By Harlan Chapman-Green

Today we’re going to look at the results from the WristReview exclusive series, The Tourbillon Trials. Where we pitted two watches featuring tourbillons against each other to see which is the one to go for.

Winners

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April – Chopard L.U.C 1963 Tourbillon vs Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon

This was a very special tourbillon watch and it needed to be as it went up against the award winning Parallax Tourbillon watch by Grönefeld. They were so evenly matched that it actually had to come down to personal taste when we decided which watch we were going to select as the winner. The Chopard’s design was very clean with a crisp enamel grand feu dial, a beautiful tourbillon that’s been slightly obscured by some beautiful curved design and the movement has also been awarded the Seal of Geneva, a very well known accolade for a watch to have. The Parallax Tourbillon did, however, get the WristReview award as our go-to tourbillon watch of choice. chopard.com

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May – A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour Le Merit” vs Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon

My my this was another close one. For a little while anyway. The watches are pretty even as the Audemars Piguet watch had the know-how of an extremely popular watch company with the design cues of its most successful range, the Royal Oak. The Lange watch didn’t quite have the global recognition of the Royal Oak, but anyone within the watch community will instantly be able to recognise it as a pure Lange watch. In the end, the Richard Lange Tourbillon watch won out because of the technology put into it. We understand that any tourbillon watch has a lot of technology in it as they are very hard to produce, but when that tourbillon also features a stop seconds hacking mechanism and a moving dial part that operates purely to bring the whole tourbillon into view, how can we not go with it? alange-soehne.com

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June – Fabergé Visionnaire I Watch vs Blancpain Villeret Squelette 8 Jours Tourbillon

So it comes down to the age-old battle for supremacy, the old or the new? Granted, both of these watches were made within the past few years, but we must look at the design style. The winner was the Fabergé Visionnaire I, we love Fabergé watches a lot and the new one is no different, the dial has been segmented and then given a lovely coloured guilloché treatment, a segment was then removed to put the tourbillon on display. The other addition which really secured this as the winning piece was the case. The platinum and blue case really showed off what you can do with colours if you are adventurous enough. Fabergé is one of those companies that shows a real passion with everything it does and never disappoints with the work it does, the only other companies we can think of that do this are Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. faberge.com

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July – Rebellion 540 Magnum Tourbillon vs Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière

This was an interesting article to write. We’ve got a new company, Rebellion, presenting a very modern design in one corner. In the other, we’ve got an older company that was revived, Angelus, also presenting a modern design. The watch which took the crown for July’s instalment was the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière Watch, and here’s why. The first thing to talk about is the current watch market. We didn’t feel that the Rebellion 540 Tourbillon Watch made enough of a statement for itself, the market already has more established companies like Richard Mille and Urwerk who produce watches that are surprisingly similar to the 540 in design terms. The Angelus watch is like a piece of Danish architecture for your wrist. A good amount of crystal keeps the watch looking bright and sparkly yet not intrusively so, and the deadbeat seconds and the unique power reserve indicator, as well as the suspended tourbillon, secured this watch victory. angelus-watches.com

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August – H. Moser & Cie Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time vs Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon

It’s that argument again, old or new style? although H.Moser & Cie is an old company, it did have a period of inactivity whereas Vacheron Constantin has been at it since 1755, making it the oldest continually running watch company ever. The Malte is no question an older style of watch, the corners of the tonneau case have been softened up a bit, but it still remains that this is the watch of the refined gentleman. Although the Malte Tourbillon Watch doesn’t have the removable tourbillon module like the Venturer Dual Time Tourbillon Watch, the classical elegance speaks for itself. The fact that the movement bears the Seal of Geneva and is also shaped like the case is another reason we believed this watch had the edge, but it was a close call indeed with innovation just losing out to tradition. There’s always another time and we doubt that either company will sit around on their laurels waiting to be overtaken. vacheron-constantin.com

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September – Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon vs Breguet Classique Complications Double Tourbillon

This was our favourite idea for a comparison and was also the first idea we had for an article. We saved it until last because we believed that these are two unmatched tourbillon watches that would end the series well, and end it well they certainly did. I would’ve loved to have gotten live pictures to put in this article, but certain time restrictions in London meant I had to disappear off pretty quickly to watch Benedict Cumberbatch play Hamlet in another part of the city. Nevertheless, these two watches are the top when it comes to tourbillons. Jaeger-LeCoultre, the creative Swiss company is known mostly for the Reverso. Breguet, the innovator, the company founded by one of the top horologists ever, Abraham Louis Breguet, who is on the same level as George Daniels and the inspiration for Kari Voutilainen. It was such a hard decision to crown a victor for the series, but the Breguet swiped it from Jaeger LeCoultre’s grasp. The Classique Complications Double Tourbillon is probably the most expensive watch in the series and probably the most complicated too, having two revolving tourbillons connected and working properly is an enormous feat for the watchmaker who spent all year making that one watch. It’s also my grail watch, but due to the severe cost and long waiting list I doubt that will happen, but there’s always hope. breguet.com

Which watch is your favourite? Do you have any ideas for the next series? We have a poll open on the Final Edition of the Tourbillon Trials on page 2, where you can choose which watches we compare next!

Thank you once again for following The Tourbillon Trials on WristReview, we’ll be back soon!

bio

HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. Read his articles here.

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