Tourbillon is a mechanical watch mechanism that was invented in 1795 by Frenchman Abraham-Louis Breguet. The main idea of the invention is to use a balance wheel that changes position when the watch is at different angles as the results of the wearer’s motion. Although centuries have gone by, tourbillon mechanism is still considered one of the most complicated yet most accurate mechanical complications. Tourbillon watches are considered as the fine arts of watch making. They usually carry a price tag with six figure prices.
Because of the prices are so high, buying a piece of tourbillon for many watch collectors can only be a dream – someone can buy a house with a couple hundred thousand dollars. Fortunately the Chinese have brought us some good news. They have entered the luxury watch market with their affordable Chinese tourbillon watches which often cost only a quarter to a third of what you would pay for a Swiss made.
There are many fakes and replicas of the well established Swiss brands such as Breguet, Blancpain and IWC etc. Annoying spam emails selling these watches are filling out email inbox everyday. We are not referring to these junks here. A genuine Chinese tourbillon is a watch that is made in China with a Chinese branded name, such as Sea-Gull, Beijing and Shanghai etc., they are never marketed or attempt to pass as European made. The price of these watches vary greatly from $500 to the upwards of $100,000, depending on their design and materials.
Watches made by these six manufacturers are typically sold at a higher price. But there are also smaller workshops and OEM factories making tourbillons with watch movements from the big six; these watches are much cheaper. Watch movement is the core of a watch and what make it last, if your are not fussy about design and budget is a problem, opting for OEM tourbillons is in fact a very good option.