The gravity-defying tourbillon is one of the most prestigious horological complications and one of the trickiest to create. The rotation of its carriage compensates for the effects of gravity and thereby serves to increase the precision of the watch. In 1892, the “Frères Baume” company set an absolute precision record at the chronometry competition held in Kew Observatory in England with a tourbillon chronometer, acclaimed as the most accurate watch of its time.
Today, Baume & Mercier revisits this specialty through its most aesthetically pleasing and most technologically accomplished interpretation, the flying tourbillon. Contrary to a classic tourbillon, which is held by two upper and lower bridges, the flying tourbillon is secured exclusively by its arbor, thus affording free views of its spectacular spinning motion.
Another distinctive feature of this new model in the William Baume collection lies in the unusual and extremely elegant 9 o’clock position of its tourbillon escapement. The dial adorned with a “Vieux Panier” decorative decor is also enlivened by a small seconds display at 6 o’clock. The hand-wound mechanism featuring bridges embellished with “Côtes de Genève”, blued steel screws and a circular-grained mainplate can be admired through a broad sapphire crystal window in the case-back. It is endowed with a 52-hour power reserve.
Manual (WB-T 002)
Power reserve: 52 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz
Vibration: 28 800 vibrations/hour
Speed: 1 carriage lap/minute
Balance and barrel & gear-train bridges decorated with «Côtes de Genève», circular-grained plate, satin-finished golden wheels, snailed barrel & ratchet, blued steel screws.
Flying tourbillon at 9 o’clock and small seconds at 6 o’clock
Size: XXL – 43mm
Gold weight: 52.5g
Polished/satin-finished 18 carat red gold case, horns fitted on to the case
Polished/satin-finished 18 carat red gold fluted crown, adorned with a polished Phi symbol .18 carat red gold case back fixed with seven 18 carat red gold screws, large sapphire crystal aperture. Case back engraved with the name of the collection and the limited edition number.
“Vieux Panier” guilloché décor, sun-satin finished minute-track & hour zones, 18 carat red gold tourbillon circle fixed on to the dial
18 carat red gold riveted appliqué indexes
18 carat red gold spear-shaped hands
Double-sided antiglare sapphire crystal.
Hand-stitched black alligator strap, square scales, tone on tone stitching
Buckle: Polished/satin-finished 18 carat red gold pin buckle engraved with the Phi symbol
Gold weight: 5.5g
Total gold weight:58g
Limited and numbered edition of 10 pieces
The Keyless Chronometer Housing a Tourbillon Escapement (Circa 1892)
A chronometer housing a tourbillon movement, with which Baume earned in 1892 the highest mark ever awarded at the time in the Kew Observatory chronometry competition: 91.9 out of a 100, a record that remained unmatched for ten years. Crown winding and “detent” escapement.
- 1892 pocket chronometer – “Baume & Co” brand name.
- Case: “Bassine” type four-part construction in 18K solid yellow gold. Inner case-back engraved with the result earned in the Kew Observatory competition.
- Crown: spherical, fluted.
- Dial: in white enamel with black Arabic numerals. Small seconds at 6 o’clock.
- Hands: pear-type snailed steel hour and minute hands; slender snailed steel small seconds hand with counterweight.