Gyrotourbillon

A tourbillon is a component that can be found in some of the more complex watches out there. This device rotates the balance of the watch to compensate for the effects of gravity. Normal tourbillons only cover one axis, this one covers all.

Tourbillons are not new technology. Developed in 1795 and then patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801, he brought two components of mechanical watches together. The escapement and balance wheel are brought together in a rotating cage whose entire mission is to counter act the effects of gravity when the watch is kept in a certain position.

Its goal it to average out errors or inaccuracies that it gets dependent on the position the watch is in. Interestingly enough tourbillons are intended on improving accuracy of the watches however while being worn this is negated by the complexity of wrist movements.

For most watches that boast a tourbillon it is for the beholder of the watches enjoyment since its effect of keeping the watch more accurate as it waits in a watch box is all but diminished while being worn. The intricate movement of a tourbillon is a site to behold. Something so minute moving away in its predictable and elegant way.

They did have their uses in pocket watches where the watch would typically sit upright. The tourbillon inside would account for the effects of gravity in that axis. You can see where the issue comes with putting something on a wrist watch.

A Gyrotourbillon in a watch made by Jaeger-LeCoultre

A gyrotourbillon however provides this accuracy and error management in a multitude of positions. All of them. Where a normal tourbillon would provide correction along a single axis, a gyrotourbillon cycles through a spherical movement. Introduced by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2004 a dual axis gyrotourbillon was brought to life. This tourbillon not only rotated along an axis but also rotated the cage the tourbillon was housed in.

A truly mesmerizing display of incredible engineering and dedication to a craft.

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