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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I have a question, would any of you be willing, should the funds permit, to buy a tourbillon watch where the toubillon is not visible? Eg...patek...lange..
Personally if i was ever to buy a tourbillon (which i can pretty much guarantee will never happen) id want to be able to watch it spinning around on my wrist...otherwise i dont see the point. Anybody else feel this way? I appreciate the beauty of langes new tourbillon perpetual calender...its truly stunning...but the fun of the tourby is all but lost only being able to see it through the caseback....or are tourbys boring to look at after the first week???
Cheers all!
 

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I quite agree, a tourbillon escapement that's hidden under the dial is like plating a solid gold watch with steel.
 

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Under the dial might be a tad too "understated" but doesn't Panerai has a tourbillion only visible thru the display caseback?

I love as the tourbillion articulation as much as the next guy but for some sport watch the dial must remain highly readable/simple.(Example: chrono on diver)
 

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Knowing it's there, doing what it needs to without spoiling the lines of the watch, might well be enough for some people. It would for me.
 

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If you look on eBay there is an outfit that auctions off tourbillons starting at 99US¢. The lat auction sold for US$440 or so. They are Minorva. Not sure of the quality, but that is quite affordable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
scada said:
If you look on eBay there is an outfit that auctions off tourbillons starting at 99US¢. The lat auction sold for US$440 or so. They are Minorva. Not sure of the quality, but that is quite affordable.
Yeah, id probably rather seek the services of a prostitute to tell me the time, but yes i know there are cheap non swiss tourbillons out there.
 

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If you look on eBay there is an outfit that auctions off tourbillons starting at 99US¢. The lat auction sold for US$440 or so. They are Minorva. Not sure of the quality, but that is quite affordable.
Somehow this doesn't seem responsive to the original post...
 

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Knowing it's there, doing what it needs to without spoiling the lines of the watch, might well be enough for some people. It would for me.
The reality is that a tourbillon is an archaic complication that does little to actually improve the accuracy of a watch. Okay, I'm aware that the entire concept of a mechanical watch is somewhat archaic as well, but the tourbillon was intended to mitigate the effect of a constant direction of gravity in pocket watches, which were inserted into a waist pocket at a fixed orientation relative to the direction of gravity, and this is not really an issue that is relevant to wrist watches.

There is however an interesting alternative to the tourbillon is the Cartier Rotonde Astroregulateur, which is actually the exact opposite of the tourbillon, since it is constructed to ensure that the main time regulating parts of the watch maintain a fixed orientation with respect to gravity, and then regulating the watch so that it exhibits good performance in that fixed orientation.

HH Journal: Cartier proposes an ingenious alternative to the tourbillon - SIHH 2011 - News - news from the world of watchmaking and luxury watches - Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie

So, for me, the purpose of a tourbillon on a wrist watch is to be seen, and while I would be okay having it only visible through a display caseback, having it totally hidden is a bit silly.
 

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I would actually not buy a Tourbillon watch unless it was hidden. With that said, I would only buy a Tourby watch if it was visible through the caseback.
 

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I would actually not buy a Tourbillon watch unless it was hidden. With that said, I would only buy a Tourby watch if it was visible through the caseback.
Same here! Never been a fan of skeleton or "open heart" dials, and even if it was a tourbillon ticking away I would not really want to see it when checking the time.
 

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Same here! Never been a fan of skeleton or "open heart" dials, and even if it was a tourbillon ticking away I would not really want to see it when checking the time.
There's quite a difference between a tourbillon and a cheesy open heart watch. It's possible to have an exposed tourbillon and still have an elegant watch. One example, in my opinion, is the JLC Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon. That's certainly a watch which is elegant, and exceptionally readable.

 

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There is no reason for me to wear a tourbillon that is hidden by a case. I prefer to wear my $20,000 Parnis with its diamond encrusted, platinum rotor well concealed under its plastic case back. :)
 

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For the exact opposite of an invisible tourbillon, consider this Chinese manual-wind skeleton tourbillon which I understand is slightly above $1K.

 

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Considering it's mostly fuctionless and therefore solely for aesthetic purposes hiding it completely seems a bit odd.
 

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Yeah, id probably rather seek the services of a prostitute to tell me the time, but yes i know there are cheap non swiss tourbillons out there.
I think this is a massive overstatement. While there are lesser Chinese tourbillons out there, very high quality ones with Seagull or Shanghai movements can also be found. Both of these are known as being very high quality with track records. I have also read where those who have taken apart Hangzhou movements claim they are well put together.

Personally, I do not doubt the quality or reliability of these movements. I have considered picking up one with a Seagull movement myself (as my wife is Chinese and I could have it serviced when the time comes). To me the only issues would be with quality control (i.e. does your movement work out of the box) and servicing in a few years (you'll likely have to ship it back to China to have it serviced [at least at an acceptable price], unless you go there yourself).

For many, the servicing issue alone would be a deal breaker. However, to suggest that all Chinese tourbillons somehow belong on a prostitute is a flawed analogy that just demonstrates ignorance of both objects of comparison. There are, in fact, extremely well-done Chinese tourbillons, (just as there are, in fact, extremely well-done brothels).
 
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