5 New Tourbillons From Watches & Wonders 2021 By Corum, Vacheron Constantin, H. Moser & Cie, Arnold & Son, And Roger Dubuis
by Martin Green
As the digital spectacle of Watches & Wonders unfolds, we are starting to see the new trends emerging within the pandemic-saddled world of watches. Some are surprising, others not so.
The tourbillon retains its the top spot in the horological food chain and has become something around which all other trends come and go in the modern era. This is understandable as, while the device in most cases does very little to increase a wristwatch’s precision, it remains utterly mesmerizing.
Here are five new tourbillon wristwatches introduced during Watches & Wonders 2021.
H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Tiger’s Eye
One watch that is utterly mesmerizing is the new Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Tiger’s Eye by H. Moser & Cie. There are, in fact, two watches being introduced at this time: one features a Falcon’s Eye natural stone dial with a white gold case and the other an Ox’s Eye natural stone in combination with a red gold case.
These stones are different-colored variations on the so-called cat’s eye (Tiger’s Eye), semiprecious quartz stones that are characterized by chatoyancy, which is not dissimilar to the way a cat’s eye looks in bright light. The effect is caused by inclusions or cavities inside the stone – specifically in this case, the way that several crystals grow in an integrated way to form one mass with “layers.” This type of stone is also considered lucky as it is said to ward off the evil eye.
Though the concept of these two watches is the same, the execution with the two different-colored stones and cases makes them look quite different.
The Falcon’s Eye results in a cool watch reminiscent of a snow tiger moving through frozen surroundings in Siberia. The Ox’s Eye has more of a 1970s vibe with the different hues of brown and yellow in the dial in combination with the red gold case.
As so often the case, H. Moser & Cie is so confident that this watch can only be mistaken for one of the brand’s own that there is no writing or even a small logo on the dial.
To me, this lack of verbiage makes for better watches as we can fully enjoy the stunning dials with the flying tourbillon peeking out at 6 o’clock. It works very well, and connoisseurs know that a Moser movement leaves little to be desired.
Caliber HMC 804 has a height of just 5.5 mm and combines bidirectional winding with a power reserve of three days. The one-minute flying tourbillon has the signature double hairspring of Precision Engineering/Moser, which makes the watch even more special. But in this case, it is the icing on the cake in combination with those breathtaking dials.
For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com.
Quick Facts Moser & Cie Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Tiger’s Eye
Case: 40 x 11.2 mm, red gold or white gold
Movement: automatic Caliber HMC 804 with 60-second tourbillon and double hairspring, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 3-day power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 50 pieces each with Falcon’s Eye and Ox’s Eye dial
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon
At Vacheron Constantin, the Overseas Tourbillon gets an even more regal appearance as the brand now also offers it in a case and bracelet made of pink gold. The rest of the watch is fortunately left untouched, and that is a very good thing as there isn’t much room for improvement.
The Overseas Tourbillon impresses with its thinness thanks to the slim automatic movement. Not what you would expect from a sporty watch, but Vacheron Constantin has always had a knack for making this type of watch a touch more elegant than the competition.
Visually, the change from stainless steel to red gold has quite an impact: the Overseas Tourbillon is not a small watch in terms of diameter – 42.5 mm – which means that there is a lot of gold to look at.
The mainly brushed finish of the case keeps it all in check, and the combination with the fascinating deep-blue dial remains a strong one. The added advantage is also that when there are occasions in which you might consider the Overseas Tourbillon too much gold, thanks to the quick-change strap system you can easily swap to a blue alligator leather or rubber strap in a matter of seconds.
For more on the original stainless steel launch of this watch, see Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon: The Goldilocks Tourbillon? It’s Definitely Not Your Average Blue-Dialed Stainless Steel Sports Watch.
For more information, please visit www.vacheron-constantin.com/en2/watches/overseas/overseas-tourbillon.
Quick Facts Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon
Case: 42.5 x 10.39 mm, red gold, soft iron casing ring for anti-magnetic protection
Movement: automatic Caliber 2160 with 60-second tourbillon, peripheral rotor, 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph frequency, 80-hour power reserve, Geneva Seal
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds on tourbillon cage
Corum Admiral 45 Automatic Openworked Flying Tourbillon Carbon & Gold
Yes, they are still alive: unapologetic, over-the-top, tourbillons that you shouldn’t like, yet you cannot help yourself.
This new Corum is over the top in every way; even its name is a mouthful. With a diameter of 45 mm is it large, but its carbon-based case keep the weight down. The carbon is infused with 18-karat gold particles, creating a glittery spectacle that draws even more attention to the watch.
In all honesty I love it: it is like somebody created a very serious watch then turned on the disco lights.
The Admiral 45 Automatic Openworked Flying Tourbillon Carbon & Gold is serious indeed as the parts of the movement most fun to watch are all placed on the dial side, adding depth to the watch and dazzling the eye with a very contemporary, almost futuristic design.
Watches like this push new designs and offer a fresh interpretation of how a tourbillon-equipped watch could/should look.
This Corum is not a playboy squandering away its inheritance with an outrageous lifestyle, but rather a self-made billionaire enjoying a swim from his mega yacht thanks to its 100-meter water resistance.
For more information, please visit www.corum-watches.com/collections/admiral/45/A298_03901-tourbillon-openworked.
Quick Facts Corum Admiral 45 Automatic Openworked Flying Tourbillon Carbon & Gold
Case: 45 x 14.3 mm, carbon with gold inclusions, red gold crown, 100-meter water resistance
Movement: automatic Caliber CO 298 with one-minute flying tourbillon, 72-hour power reserve, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes; power reserve indication, three-minute counter (hacking)
Limitation: 48 pieces
Price: CHF 59,800
Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Dragon & Phoenix
The new tourbillon by Arnold & Son might look a bit out of place at Watches & Wonders with its hardstone dial upon which two mythical creatures try to catch a pearl. It looks profoundly Asian – which its theme definitely is.
As the digital Watches & Wonders 2021 also simultaneously offers a physical exhibition in Shanghai, launching an Asian-themed watch here makes sense. I am very happy that brands like Arnold & Son present watches like this on a world stage and not just in specific local markets.
The myth that inspired the watch enriches world culture, while the timepiece itself exhibits breathtaking examples of stunning handcrafts.
Both the dragon and the phoenix are sculpted in great detail. The backdrop for these mythical animals is a hardstone dial comprising bronzite, eudialyte, marcasite, verdite, or pietersite (Tiger’s Eye) – and how interesting is it to have a second tourbillon watch come out at this event that utilizes this unusual quartz stone?
The use of these semiprecious hardstones further underscores the precious nature of the watch, which includes the movement as well. Caliber A&S8200 combines a height of 2.97 mm with a generous power reserve of 90 hours.
Its finish is also very pleasing with hand-chamfered and polished bridges and côtes de Genève striping radiating from the hand-engraved tourbillon bridge, making the Ultrathin Tourbillon Dragon & Phoenix one of those watches that is the full package for connoisseurs.
As Arnold & Son is only making five pieces of each type of hardstone dial, this tourbillon will remain rare too, and that is how, in my opinion, such a tourbillon should be.
For more information, please visit www.arnoldandson.com/en/collections/metiers-d-arts/ultrathin-tourbillon-dragon-phoenix-bronzite.
Quick Facts Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Dragon & Phoenix
Case: 42 x 8.6 mm, red gold
Movement: manual winding Caliber A&S8200 with one-minute flying tourbillon, 3 Hz/21,600 vph, 90-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (on tourbillon cage)
Limitation: 5 pieces of each of the five different hardstone dials
Price: CHF 99,000
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Original Flying Tourbillon Glow Me Up!
When it comes to Roger Dubuis, I always have to put my purely professional mindset on while reading through the press releases. Like so many before, the press release for the new Excalibur Single Flying Tourbillon is filled with hyperbolic sentences like “the future of hyper horology” and “the work of hyper-skilled craftsmen” interspersed with terms such as “out-of-the-box,” and “disruptive.”
This is a pity, in my opinion, as the 2021 variations of the Excalibur Single Flying Tourbillon are very much like the watches we have seen before from this brand, so no longer that “disruptive.”
The distracting language used in the press texts tends to take away from the quite remarkable features these watches have to offer. All the new watches benefit from the improvements Roger Dubuis has made on Caliber RD510SQ, now resulting in the “new” Caliber RD512SQ.
Thanks to a titanium tourbillon carriage as well as improved lubrication, the power reserve becomes 12 hours longer than that of its predecessor and durability is also improved. While Roger Dubuis’ double flying tourbillon is perhaps more prestigious, I find the Single Flying Tourbillon more pleasing to the eye.
What sets these new watches apart are the materials the cases are made of: new editions have been announced in cobalt, titanium coated with grey DLC, and a special pink gold alloy with higher resistance to tarnishing. To me, this should have been the focus of the launch in combination with the updated movement, Geneva Seal certification, and 100-meter water resistance, making this the perfect (sports) watch for contemporary watch connoisseurs able to (and wanting to) shop in this top tier of the market.
For those who also regularly drink Dom Pérignon Luminous, the Excalibur Glow Me Up! deserves a particular recommendation. While Roger Dubuis should seriously reconsider how this watch is named, it does come with a rather novel feature: serious lume lights up the baguette-cut diamond-set bezel in the dark.
For more information, please visit www.rogerdubuis.com.
Quick Facts Roger Dubuis Excalibur Original Flying Tourbillon Glow Me Up!
Case: 42 x 12.7 mm, 18-karat pink Eon Gold with luminescent diamond-set bezel
Movement: manually wound Caliber RD512SQ with one-minute flying tourbillon, 3 Hz/21,600 vph, 72-hour power reserve, Geneva Seal
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (on tourbillon cage)
Limitation: 8 pieces, boutique exclusive
Remark: interchangeable strap with Quick Release System