A constant symbol of horological excellence – The Tourbillon. That specialised mechanical work of art manufactured to improve the accuracy of your watch should be given its due credit. Here are the six tourbillons that have been nominated to compete at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG 2023)
These mechanical watches should feature at least one tourbillon. The additional indications and/or complications are admissible.
The nominations are:
1. ARNOLD & SON – ULTRATHIN TOURBILLON GOLD
The Ultrathin Tourbillon Gold, with a thickness of only 8.3 millimetres, is a beautifully balanced timepiece. This model is a classic by Arnold & Son, but this is the first time its wide-opening dial has been given such a refined treatment. Two holes are set into the vast face of the dial. One is for the hours dial, while the other is home to the A&S8300 movement’s visible components. The elegance of the Ultrathin Tourbillon Gold is on full display. Read more here
2. LAURENT FERRIER – GRAND SPORT TOURBILLON PURSUIT
Inspired by the thrills of motor racing and the pursuit of excellence, this watch features a stunning salmon-pink dial that captures the breathtaking beauty of the sky at dawn. This new version of the Grand Sport Tourbillon features a case with an integrated bracelet, made entirely of grade 5 titanium and adorned with an elegant dial with gradient shades of salmon-pink. Previously launched in different, highly limited editions, this new version is intended to be timeless, and will therefore become part of the brand’s permanent collection. However, as with each LAURENT FERRIER design, the Grand Sport Tourbillon Pursuit will be highly exclusive, with only 15 pieces manufactured each year.
3. HYT – CONICAL TOURBILLON INFINITY SAPPHIRES
The Conical Tourbillon Infinity Sapphires seamlessly combines a groundbreaking conical tourbillon, HYT’s signature fluidic time display, and a mesmerizing animation of rotating gemstones. This marks the latest advancement in HYT’s relentless pursuit of watchmaking mastery since its founding 10 years ago. Read more here
4. PARMIGIANI FLEURIER – TONDA PF FLYING TOURBILLON
This new interpretation remains true to the brand spirit, magnificently expressing the stylistic vision of the Maison and its approach distinguished by discreet yet strong added value. Tonda PF Tourbillon embodies perfect purism. Concealed beneath the Milano blue dial, the calibre developed within the Watchmaking Centre – a flying tourbillon movement with automatic winding via a platinum micro-rotor – reveals some of its 207 components through the transparent case back. Designed, produced and assembled by the artisans of the Watchmaking Centre, this 32.6 mm-diameter Reference PF517 movement is accurate, lastingly reliable and finished to the highest fine watchmaking standards (bevelling, circular-graining, Côtes de Genève) and measures a mere 3.4 mm thick.
5. BULGARI – OCTO ROMA STRIKING PAPILLON TOURBILLON
The Octo Roma Papillon Tourbillon watch offers a modern interpretation of Haute Horlogerie with the same progressive, even transgressive vision of (de)constructing time. This timepiece substantially renews the Tourbillon exercise. With an octagonal titanium case with black DLC treatment contrasted by vivid green accents and a tourbillon placed at the centre of the dial, the contemporary and urban timepiece is dedicated to the lover of creative complications.
The Tourbillon is displayed at centre stage. Bulgari has decided to place this major high watchmaking complication – whose patent was registered in 1801 – in a majestic position commensurate with its prestige. Hypnotic, it immediately catches the eye; with its guaranteed 60-hour power reserve.
The Octo Roma Papillon Tourbillon gives off a powerful, technical and, above all, playful vibe: the hour can be read through a fixed window at noon, while the minutes are displayed on a semicircle graduated from 0 to 60 and alternately traversed by two diamond-shaped hands.
6. BOVET 1822 – VIRTUOSO XI
The new BOVET 1822 Virtuoso XI is the very first full skeleton timepiece the House has ever introduced. The delicate dance when skeletonizing a movement is to remove enough material to enhance the aesthetics and completely show the inner workings, while still keeping the movement robust enough to function impeccably. Take away too much material from the bridges, for example, and they could deform and damage the performance of the movement.
The finishing is all done by hand thanks to the expertise of the artisans, who know just how much material they should remove to achieve the perfect symmetry and shape. The hand-engraving for the Virtuoso XI takes around 80 hours for the movement and the Writing Slope case. The engraving is done free-hand and leaves no room for mistakes. Surprisingly, the engravers, sitting quietly in the well-lit atelier, don’t seem to feel any pressure, though anyone watching them certainly does. The artisans delight in the dance of their tools as they transform a plain bridge or plate into an engraved objet d’art.
The flying tourbillon movement that drives this exceptional timepiece meets BOVET’s demanding criteria of chronometry, reliability, and expression. It draws its energy from a single barrel that ensures more than 10 days of power reserve (240 hours, when the industry standard is 42-48 hours), all while maintaining the balance wheel’s oscillations at 18,000 vph.
Finally, the long power reserve, provided by a single barrel, would require meticulous winding if not for the spherical differential winding system. The application of this ingenious mechanism, and the multi-gear three-dimensional teeth of one of its pinions, has received two patents. Because of this system, the number of crown turns needed for full winding of the mainspring is halved without increasing friction and forces exerted on the gears.
Read more here.