Originally designed for pocket watches to maintain their accuracy by counteracting the effect of gravity, the tourbillon is no longer a necessity, but remains as a hallmark of quality for premium brands such as Germany’s A Lange & Sohne. They have combined the mechanism with the classic looks of their rectangular Cabaret watch to create the Cabaret Tourbillon. The movement, containing 2 diamonds and 47 ruby jewels, is visible through a window in the watch face. Add to that a solid silver dial, either rhodiumed or pink gold hands and a supple crocodile strap and the asking price of £138,000 would seem to be justified.
The tourbillon – meaning whirlwind – mechanism, invented just over 200 years ago, is considered one of the most challenging watch mechanisms to build.