The Tourbillon, explained by our talking mechanism

Bonjour, I am a double hairspring Tourbillon crafted in-house by H. Moser & Cie. ‘Tourbillon’ is French for ‘whirlwind’, which makes sense because I tend to create quite a stir with my hypnotic movement. I was created in 1795 to defy gravity and help watchmakers improve accuracy. I could tell you a bit more about myself, but my makers have made a film starring me. So why don’t you watch that instead? 

The Tourbillon, explained by our watchmaker

Now that you’ve seen the film, it’s time to dive into the more technical aspects of the Tourbillon. The primary purpose of a Tourbillon is to counteract the effects of gravity on the accuracy of a timepiece. In a standard watch movement, gravity can pull on the escapement (the mechanism controlling the transfer of energy to the timekeeping element and allowing the gears to advance) and cause variations in timekeeping. The Tourbillon addresses this by placing the escapement and the balance wheel inside a rotating cage. This cage turns on its axis, typically completing a rotation every 60 seconds. By doing so, positional errors are averaged out, theoretically leading to more accurate timekeeping. 

Over the years our H. Moser & Cie. watchmakers have created some unique tourbillons. While the general principle remains the same, the aesthetics, design, and integration of the Tourbillon within the watch can differ based on the model. Take the sleek design of H. Moser & Cie.’s Streamliner Tourbillon. It’s a perfect blend of modern aesthetics and traditional craftsmanship, while the Endeavour Tourbillon further highlights our ability to integrate the tourbillon into daring contemporary designs. Its case showcases this innovation in all its glory, by providing an unobstructed view of the watch’s internal mechanism. 

Our H. Moser & Cie. Tourbillons come with double hairsprings designed and produced in-house by our sister company, Precision Engineering AG. Thanks to this pair of matched hairsprings, the movement of the point of gravity on each spring when it expands is corrected and the effect of friction reduced, significantly improving accuracy and isochronism in continual pursuit of perfection. The Tourbillon, however, is not just about precision; it’s a visual delight that offers a mesmerising view of the watch’s heartbeat, making it a favourite among collectors and enthusiasts.

Stay tuned for more from our talking watches.