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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently i purchased a defective tourbillon watch branded "Constantin Weisz" very inexpensively. I'm completely aware that this "brand" is basically sold by TV ad channels so both quality and spare supply is questionable at least. The same model, though branded "Rover & Lakes", had been offered for some time by the German wholeseller "Galeria Kaufhof", this version with a "Made in Germany" inscription on the dial. Which is nonsense of course since you won't be able to acquire a true german Tourbillon watch even close to the price they had been asking for this one. So I assume the watch contains a Chinese movement, yet I don't know which one it could possibly be. The watch differs very much from any (not only chinese) Tourbillon that I'm aware of, some Swiss premium brands may have something similar to offer.

The most peculiar characteristic is that it has got a big coaxial seconds hand! The manufacturer doesn't rely on the tourbillon cage (or a shaft extension of it with an index) to display seconds.
Moreover, it's an automatic, also not too common for Chinese tourbillons. Very peculiar and something I've never seen on any Chinese tourbillon is that the whole tourbillon escapement is installed on a separately detachable bridge.
The watch also features a big date that truely returns from 31st to 1st and has a recessed pushing knob to set the date. I attached some photos of the watch / movement below.

Since the watch was missing one screw on the tourbillon cage, I hoped to be lucky that this screw simply wasn't tightened enough and fell out and got dislodged somewhere in the movement, blocking it. Unfortunately, this didn't turn out to be the case, instead someone must have had a go at trying to repair it and lost the (ultra-tiny) screw. Point is, the watch must have been dropped (no external signs for that, it appears almost pristine) and one of the bearing pins of the balance shaft snapped. There also developed a crack in a retainment ring that holds the ratchet gear of the automatic winding mechanism together. The latter isn't too difficult to repair since I've got access to laser welding equipment. Fxing the balance shaft will be in a completely different league...the pins are just 50µm in diameter :think:. So if there's any chance to identify the movement, I'ld prefer to source a spare balance. Otherwise, I've got to have a go at either manufacturing a new shaft or at repairing the broken one.

Thanks for your thoughts and all the best,
Thomas
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Went looking for some photos of a fully assembled example and was surprised by the sheer variety of tourbillons, carroussels and open-hearts that Constantin Weisz have sold over the years. Anyway, I found a couple good photos and must confess that I do not recall seeing one of these before :-(





Let's hope that it is something that PTS Resources supplies, in which case there is a good chance that somebody here will be able to identify it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Chascomm for your reply - actually this movement may be a custom-modified "open heart" design with the conventional escapement mechanism removed and a specifically designed tourbillon assembly installed. One detail that surprises me is the small pinion shaft to match the gear ratio to the big tourbillon driving gear. From a kinematic pint of view this is complete nonsense since the double step in gear ratio, first up and then down again, is a very inefficient, lossy thing, and since the tourbillon mechanics isn't that efficient in the first place, it appears to be an unnecessary waste of winding spring energy. Moreover, the balance wheel in this tourbillon escapement is smaller than any other one I've seen (7.35mm) so I wouldn't expect a high quality factor (Q) of its resonance as well. All this makes me assume that the accuracy of this watch wouldn't be stellar. Hence my impression is that the basic movement might not have been designed as a tourbillon right from the start but it's been made for a standard escapement, the large seconds wheel driving an escapement wheel directly without harnessing the energy through that peculiar pinion shaft.

But I simply like the unconventional design of this tourbillon, the centrally installed hands and the overall, rather "classic" appearance of the watch is also nice so I'll try to get it to work again. And after all, it's a real challange to work on something that tiny, modify tools to fit and finally, as they tell, "The Journey is the Reward" ;-) and maybe in the end I'll succeed. I'ld only like to find out if this movement had been used anywhere else or if this is just something rather exotic, maybe specifically built for a short period by/for Constantin Weisz / Rover & Lakes / Mastertime.

Thanks and all the best,
Thomas
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Fascinating stuff. If you're right about this being an adaptation of a non-tourbillon movement (which would make sense of the modular architecture), then it is possible we may see a new generation of even lower cost tourbillon watches. However if the inherently poor efficiency places too much stress on the movement, then reliability issues may have already consigned this design to history. Time will tell, but I will certainly be looking for more examples.
 

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I still haven't tracked down anything more on this mysterious new tourbillon movement.

However I did see something else that I had not seen before. Liaoning watch factory now have their own double tourbillon design!


Charting the Rise of Chinese Watchmaking with a Visit to the Middle Kingdom?s Largest Watch Fair | SJX Watches

At $29,000 it is heading towards the far end of the price range for Chinese tourbillons. But that is probably a good thing that the industry is broad enough to support engineers who are focussed on technical excellence and others who are focussed on simplification and manufacturing efficiency.
 

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Great link - very interesting read!

Following on from the faux-French Beihai I'm sad to see that Golgen when creating their 12,000m WR monster couldn't double/triple check the spelling on their dials...

View attachment 12872739

Some day!

For some reason the picture doesn't come up automatically for me when I read my own post - for anyone wondering without wanting to click the link they've put "12000m Water Resistan" on the dial...o|
 

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Speedmaster coaxial on Forstner Komfit
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