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IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

Magic of the Flying Tourbillon

I’ll admit that being a Tourbillon is no longer a really big deal. Numerous brands offer it in a plethora of fancy versions – featuring one, two or even four tourbillons in a single timepiece, designed to resemble a solar system or even the engine of a sports car. Very interesting choices. But one should not forget that what really counts is not merely what you do, but how you do it.  

Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon IW545801 Armor Gold
— May I introduce myself? I’m the Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon in 18 ct. Armor Gold®
New manufacture movement - just for me

One of the things I feel most honoured about is the fact that IWC’s R&D team has developed a new manufacture movement exclusively for me: the hand-wound inhouse movement calibre 81905, to be precise. It consists of 159 individual components that allow me to tick for a full 84 hours straight without the need to be re-energised. Turn me around, and you’ll get a beautiful view of the movement through my sapphire case back which, by the way, bears an anti-reflective coating on both sides to allow for a crystal-clear view.

 

What also helps me keep the energy flowing is the fact that IWC has used the innovative Diamond Shell® technology to coat both my pallet lever and escape wheel. Why would they do that? Because the coating – along with their slightly optimised geometry – reduces friction between these parts and ensure that my heart and brain receive enough energy at all times.

 

Obviously, the most interesting part of me is my flying minute tourbillon which can be brought to a complete halt. This allows my wearer to set the time with an accuracy that would make many other tourbillon watches jealous. Placed at 6 o’clock on a beautifully clean and open silver-plated dial, my tourbillon very much enjoys being the immediate center of attention. 

Protected by 18 ct. Armor gold®

But what exactly is the difference between a tourbillon and a flying tourbillon, you might ask? Well, the cage of a regular tourbillon is fixed with an upper bridge that often results in a partly obstructed view. Some may find that bothersome. Not so with the flying tourbillon! Its cage is held from just one side which gives the impression that the tourbillon is freely floating inside the movement. In the end, not only do you get a better view of the tourbillon doing its thing, but you also gain perhaps an even greater appreciation of this tiny mechanism that consists of 56 components and weighs just a bit more than 0.6 grams.

 

There would be no point in creating my delicate inner workings if I couldn’t rely on a firm and steadfast protection from all sides. My case is made of 18 ct Armor Gold® which is a new variant of the conventional 5N gold. A sophisticated process transforms the microstructure of the alloy, making it significantly harder and more wear-resistant than traditional gold alloys.

 

You see, I may be a discreet watch with a puristic design, but to protect my little flying “whirlwind”, I would never shy away from walking the extra mile. 

Sapphire case back Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon
— My see-through sapphire case back has an anti-reflective coating on both sides

Click here to learn even more details about me. 

 


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