Created by Breguet in 1801 and lusted after by watchmakers the world over ever since, a tourbillon in a brand's collection today seems to legitimatize their role in the watch community, offering a sort of authenticity to their very being.
Many of the tourbillons on the market are purchased from a movement manufacturer and adapted and modified to meet the needs of the brand. The manufactures with a genuine home-made tourbillon can be counted on one hand.
Design married with technique
Piaget is one of the few manufactures capable of producing their own tourbillon. Now, after three years of effort - and in order to maintain their reputation as a highly design-conscious company, it has also managed through its manufacturing expertise to create, at 3.5 mm, the world's slimmest shaped tourbillon movement in the world.
From the very outset, Piaget conceived the tourbillon movement to fit into a curved rectangular case at 12 o'clock with a power reserve indicator at 6 o'clock to counter balance it. The flying tourbillon, suspended by a single arbor, was chosen on purely aesthetic grounds. The three bridges of the tourbillon carriage are in titanium and have helped to keep the weight of the 42 components down to just 0.2 of a gram.
The bottom plate, bridges and cage are circular grained, bevelled and drawn completely by hand. The Côtes de Genève decoration, the blued screws and the blue initial P which is attached to the cage, add an additional dimension to the overall aspect of the movement.
This first edition of the Piaget Emperador tourbillon will be limited to 10 rose and 10 white gold watches - each being numbered from 00 to 09 - and will retail at around 110,000 Swiss francs. I've already ordered mine, the only problem is that I have to win the lottery first before I can pay for it!