The tourbillon is, without doubt, one of the most fascinating and most prestigious complications you can add to a watch. Invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet to counteract the effects of gravity on the regulating organ of mechanical watches, it has long remained the preserve of a few watchmakers. Typically placed on the dial, it is a captivating and impressive statement on the wrist. So, why not get two? Here are four double tourbillon watches that are there to impress.
Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Quai de l’Horloge
The Breguet 5345 relies on two independent sub-movements, each with an independent barrel, gear train, and tourbillon regulator. A differential mechanism averages the rate of the two regulators. An original feature, the oscillating plate is set in motion at the rate of one full rotation every 12 hours and thus displays the hours. The back of the watch is as effusive as its face. Composed of four bridges in solid gold, the movement’s back is entirely engraved by hand with the façade of A.L. Breguet’s house at 39 Quai de l’Horloge, Paris.
Quick facts: 46mm platinum case – hand-wound 588N calibre (in-house) – 50-hour power reserve – hours and minutes – double tourbillon connected by a differential on the main plate indicating the hours – CHF 628,000
Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious
The Twin Turbo Furious is a leviathan (57mm x 52mm) featuring an insane, staggering combination of complications: a double triple-axis tourbillon; a decimal minute repeater; a chronograph with reference time indication; and a power reserve indicator. Its complex case comprises 88 parts, including a domed sapphire crystal. The watch is wound with the crank placed on the crown at 3 o’clock. Although we are looking at the original black DLC titanium and carbon fibre edition, many versions of the watch have been proposed, including some housed in a sapphire crystal case.
Quick facts: 57mm x 52mm x 17mm black DLC titanium and carbon fibre case – hand-wound JCFM05 calibre (Le Cercle des Horlogers) – 50-hour power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, integrated monopusher chronograph with ‘reference time indication’, decimal minute repeater, twin triple-axis tourbillon (rotation in 24, 8 and 30 seconds) and power reserve indicator – CHF 525,000
Louis Moinet Astronef Twin Tourbillon
Twin tourbillons regulate the Louis Moinet Astronef with a differential mechanism to average out their respective rates. Built on distinct levels and crossing paths every 3 minutes and 20 seconds, these rotate in opposite directions. The central “tower” connects them with the hands. Each tourbillon is driven by its own barrel, and the power reserve is 48 hours when fully wound. The tridimensional animated movement is housed inside a box-domed sapphire crystal mounted on a gold chassis with openworked lugs (measuring 43.5mm for the gold base and 41.6 mm for the sapphire top). An original sliding selector allows you to switch between winding to time setting modes on the caseback.
Quick facts: 43.5mm gold case – hand-wound LM105 calibre (Concepto) – 48-hour power reserve – hours and minutes – flying satellite double tourbillon – CHF 360,000
Purnell Escape II 18K Rose gold
This beast of a watch impresses by the rotation speed of its twin triple-axis tourbillons, revolving in opposite directions, with revolutions from the inner to the outer cage in 8, 16, and 30 seconds. A differential averages the rate of the two regulators. Six mainsprings assembled in four barrels ensure a 32-hour power reserve when fully wound. The 48mm case is designed to offer an optimal view of this utterly captivating spectacle.
For more information, please visit www.purnellwatches.com
Quick facts: 48mm x 19mm gold case – hand-wound P03 caliber (E. Coudray/TEC ébauches) – 32-hour power reserve – hours, minutes and power reserve indication – double-triple axis tourbillon (8/16/30 seconds) – CHF 435,000