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When you think of mechanical works of art in timepieces, it’s no surprise that tourbillons make one a many appearances. We bring you the finest four displayed at the recent SIHH.
1. Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon
The 45mm Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon is the first instance of this maison’s fine watchmaking division combining a grand complication with its iconic mysterieuse complication. The challenge on this, according to Carole Kasapi, its head of movement creation, was to essentially combine a minute repeater function with the double tourbillon, while keeping the case slim at a mere 11.15mm in height. Its eventual success is illustrated through the duelling symphony of two tourbillons rotating at one and five-minute intervals, granting greater timekeeping accuracy. It is limited to 50 pieces in titanium only, certified with the Geneva Hallmark and has an indicative pre-tax price of EUR420,000.
2. Tri-Axial Planetarium
Inside of its 48mm pink gold case, the full richness of the Tri-Axial Planetarium (price on application) comes to life. On a dial of guilloche, one can full appreciate the 13mm miniature globe, which is hand-painted using cartography from 1791, the year of Girard-Perregaux’s founding. This globe indicates the day on the front and night on the reverse. An attendant micro-painted lunar disc is also based on 17th-century impressions of the moon. The spirited Tri-Axial Tourbillon, first developed by the brand in 2014, returns in this 2017 proposal, providing its balletic enigma to an utterly dream-like timepiece.
3. Hybris Artistica Mysterieuse Men
Mechanical art is given a new name with this year’s Hybris Artistica Mysterieuse Men (price on application). The 441-component piece offers 360-degree visual sensations, using an architectural approach on dial, movement, lugs and case. Augmented by a stylised Gothic interpretation, time on this 42mm pink gold case becomes almost secondary, with the reworked tourbillon displaying the minutes and the hours denoted by a sole gold triangle indication. A mother-of-pearl lattice embellishes the glinting blue aventurine dial, offering a sense of depth and detail.
4. Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery
To commemorate 60 years of its Altiplano, Piaget debuts the richly beautiful 41mm Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery. In this piece, the watchmaker combines its savoir-faire in ultra-thin and high jewellery through a rendition of its greatest hits starting with the 4.6mm-thick mechanical manual-winding 670P movement, with the flying tourbillon’s titanium carriage weighing only 0.2 grams. Its dial embodies the virtuosity of artisans with a guilloche pattern on gold layered with transparent enamel. Around it, five carats of diamonds illuminate the invisible infinity motif of dial and tourbillon carriage. The timepiece is priced an indicative CHF180,000 excluding taxes.