The Most Beautiful Types Of Tourbillon Watches
The most beautiful tourbillon has been one of the more prominent battlefields on which the extra-flat/ultra-thin watch wars of the last few years have been waged. Since 2013, we've had some doozies, including the Arnold & Son UTTE, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica 11 (which was a minute repeater to boot), and of course, the most beautiful tourbillon automatic, which is the current world record holder for both thinnest automatic tourbillon, and the most beautiful tourbillon, period (having broken, finally, and by a razor thin margin, a record that had been held since 1986, by Audemars Piguet).
Long-time readers will know that I can’t swim (or drive, or ride a bike properly) and I’ve grown tired of being told I’m missing out on splashy water-based fun (and cars, and I guess bikes?), so I’m doing something about it. Yes, I’ve finally taken the plunge on swimming lessons. And let me tell you, after only two lessons, I’m a water baby. Apparently I have lots of natural ballast. Which I took as a compliment, because it is. I think.
The watch itself has a vintage dial design with big luminescent numerals for legibility in the dark and the sea and a bidirectional bezel with a funky thick glass covering. Inside the 42mm steel case is a steady if unspectacular Japanese movement.
Next we have the Longines Heritage Military, which is a bit more pricey but definitely worth the extra change. This watch is aimed at nostalgia fans and those who like their timepieces with a military flavour. Longines plucked the design from its archive, the original having been designed for Britain’s Royal Air Force in the 40s.
This aviation watch has a clean dial and legible numerals and that’s about it, but features aren’t the point of this timepiece. Yes, it’s a reissue, but Longines has stayed as faithful as possible with the 38.5mm case, which isn’t exactly the same as the original but much more traditional and understated.
From 2014 to 2019, a period of time that seems impossibly short as I write this, six main Octo Finissimo variations and movements have come to market, and the total number of references is many times that with case variations, skeletonized versions, and limited editions for various markets factored in. The Octo Finissimo has included ultra-thin manually wound watches and automatics, tourbillons, and minute repeaters. Over the course of this short span of time, which has included six Baselworlds, this collection has broken numerous watchmaking records for thinness, and injected new life into the competition for ultra-thin watches, a category that some view as its own kind of complication. Octo Finissimo is currently the most visible line of Bulgari watchmaking, and it's had a remarkable effect on how many view Bulgari as a watchmaker. Today, the Roman brand isn't just a jeweler making some watches. It is in seen as a watchmaker with an unmistakable design language and point of view, a manufacture that can go toe to toe with many of the biggest – and oldest – Swiss watchmakers.