Nowadays...April 16 2012 at 7:35 PM
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Response to Pretentious Twaddle - -
with modern manufacturing techniques, there really is no need to use a tourbillon movement to improve the accuracy of a wristwatch. I managed to time my dearly departed Invicta automatic "Pro Diver" until its accuracy was WITHIN one second per MONTH! I did this by hand without relying on an electronic timing machine. The watch maintained this accuracy for almost three years until its cheap Japanese Miyota automatic movement finally ground to a halt one day.
The only justification I can see for these mechanical toubillons is that they look COOL! LOL!
Practically every time I see them come up for sale on ShopNBC, they all sell out even though the prices range from $700 USD up to $1400 USD for the automatic versions. They are, apparently, avidly sought after despite the prices (Swiss version are in the tens of THOUSANDS of USD!)
Even though I am still "disenhanted" with mechanical movement writstwatches, I think I might make an exception for one of these Chinese tourbillons IF the prices come down enough. I've always wanted one.
On thinking about the Constatin Weisz "traveling" tourbillon, I see a problem with it. Because it takes an entire hour for the dial to complete a single rotation, it appears to be just another open heart dial mechanical watch which one can obtain for under $100 USD. It would have been REALLY cool if those Chinese horological engineers could have figured out some way to make the entire dial (except the hour and minute hands, of course) complete a single rotation every MINUTE! Now that would have been very noticeable and certainly "unique". Oh well, maybe that will be next.
There are even tourbillons in existence that use TWO balance wheels whose staffs are oriented at right angles to each other. These correct for Center of Mass eccentricities of the balance wheels in all three dimensions. The Swiss versions are in the HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars USD, but the Chinese versions are currently only in the thousands of USD. I expect to see these pop up in future cable tv watch show presentations as the number of "tourbillon collectors" out there continues to increase.
Now it would really be nice if they could figure out a way to eliminate the need to service mechanical watch movements entirely. I do believe that this might be possible, but it would require special "pre-treatment" of the movement before it left the factory.