has one characteristic, that is, it uses an anchor constant Swing escapement.
The anchor escapement was launched by Ulysse Nardin at the 2014 Basel Watch Exhibition. Ulysse Nardin wanted to achieve more accurate travel time and reduce mechanical friction and wear. Precision is what watchmakers have been pursuing during the development of timepieces. Whether it is a tourbillon or a Sesame chain, it is the continuous improvement of the precision of the watch.
Anchor constant escapement
The anchor escapement is, in the final analysis, the development and application of Ulysse Nardin on silicon. Ulysse Nardin has cancelled the pallet shaft, stop nails, double discs and other parts, replaced it with a round silicon frame, fixed the pallet on it, and then used the excellent elasticity of silicon to drive the escapement device. , Its basic principle and the principle of lever escapement, Sesame Chain also applies the principle of lever escapement, if the accuracy of the two can be compared. In the second year, in 2015, Athens Watch released its first anchor tourbillon watch, from concept to real object to mass production. Since then, the anchor escapement tourbillon has almost become the standard of the Athens tourbillon watch. match.
Everyone can observe, through the tourbillon device of Ulysse Nardin, we can see the silicon frame.
Left Navigation Series Navigator Grand Feu Enamel Tourbillon Watch Right BLAST Skeleton Tourbillon Watch
Among the tourbillon watches of Ulysse Nardin Watch, there are tourbillon watches like the nautical series, which are more gentle and classic, and there are also BLAST hollow tourbillons with even more bursting visual effects.
BLAST hollow tourbillon
In addition to the anchored constant escapement of the BLAST hollow tourbillon we mentioned above, Ulysse Nardin is also making a fuss on the balance wheel. The tone of the balance wheel is consistent with the overall tone of the watch. The black version is also introduced for the first time. Color balance wheel.
The BLAST hollow tourbillon can be so cool visually, in addition to the flying tourbillon, it has a lot to do with the hollow design and the change of the case.
The wheel of freedom is inside the tourbillon watch of the Athens watch. What impresses me most is that the BLAST hollow tourbillon takes the route of bursting and rough, so the wheel of freedom is delicate and ingenious.
Liberty Wheel Aventurine Watch
It actually uses an anchor escapement tourbillon. The tourbillon device is located at 6 o’clock. The most rare part of this watch lies in its creativity. The entire tourbillon is “naked” on the front of the watch without any obstruction. , The bridge of the tourbillon and the power reserve at 4 o’clock are all made like a boomerang, making the whole look more harmonious.
Freak Diavolo Dark Lord watch
Speaking of the tourbillon of Ulysse Nardin, that whimsical series has to be said. The Freak Diavolo Black Devil watch in the fantasy of Athens Watch. This watch is essentially Carruss, but it is equipped with a tourbillon on Carrossell, so we can find that the tourbillon device can go around the center of the dial when it is running. In operation, the Freak Diavolo watch at this time uses a silicon escapement. Equipped with a flying tourbillon with a second display to replace the commonly used oscillator, as well as two new ball bearing systems and a balance wheel, this watch has extremely high accuracy.
Not just a tourbillon
Of course, if the tourbillon is only equipped in the watch, this is obviously not enough, so in the Athens watch, you can see the watchmaker in order to demonstrate the strength of the same watch equipped with more complicated functions.
The new nautical series Mega Yacht pilot watch
For example, for example, the nautical series Mega Yacht pilot watch just released a while ago, or the 2019 nautical series Mega Yacht pilot watch (the difference between the two watches is the color of the Grand Feu enamel on the disc, a Is black, one is blue). In addition to the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, this watch is also equipped with a three-dimensional moon phase display, tide display, as well as a miniature windlass with the charm of a luxury yacht and a power reserve displayed by the lift of the anchor.
Although it is not the most complicated watch in the watchmaking world, it is definitely one of the most interesting and playful complicated watches. In order to cater to the nautical theme, Ulysse Nardin also made the bridge of the tourbillon into a propeller shape.
Genghis Khan Tourbillon Four Hammer Minute Repeater
Ulysse Nardin also has a watch equipped with a tourbillon, which is very famous, that is the Genghis Khan Tourbillon Four Hammer Minute Repeater. This watch integrates three super complex functions: moving dolls, four hammers and three repeaters, and tourbillon mechanism, and it has become a legendary watch in the watchmaking world.
The tourbillon of this watch is very beautiful. The bridge of the tourbillon has the same shape as the one made by James Pellaton for the Athens watch in the twentieth century. It has smooth curved lines. The center stone is a sapphire instead of the usual ruby.
Let’s look at two other complications. The movable doll is the first function adopted by the San Marco movable doll minute repeater watch launched by Ulysse Nardin in 1989. It is the first for the watchmaking industry. The doll on the dial can follow the questions. Watch the time for activities. Four hammers and three-questions, also known as “Westminster” three-questions, are more difficult than the traditional three-question function. It can knock out four different scales: Mi, Do, Re, So.
A friend asked me why the tourbillon has lost its original functionality to a certain extent, and it is still enshrined by us “above the altar” in the watchmaking world? If we have to be obsessed with this issue, then the complex functions of the watchmaking world will fall into such a situation. We cannot look at history with the current eyes. We need dialectical thinking. We are fascinated by the tourbillon because we can see the past, see the progress, and see the endless hope from the tourbillon. It should not be limited to the so-called “functionality”, it is a miracle of the times, and it will continue to create miracles of watches.