connect with the hour glass
Tourbillon-based mechanical watches represent the intersection of horological functionality and artistic technique. Investing in a timepiece with a tourbillon is as much about celebrating the craft of the watchmaker as much as it is about showing off the wearer’s penchant for design and quality. What separates tourbillons produced by independent watchmakers (versus more “big brand” names) is more often than not the application of unique aesthetics, a higher level of prestige & exclusivity, as well as a much closer connection to the personalities of the watchmakers themselves.
MB&F HM6 Space Pirate
Themed after a science fiction cartoon from the 1970s, the Horological Machine No. 6 “Space Pirate” epitomizes a new generation of artistic high-end watches influenced by modern popular culture, much more than classic “traditional” timepiece designs. Currently at the top of the MB&F product catalog, the HM6 Space Pirate renders its flying tourbillon as a focal point for the eye and included a unique titanium shield over the tourbillon that can be opened and closed at will.
Richard Mille RM 27-02
Richard Mille made headlines when it put the world’s lightest tourbillon watch on the wrist of tennis champion Rafael Nadal. The message to timepiece enthusiasts was “our watches work just as well in the real world as they do in the safety of a showcase.” Continuing the theme of durability and wearability the RM 27-02 is made from an ultra-light case using a unique composite case material and has a tourbillon-based movement which is literally suspended on wires.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral
Most traditionally-designed timepieces are produced by the most conservative brands which often don’t exist within the sphere of independent watchmakers. One notable exception is Laurent Ferrier, who himself comes from the laudable world of Patek Philippe. The brand’s debut model is still one of their best and contains a rare view of the tourbillon exclusively through the rear of the case for something sublimely discreet.
Romain Jerome Air Moon Orbiter
Imagine the engineering time it takes to design, prototype, industrialize, and produce an engine. Engine makers invest millions because they are going to produce countless engine units. But then think about limited edition watch movements that require all the same investments but will only have a few hundred units ever made. That is what the Romain Jerome Air Moon Orbiter can offer collectors keen on its science fiction space-theme titanium case with ultra visible tourbillon style looks. Complicated inside and out, it features a flying tourbillon movement with articulated lugs modeled on the landing gear of a spacecraft.
De Bethune DB28T
Easily one of the distinctive watch cases among the ultra-high-end, niche alternative watchmakers, the DB28T was designed with large spring-loaded lugs intended to help the case fit more comfortably on the wrist. De Bethune is a true mechanical art maker who applies their fanatical attention to detail and love of science fiction to the traditional world of mechanical watches. True to form, the tourbillon is no ordinary construction but one built with titanium and silicon for lightness. That allows it to make one revolution every 30 seconds, twice as fast as conventional tourbillons.