Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Born independent, Combating gravity – 5 Original Tourbillon Watches from “Indie” watchmakers

| By Xavier Markl | 4 min read |
Buying guide tourbillon independent watchmakers

Changes of positions have a negative influence on the way watches keep time. In 1801, Breguet patented a mechanism to negate the effects of earth attraction. A mobile carriage rotating at slow speed which houses the regulating organ of the watch, with the aim to average out positional errors. If the tourbillon has become more and more common in recent years, it remains an achievement for most watchmakers and the opportunity to demonstrate their skill and creativity.

Czapek – Place Vendôme Tourbillon

Introduced at Baselworld 2017, the “Place Vendôme” is the brand’s first Tourbillon. It features dual time, power reserve and day/night indication. Its name is a reference to the boutique that was opened by Franciszek Czapek on the iconic Paris Square in the mid 19th century. The movement looks resolutely modern with exposed mechanics and a sandblasted finish. Hours and minutes are displayed on a grand feu enamel ring with Roman numerals paired with Fleur de Lys hands.

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Quick facts: 43.5 mm pink gold or platinum case – 30m water resistance – manual movement (proprietary movement developed with Chronode) with hours, minutes, second time zone, power reserve indicator, day & night indicator, one minute tourbillon. Alligator or ostrich leg leather strap with pin buckle – CHF 88,000 in pink gold, CHF 100,000 in platinum.

Schwarz Etienne – La Chaux-de-Fonds Tourbillon PSR

The Schwarz Etienne Tourbillon PSR is a one-minute tourbillon with its micro-rotor on the dial side. It features an original small seconds indication as its mechanism is constructed directly in connection with the Tourbillon. A snail cam is mounted directly on the tourbillon arbor, driving a ratchet gear and allowing the seconds hands to advance along an arc, and then suddenly jump back to recommence at the starting point. It is available in two versions, green aventurine and steel case or grey hematite specularite and pink gold case.

Schwarz Etienne La Chaux-de-fonds Tourbillon Petite Seconde Retrograde

Quick facts: 44 mm pink gold or steel case – 50 m water resistance – automatic movement (in-house movement and in-house hairspring manufacturing) with hours, minutes, retrograde seconds, one minute tourbillon. Alligator strap with folding clasp – 62,900 CHF for the steel version, 87,400 CHF for the pink gold version.

Manufacture Royale – ADN

Inspired by the Androgyne that was at the origin at the rebirth of Manufacture Royale a few years ago, the ADN (DNA in French) boasts a bold, architectural case housing the MR09 caliber, the 9th movement from the brand. A three-dimensional skeleton work, it is regulated by a flying tourbillon and enables to-the-minute adjustment of its two time zones. The local time is shown at 12 with a jump-hour system. The second time zone is fully independent, which enables displaying the time of every area in the world, regardless of the time difference (including the countries or places that have adopted non-standard time zones, usually 30 minutes off-set).

Manufacture Royale ADN - Baselworld 2017

Quick facts: 46 mm steel or black DLC steel / forged carbon case – 30 m water resistance – manual movement (in-house movement) with jumping hours, minutes, independent second time zone, one minute flying tourbillon. Rubber strap with folding clasp –  86,000 CHF for the steel version, 93,000 CHF for the DLC steel / forged carbon version.

Louis Moinet – Mobilis

Mobilis is a spectacular double tourbillon, revealing its inner workings in full transparency. The two large cages, rotating in opposite directions, drive a kaleidoscopic complication moving in hypnotic motion at 12 o’clock. 47.4 mm in diameter the modern white gold case features open-worked lugs and a bezel with 6 notches and screws.

Louis Moinet Mobilis double tourbillon

Quick facts: 47.4 mm white gold case – 30 m water resistance – manual movement (proprietary movement manufactured with Tec-Ebauches) with hours, minutes, ‘kaleidoscope’ automaton and double one-minute flying tourbillon. Alligator strap with folding clasp – 245,000 CHF. Limited edition of 12 pieces in white gold.

Kerbedanz – Maximus

Maximus is a spectacular central oversized Flying tourbillon. Powering such a large tourbillon has necessitated the use of a rather low frequency (18’000 vibrations per hour) and rotation speed for the case (6 minutes). Four barrels built around a central wheel mounted on a ball bearing provide the torque to drive the movement, whilst ensuring a 48-hour power reserve. The 49mm case features an impressive domed sapphire crystal and whilst the crown at two o’clock is for setting the time, winding is performed by rotating the caseback.

Kerbedanz Maximus

Quick facts: 49 mm platinum, gold or titanium case – 30 m water resistance – manual movement (proprietary movement) with hours, minutes, six-minute flying tourbillon and power reserve indication. Alligator strap with folding clasp – 165,000 CHF. Limited editions of 99 pieces.

2 responses

  1. Hi Xavier,
    thanks for sharing these beautiful pieces from brands relatively under the radar for the ones not in the knows. The Luis Moinet is by far my preferred, classical, simmetrical, light. A true masterpiece.


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