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best mechanical watches

Mechanical watches are timepieces that utilize non-electronic means of keeping the time. Just about any watch that isn’t quartz (save for Grand Seiko, but more on that later) is considered a mechanical watch. While the original mechanical watches were all hand-wound, the technology eventually advanced to the point where self-winding or automatic watches became the standard. 

While mechanical watches aren’t necessarily the most high-tech timepieces on the market, there’s just something special about that analog feel you get with a traditional mechanical watch. That’s why the luxury watch market is mostly comprised of mechanical watches rather than quartz watches.

What Is a Mechanical Watch?

Mechanical watches utilize a mainspring which is wound to release that energy in short bursts, using gears to keep accurate time. Even though the first mechanical watches had to be wound by hand in order to keep time, the development of automatic watches allowed for a rotor that spins using the movement of your hand to continuously wind the mainspring.

There’s beauty, and some might even say romance, to the inner and outer workings of a mechanical watch. A mechanical watch releases energy in small quick bursts, which allows the second hand to sweep somewhat smoothly across the dial. This is a pleasing sight to most watch collectors and something that a quartz watch simply can’t replicate.

In the late 1960’s Japanese watchmakers developed the quartz movement, which allowed for a battery to send an electrical signal through a quartz crystal, which would regulate the time. It was more accurate than most mechanical watches and never needed to be wound. 

The main disadvantage to quartz was that you had to continually change the battery. However, to some watch collectors, quartz is too clinical and cold. They prefer the mechanical heartbeat of a hand-wound or automatic watch, and quartz just can’t scratch that itch.

The most obvious external difference between a mechanical watch and a quartz watch is the second hand. As stated above, mechanical watches tend to have a smooth sweep of the second hand

On the other hand, quartz watches tick one second at a time, which is manifested in a slowly ticking second hand across the dial. While it doesn’t have an impact on the accuracy of the watch, it’s something that’s just not as pleasing to many collectors as that smooth mechanical sweep.

Types of Mechanical Watches

Hand-wound mechanical watches are just as they sound, wound by hand. These were the first mechanical watches that were available. Every day or two, a hand-wound mechanical watch must have its crown rotated.

This builds up the energy in the mainspring, which gets released throughout the day, allowing the timepiece to keep accurate time. Later, watchmakers and engineers developed the automatic movement. While this movement works in essentially the same way as a hand-wound one, there’s a single difference.

Rather than requiring the crown to be rotated, the watch has an internal weighted rotor. The rotor spins around whenever the user walks or moves their hands, winding the mainspring. This allows for a more user-friendly and less labor-intensive experience for the wearer.

The Best Mechanical Watches

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 20 best mechanical watches at every price level. Because you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the joy of having a mechanical watch on your wrist just because of the cost. Read on to see the best options at every price point, and you’re sure to find at least one that meets your needs.

Seiko SRPD55

Seiko SRPD55

Seiko is known for having high-quality watches at nearly every price point, so it’s fitting that we start our list with this classic Seiko option. The SRPD55 comes from the vaunted Seiko 5 collection of steel sports watches. It has a diameter of 42.5mm, making it both comfortable and legible. 

It also includes an automatic Seiko movement with a 41-hour power reserve, a unidirectional rotating dive bezel, and a tri-fold clasp. To top it off, the SRPD utilizes Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite lume and Hardlex crystal, offering a whole lot of bang for your buck. Wear this beauty out in the water, and you’ll likely garner as much respect as those wearing a Rolex Submariner. 

This watch is priced at $295.

Seagull 1963

Seagull 1963

Seagull is a brand with an interesting history. Initially conceptualized by the Chinese government in the mid-20th century, Seagull was first created to create high-quality watches for the Chinese military. This model, ref. 6345G-2901 is a reimagining of their original 1963 hand-wound chronograph manufactured for the Chinese Air Force. 

The movement is a Seagull ST21, based on the classic Venus hand-wound movement. When Swiss company Venus needed to sell all their old movement-making equipment, the Chinese government purchased it and installed it in their factory.

The watch comes with a classically-sized 38mm case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, 21,600 VPH, and a 45-hour power reserve when fully wound. This is an affordable watch with looks, heritage, and functionality, all for less than $400.

This watch is priced at approximately $400.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

When it comes to legendary field watches, few models are more respected than the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical. This particular model, ref. H69439931 comes with a traditional case size of 38mm, the Hamilton H-50 hand-wound movement, and availability on a steel bracelet or fabric nato strap. 

This watch is all about braving the great outdoors and getting home safely. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical has a loyal following, even among those who collect watches in the tens of thousands of dollars. It’s a dependable workhorse and one with real heritage and history. And it comes at a great price to boot, so what are you waiting for?

This watch is priced at $575.

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Blue Dial

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Blue Dial

The Tissot PRX, ref. T137.407.11.041.00 is a watch that was released using inspiration from one of their earlier models from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Utilizing a slim integrated bracelet and modern case design, the PRX quickly became a “must-have” throughout the greater watch community. 

It utilizes Tissot’s famed Powermatic 80 automatic movement that boasts a whopping 80-hour power reserve. The case measures 40mm in diameter and includes a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a display case back, and a beautiful textured dial.

If you want to be in with the cool watch crowd but don’t want to spend thousands, then the PRX is the way to go. It also comes in a black and a gorgeous deep green dial variant. 

This watch is priced at $675.

Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko is a giant in the world of watches at almost every level. This solid diver that can be found for less than $1000 is the perfect example of why the Japanese brand is so revered. It has a perfect diameter of 40.5mm, 200m of water resistance, a 24-jewel Seiko automatic movement, and a full 70 hours of power reserve. Unlike many other Seiko divers, this one comes with a solid sapphire crystal rather than Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex, making it even more durable for those long days in the water.

This watch is priced at $575.

Longines Flagship Heritage 

Longines Flagship Heritage

Longines is a legacy Swiss brand that offers something for just about anyone in the watch world. With their Flagship Heritage models, they went back to their roots and delivered a classic dress watch.

Offered in silver and black dial models, this (ref.L47954782) 38.5mm stunner has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a small seconds function, a 6 o’clock date window, and an automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve. This gorgeous watch is perfect for a night out on the town or a day at the office. 

This watch is priced at $1200.

Oris Aquis Caliber 400

Oris Aquis Caliber 400

Oris creates some of the best mid-range dive watches on the market. The foundation of their dive watch line, with good reason, is the Aquis Caliber 400 (ref. 01 400 7763 4135.) Available in a few different colors, the Aquis Caliber 400 comes in a sturdy 43.5mm case.

It’s also available in a slightly less expensive option, with a third-party movement. This one has all the bells and whistles of a luxury dive watch, including a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a self-winding automatic movement, and a gorgeous ceramic bezel insert.

But the Aquis isn’t just another pretty face (although it has that too). You get a depth rating of 300 meters, so this is a real diver that can take a whole lot of wear and tear in the water.

This watch is priced at $3700.

Oris Pro Pilot X Caliber 400

Oris Pro Pilot X Caliber 400

While Oris may be best known for their dive watches, their pilot watches are almost as popular. The Pro Pilot X is a gorgeous line incorporating Oris’ heritage of pilot’s watches with modern design and materials. The beautiful textured outer bezel gives the watch dimension, while the dial is all about refinement and simplicity, also offering a date window at 6 o’clock. 

The case and the bracelet are both made from lightweight titanium, making this one of the most comfortable watches you’ll ever own. It also has a power reserve of 120 hours, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a screw-down crown which helps the watch offer a water resistance of 100 meters. While this blue variation (ref.  01 400 7778 7155-07 7 20 01TLC) is lovely, it also comes in gray or bright salmon colors.

This watch is priced at $4300.

Tudor Black Bay 58

Tudor Black Bay 58

What can we say about the Tudor Black Bay 58 (ref.M79030N-0001) that hasn’t already been said? It has a diameter of 39mm, a sapphire crystal, snowflake hands, a 70-hour power reserve, and a screw-down crown with 200 meters of water resistance.

The design of the case and the dial go back to the days of vintage Rolex and Tudor divers, and the smaller case size takes those similarities even further. 

The watch’s name was derived from the first-ever Tudor dive watch. It’s an example of how going back to what made a brand great in the first place can take them even further. The Tudor Black Bay 58 just might be the perfect dive watch for anyone. 

This watch is priced at $4300.

IWC Mark XX

IWC Mark XX

IWC made a name for themselves by creating legendary pilot’s watches. The famed Schaffhausen watchmaker has created some of the most iconic timepieces of the past century, and the Mark XX (ref. IW328204) lives up to that standard.

IWC is one of the most underappreciated brands in the Swiss watch market, especially in terms of its value proposition. With its straightforward pilot dial design and gorgeous blue color, this watch is just as impressive at a fancy dinner party as it is in the cockpit.

It has a moderate width of 40mm but a surprisingly svelte height of just 10.8mm, making it fit perfectly under a cuff. The three o’clock date window and automatic movement with 120 hours of power reserve make this model fly out of boutiques, so get one while you still can.

This watch is priced at $3950.

Grand Seiko SBGA211

Grand Seiko SBGA211

Grand Seiko is all about beauty and precision. The SBGA211 offers all that and more. Starting with perhaps the best thing about this watch, it’s powered by Seiko’s patented Spring Drive movement. The Spring Drive is a mechanical movement that uses a quartz crystal to regulate timekeeping. 

This means it has the best of both worlds, combining the romance of mechanical watchmaking with the technical superiority of quartz technology. That gives it an accuracy of plus or minus one second per day.

It also has a power reserve display and one of the most stunning textured dials you’ll find anywhere. Add to that a lightweight titanium case and 100 meters of water resistance, and you might never need to own another watch again.

This watch is priced at $6200.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

The Omega Seamaster range offers a real dive watch for real divers. That’s not to say that everyone else can’t enjoy it just as much. This gorgeous blue dial watch (ref. 210.30.42.20.03.001) has the signature Seamaster wave pattern, a 42mm case size, the Omega caliber 8800 movement, with George Daniels’ famed coaxial escapement, and 300 meters of water resistance. 

On top of all that, the AR-coated sapphire crystal will stay pristine for years, and the comfortable steel bracelet will make you forget that you’re even wearing a watch, even in the harsh sea elements. In addition to the standard Seamaster Diver 300M, the Seamaster Aqua Terra is a great alternative for those who want all of the technical benefits of a dive watch but prefer a more simple and dressy look. After all, the Seamaster Diver 300M and the Aqua Terra were good enough for James Bond, so they should be good enough for you!

This watch is priced at $5600.

Omega Speedmaster Professional

Omega Speedmaster Professional

We love this watch to the moon and back, as did the astronauts. The Speedmaster Professional (ref. 310.30.42.50.01.002) is one of the most widely recognized watches in the world, mainly because it left this world on a rocket ship.

The iconic chronograph is one of the most robust and accurate timepieces available on the market. The standard Speedmaster Professional model has a hand-wound in-house chronograph movement and a diameter of 42mm but wears closer to 40mm or 41mm because of the tachymeter that runs around the outside. 

The dial is monochromatic and highly legible, making for the perfect tool watch for all of your timekeeping needs. If you’re a history buff and appreciate beautiful watches, then the Speedmaster Professional has everything you’ll ever want in a watch.

For those who really want to own a piece of history, the famed Omega 321 movement Speedmaster might be worth buying. This is the same as the standard Speedmaster Professional, but the movement is almost identical to the one that was in the very first Speedmaster “moon watch”.

This watch is priced at $7600.

Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date

Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date

Glashütte Original is a German watch brand that’s known for its classic styling and impressive attention to detail. The Sixties Panorama Date (ref. 2-39-47-06-02-04) is a great dress or casual watch, depending on how you style it. The bright blue sunburst dial is joyful and bold, and the vintage-style roman numerals and stick indices are pure class. 

The watch features a diameter of 42mm, a beautifully branded tang buckle clasp, 40 hours of power reserve, and a domed sapphire crystal. It also includes a convenient date window just above the six o’clock position, a function that most people use even more than they ever expected.

This watch is priced at $8000.

Rolex GMT Master II

Rolex GMT Master II

Rolex is perhaps the most widely-known watch brand in the world. And the GMT Master II (ref. 126710BLRO) is just one of the reasons that the brand is so popular. GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time. This watch allows you to track three time zones simultaneously, using an additional GMT hour hand and a rotating 24-hour bezel. 

The 100 meters of water resistance and convenient 40mm size make it a great everyday watch. The iconic red and blue “Pepsi” bezel makes this watch an absolute stunner that’s sure to inspire plenty of second looks. It’s one of the most iconic watches of all time and one that watch connoisseurs love all over the world.

This watch has an MSRP of $10700.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

If Rolex is the most famous watch brand in the world, then the Daytona (ref. 116500LN) just might be the most famous watch in the world. This gorgeous slim chronograph has been worn on the wrist of racing legends and movie stars alike. In the case of the “Paul Newman” Daytona, those two people are one and the same.

The watch has a diminutive profile at 40mm but a huge historical presence. The tri-compax design is appealing to the eye but not too flashy.

It has 100 meters of water resistance due to the screw-down crown and pushers, an uncommon feature for chronographs. The black and silver monochromatic design is stunning in the light, and the watch goes with almost any type of dress, casual to formal.

This watch has an MSRP of $14800.

Hublot Big Bang Black Magic

Hublot Big Bang Black Magic

Hublot has gained popularity in recent years for its bold design language and sense of fun. The Big Bang Black Magic (301.CM.130.RX) has plenty of both. With a substantial size of 44mm, this watch makes a statement. The black riveted bezel and rubber strap complement the functional and highly legible chronograph dial. 

It has an automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and 100 meters of water resistance. This watch is tough and durable, and it looks the part. 

This watch is priced at approximately $16000.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas

Vacheron Constantin Overseas

Vacheron Constantin is one of the “Holy Trinity”, as it’s called in watchmaking. It’s a legacy brand respected for its attention to detail and beautiful dials. When looking at this Overseas model (ref. 4500V/110A-B128), it’s no surprise.

The bright blue dial mimics the color of the ocean at different times of day, and the 41mm case size is perfect for everyday use. The watch has a water resistance of 150 meters and an AR-coated scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, so it’s much more than just another pretty face. 

This watch has an MSRP of $22500.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Another “Holy Trinity” brand, Audemars Piguet, has a virtual gold mine when it comes to their Royal Oak model (ref. 15202). Designed by legendary watch designer Gerald Genta, this 1970s-era sports model has captured the imagination of watch lovers the world over. It has a diameter of 39mm but wears much larger. 

The stylish integrated bracelet design has been copied by hundreds of other watch brands, and with good reason. It’s a stunning look on the wrist and one that is not easily ignored. The dial is no slouch, either. The gray-blue color with the “Petite Tapisserie” texture is subtle but confident. It also has an in-house automatic movement with 40 hours of power reserve and a respectable 50 meters of water resistance. 

This watch has an MSRP of $33200.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Patek Philippe is perhaps the most revered watchmaker of all time. Their watches offer timeless style and undeniable quality. The Nautilus (ref. 5711), similar to the AP Royal Oak, is a classic 1970s sports watch design that will likely never go out of style. 

The geometrically shaped case and striped dial design are instantly recognizable, and it has real sports watch pedigree as well. The steel construction, automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve, sapphire crystal, and 100 meters of water resistance make the Nautilus a giant among watches.

This watch has an MSRP of $34800.

Conclusion

Mechanical watches are a true beauty to observe due to their intricate moving parts. Thankfully, there are several options for watch enthusiasts to enjoy these engineering marvels across all budgets

I hope this list of the 20 best mechanical watches sparked an interest in starting your own mechanical watch collection. If you do, consider shopping at Exquisite Timepieces. We have a huge selection of affordable and luxury mechanical watches, and our team of experts is always available to help you choose the best one!

dr. strange watch

On the surface, esteemed neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange seemed to have it all. He had fabulous wealth, a highly successful career, respect from his peers, and a blooming romance with fellow neurosurgeon Dr. Christine Palmer. 

Little did he know that his life was totally about to change, moving away from the concrete jungle of New York to a mystical world of magic and marvels. Strange eventually becomes something almost supernatural, but the one thing that does ground him to reality is his wristwatch.

About the Dr. Strange Watch

Accompanying Dr. Strange on his psychedelic journey that takes him everywhere from the slums of Nepal to a dimension parallel to our own is his Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual. For Strange, this watch is the only thing he has left to remind himself of his past life after his spectacular fall from grace. 

Strange took immense pride in his work as a neurosurgeon, and this turned him into quite an arrogant person. While driving to a conference, Strange becomes distracted while driving and crashes his Lamborghini Huracán, sending him tumbling down the cliffside. He miraculously survives, but at an enormous cost: the use of his hands.

It is because of his desperation to heal his hands that Strange goes through numerous treatments to no avail. He eventually learns about a treatment that goes beyond medical science and travels far to seek the truth. The Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is not only an amazing part of Strange’s attire but also an enormous significance in the film.

Strange cherishes this watch so much because it is a gift from his love, Christine. Engraved on the watch’s caseback is the sweet quote, “Time will tell how much I love you”. These words comfort Strange when times are difficult, and as a future Sorcerer Supreme and Master of the Mystic Arts, life can only be complicated.  

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar Review

Of course, the most interesting thing about the movie for watch enthusiasts is perhaps the stunning Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar. This watch is prominently featured in scenes throughout the film, and its gorgeous moonphase complication is easily seen from afar. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre is sometimes referred to as “the watchmaker of watchmakers” for a good reason. The brand earns its reputation with classic, timeless designs and a staunch dedication to creating incredible timepieces.

JLC is known for various iconic designs, such as the Reverso and the Master Ultra-Thin. The watch featured in the movie is a pinnacle of watchmaking skill, with a perpetual calendar complication and a gorgeous, starry moonphase at the 12 o’clock position.

True to its name, the mechanics behind the watch are housed in a razor-thin case that is just another display of impressive watchmaking. One of the most attractive features of the watch is the paper-thin case width of just over 9mm.

Achieving this level of thinness is something only the most trained watchmakers can achieve. Much thinking must go into the design before such thinness becomes possible. This is a tough task because every part of the watch must be scrutinized even more than normal.

Unnecessary thickness is shaved off until all that is left is a movement that breathes life into the timepiece. Due to its thinness, the watch will easily fit under any suit jacket or shirt cuff. The Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is 39mm in case diameter, which is suitable for any wrist size.

It is the perfect size for any gentleman fortunate enough to enjoy this horological masterpiece. The dial is truly a showstopper and will immediately draw attention to it. The perpetual calendar elegantly displays everything a person needs, magical superhero or not.

Perpetual calendars are named because they will keep track of various details like month and day of the week extremely accurately as long as the watch is running. They will provide accurate information on the day of the week, date, year, leap year, and phase of the moon.

Perpetual calendars don’t need to be adjusted by a watchmaker until the end of the century due to their complicated mechanics. It takes into account the number of days a month has and even tracks leap years. The watch on Strange’s wrist has a silvery-white dial and sharply cut silver hour markers.

The deep blue, starry moonphase is located at the 12 o’clock position, cut inside of an elegant crescent shape. At the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions are the date and day of the week, respectively. At the bottom of the watch at the 6 o’clock position is the month, and next to it is a small rectangle for the year.

Hidden behind the hands is a small day and night indicator. With just one glance, a wealth of information can be learned. The movement for the Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is JLC’s Calibre 868. This automatic winding movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour, has a power reserve of 38 hours, 46 jewels, is water resistant up to 50 meters, and is carefully assembled out of 336 parts. 

This movement manages to power the perpetual calendar and the watch while being an astonishing 4.72mm in thickness. The beauty of this mechanical movement can be viewed through an open sapphire caseback. Of course, the timepiece in the movie is customized, with Christine’s special message for Strange etched into the caseback.

The strap is inky jet-black leather with careful stitching on the side and large rectangular alligator scales. The lug width is 21mm and is interchangeable for personal customization. Keeping the watch secured to the wrist is a double folding, stainless steel clasp. Both the strap and the clasp can be swapped out quickly due to its quick-release feature.

What Other Dr. Strange Watches Are Out There?

Before Strange’s unfortunate brush with fate, he was seen confidently preparing for his night out. After tidying his bowtie, he opens up his drawer and reveals a breathtaking watch collection. Audiences can only gasp as they view the opulent collection. All of his watches are on winders that will keep their movements functioning.

He has some truly stunning (and expensive) watches that suit his lucrative career as a successful New York neurosurgeon. We only get a glimpse of his luxurious collection for a few seconds, but below are a few others that he owns besides his Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds Q397846J

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds Q397846J

What’s better than one JLC watch? How about two JLC watches? JLC evidently ensured that their watches were featured prominently in the superhero movie. In addition to the Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual, Strange also owns another iconic watch from JLC, the Reverso. 

The Reverso was originally designed to protect watches during polo matches. The solution was to have a case that could be flipped over, covering the watch face and revealing a smooth, stainless steel shield instead.

This reference number comes in various colors, from a classic dark black to a subdued burgundy. The timepiece is an attractive and exciting rectangular shape, with 45.6 x 27.4mm dimensions. There is no date on the dial, which helps preserve the watch’s delicate symmetry. 

At the 6 o’clock position is the expertly placed small seconds. The silvery hour marks and surgically cut dauphine hands shine in the sunlight. The strap snugly fits between the 20mm lugs and seamlessly wraps around the wrist. The movement is the JLC Calibre 822, featuring a 42 hours power reserve, 21,600 vibrations per hour, and 19 jewels. 

TAG Heuer Monaco Caliber 12 Final Edition CAW211J.FC6476

TAG Heuer Monaco Caliber 12 Final Edition CAW211J.FC6476

A Tag Heuer Monaco has its place in any luxury collection, and this limited edition Monaco is no exception. The Monaco is one of Tag Heuer’s most famous watches, being worn by the likes of Steve McQueen and Chris Hemsworth.

The masculine square shape is bold on the wrist and a voluminous 39 x 39mm. This 39mm looks even larger with the watch’s square shape. Limited to only 1,000 pieces worldwide, the Caliber 12 Final Edition is a granite grey color with a vertically brushed ruthenium dial. Engraved on the caseback is each watch’s unique limited edition number.

The strap is a classy black alligator leather with a bright red underbelly. Powering this racing-inspired watch is the Calibre 12 Automatic. This chronograph movement has a 40-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour.

Rolex Daytona 116520 White Dial

Rolex Daytona 116520 White Dial

Rolex is, for many, the peak of luxury watches. Ask someone to name a luxury timepiece, and Rolex will probably be the first brand that comes to mind. In Strange’s collection is the Rolex Daytona with a white dial. Also known as the Cosmograph Daytona, a word of Rolex’s creation, this chronograph is one of Rolex’s most desirable models.

There is simply no mistaking this watch, with its chunky chronograph pushers, red Daytona lettering, and tachymeter etched into the bezel. Originally used to help racecar drivers track elapsed time and average speed, the watch is now one of Rolex’s most luxurious and expensive models.

The Daytona is 40mm in diameter, which makes it a modern-sized watch for any wrist. The sub-dials feature the 30-minute and 12-hour markers, with the seconds located at 6 o’clock. 

The chronograph works in conjunction with the etched tachymeter on the bezel to help track driving speeds. Powering the Daytona is Rolex’s caliber 4130 movement, which is easier to service than previous Rolex chronograph movements due to using fewer parts. It has a considerable 72-hour power reserve and has 100 meters of water resistance.

Conclusion

Although he eventually became a superhero that protects the Earth from cosmic threats, Dr. Strange’s watches are still very much an important part of his extraordinary life. Watches mean a lot to different people, and for Strange, they represent a memory in the distant past. 

They are what ground him in the everyday worries of ordinary people and remind him about a time of lost love. Strange certainly has an impressive watch collection, and it is a treat and privilege for all of us to enjoy it with him.

15 best open back watches for all budget ranges

Are you in the market for a new open back watch? I relate with you. I love watches that allow me to glimpse the intricate engineering of their mechanisms. 

You don’t have to break the bank to find a quality watch with an exhibition case back. But honestly, you may have to spend on the high side to find timepieces with movement construction and finish worth the display case.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best open-back watches across budget ranges, so you can find the perfect watch to suit your style. From affordable quartz watches to high-end luxury timepieces, this comprehensive guide has something for everyone. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of open-back watches and discover what makes them so special.

About Open Back Watches

Open-back watches show the watchmakers pride in the engineering of their watch. They also offer you a chance to admire or show off the movement to another watch buff. These watches reveal the tiny gears, rotors, and springs working harmoniously to keep time running.

It’s like having a miniature Rube Goldberg machine on your wrist! But open-back watches are more than just a fascinating display of engineering. They are well-thought-out designs and can be pricey if you want to experience a movement worth showing off. 

History Of Open Back Watches

Display case backs have existed for centuries, but it’s uncertain when they were first made. However, Bovet, founded in 1822, claims to be the first brand to design an exhibition case watch. Time went on (pun intended), and watchmakers began to get more creative with their designs.

In the 19th century, watchmakers, in a bid to make the case backs more transparent, started to use materials like crystal. As expected, the watches stayed expensive, and only a few could afford them.

A. Lange & Söhne did release watches with enamored outer casings and transparent inner casings displaying the movement. Only in the 20th century did these watches become popular and more accessible, particularly amongst watch geeks, collectors, and enthusiasts. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, Swiss watchmakers began producing high-end luxury watches with open backs, such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony.

These watches were often produced in limited quantities and featured complex movements. Today, open back watches are everywhere and available in all sizes, shapes, and prices.

The Top 15 Open Back Watches

1. Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph

Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph

If you are looking for a stylish and affordable display case watch, consider the vintage-inspired Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph. This proudly Chinese-made watch is touted as the most attainable mechanical watch.

The 38mm stainless steel case has a polished finish and is 12mm thick, which gives the watch a retro look. It’s a simple, clean dial with a blurry white background, black hour markers, and hands. Three sub-dials show the chronograph seconds, minutes, and hours.

One of the unique features of this watch is the movement. It uses a manual ST19 caliber, which is fairly accurate and reliable, with a power reserve of around 40 hours.

In terms of functionality, the Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph is a basic chronograph with no additional features such as a date display or a tachymeter. In addition, there’s hearsay that its leather strap may be of lower quality. However, it packs plenty of value for its price.

Starts from approximately: $300.83

2. Seiko 5 SRPD71

Seiko 5 SRPD71

The Seiko 5 SRPD71 (also known as the SRPD71K1) is a stunning and unique timepiece. It combines a traditional style and elegance with contemporary functions. 

The watch is enclosed in a stainless steel case made of scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal that is 13.4mm thick and has a diameter of 42.5mm. It has a sturdy bracelet that makes the watch feel substantial on the wrist. 

Also, it sports a black dial with luminous hands and markers that make it simple to read in dim light. Additionally, the placement of the day/date function adds a practical touch to the overall design.

Other striking features of the Seiko 5 SRPD71 are the automatic and manual winding 4R36 caliber that provides reliable timekeeping and a 41-hour power reserve. The watch also has a 10 bar water resistance, making it suitable for swimming and other related activities.

Overall, the Seiko 5 SRPD71 is an excellent choice for sport watch lovers who also want some style and durability to go with it.

Starts from approximately: $350

3. Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic (H32515555)

Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic (H32515555)

Now here is one delightful combination of elegance and whimsy! I like to think of it as the James Bond of watches – cool, calm, and daring. Let’s start with the design. The Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic (H32515555) has a classic look for formal occasions.

Its captivating white dial has dauphine hands and a mix of Arabic numerals and dagger indexes. It even has a big date at the 3 o’clock position, not to mention guilloche-like patterns in the middle of the dial. 

The Jazzmaster is pristine and refined with a matching 40mm stainless case.  And the Viewmatic naming is probably in reference to its exhibition-style case back that allows you to view the mechanical movement.

This Hamilton piece is powered by an H10 automatic caliber and features an 80-hour power reserve, which is unheard of at its price range.

It also has 25 jewels, but you’re only afforded a sight of its oscillating weight and parts of its wheels through its open case. Pair the Jazzmatic with its calf leather bracelet strap, and you have an elegant dress watch on a budget.

Starts from approximately: $910

4. Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase (ref. FC-712MS4H6)

Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase (ref. FC-712MS4H6)

The Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase (ref. FC-712MS4H6), or as I like to call it, the “fancy watch that tells you when to howl at the moon,” is a work of art. It’s got a sleek silver and black design that’s sure to turn heads. 

The FC-712MS4H6 boasts other satisfactory attributes, like the calf leather black strap with croc-print and a folding buckle with push buttons. The polished stainless steel case has a 42mm diameter, a thickness of 11.6mm, and a 5 bar water resistance.

This case houses a matching silver dial and automatic central rotor mechanics that can be seen through the open case back and an FC-712 caliber. The moon phase and day-indicator subdials maintain the simple look of the dial.

In all, the Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase is a watch that’s both stylish and practical. It’s perfect for the fashion-conscious werewolf who needs to keep track of lunar cycles or anyone who wants to look darn good while telling time.

Pricing: $3,172

5. NOMOS Tangente 38 (ref. 164)

NOMOS Tangente 38 (ref. 164)

The Tangente 38 is a minimalist’s dream come true, with clean lines, simple indices, and a stunningly understated dial. It’s the kind of watch that makes you feel like a savvy sophisticate just by wearing it, even if you’re just wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt.

But don’t be fooled by its simplicity – this Nomos watch is a veritable treasure trove of clever engineering. The in-house manual-winding caliber Alpha is a marvel of precision and efficiency, keeping the time with the kind of accuracy that would make an atomic clock blush.

And the sapphire crystal open back gives you a peek into the inner workings of this mechanical masterpiece and its aesthetic blend of purple, blue, gold, and silver colors. Of course, the Tangente 38 isn’t just a pretty face (with an even more beautiful back).

It’s also built to last, with a 43 hours power reserve and a round (37.50mm diameter) sturdy stainless steel case that can take a beating. And with a 30 meters water resistance, the watch is splash-proof.

Let’s not forget the little details that make the Tangente 38 so special. The slim blue steel hands, elegant markers, subtly curved lugs, and the Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan leather are a testament to the beauty of simplicity and the power of a great design.

Pricing: $1,912

6. Longines Master Collection (ref. L2.673.4.78.3)

Longines Master Collection (ref. L2.673.4.78.3)

The Longines Master Collection (ref. L2.673.4.78.3) is a perfect accessory for anyone who wants to feel like a high-roller. It’s stylish, functional, and toolsy. Now, let’s talk specs. The Longines Master Collection ref. L2.673.4.78.3 has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42mm.

It’s a “barleycorn” silver-toned dial with a guilloche pattern and many markings in Arabic numerals. And its blue feuille hands give it a cool, relaxing look that calms its cluttered dial. It has standard 12-hour, 24-hour, small seconds, day-date-month indexes, and a moon phase indicator on the dial. 

This Longines Master is a complete date and timekeeping watch. It’s got a sapphire crystal open case back so that you can admire the intricate workings of its Longines caliber L678.2. Admittedly, half of the display is only the oscillating weight, so a watch critic might have some disapproving words. 

Another standout is its 64 hours of power reserve. So you can go more than two and a half days without winding it. If you love the idea of a full calendar and exhibition case watch, this Longines Master is a no-brainer.

Starts from approximately $2,300

7. Grand Seiko SBGP017

Grand Seiko SBGP017

This stunning timepiece was designed as a special anniversary edition of the 44GS. Its light blue dial and cloud-texture pattern were influenced by the sea of clouds of GS’s Shinshu studio. Now to the watch itself.

The SBGP017 is a part of Grand Seiko’s Sport Collection, so you know it’s made to withstand wear and tear. The case is made of high-strength titanium, which is both lightweight and durable. It also has a see-through sapphire crystal case back to glance at its quartz movement.

And if you thought that was impressive, wait until you hear about the diamond-cut hour markers and the date window at 3 o’clock. Further, the SBGP017 is powered by Grand Seiko’s 9F85 quartz movement, accurate to within +/- 5 seconds per year. So, if you value precision and reliability more than super-complications, this watch is for you. 

The open back shows the movement in all its glory, with a gold finish, gems, and battery on display. Ultimately, the SBG017 is a value-packed open back watch with a dial design, finishing, and durability ahead of its price range. Perfect choice if you don’t mind quartz. 

Starts from approximately: $3,800

8. Tudor Black Bay Ceramic (ref. M79210CNU-0001)

Tudor Black Bay Ceramic (ref. M79210CNU-0001)

The watch in black – the Tudor Black Bay is a classy watch any collector or enthusiast will jump at. It’s a premium dive watch with a micro-blasted black ceramic case, bezel, and hybrid leather-rubber strap. Only the white Tudor markers and hands give it a pop of color.

It’s reminiscent of a customized all-black BMW, or any all-black car for that matter. Surprisingly, the Black Bay’s dial is extremely easy to read in the dark or underwater. The case measures 41mm in diameter, making it a great size for most wrist sizes. 

Its exhibition case back offers excellent visibility of the watch’s inner workings, adding to its allure. The watch also features a screw-down crown and is water resistant up to 200m. But let’s get to the really important stuff – the movement.

Its METAS-certified MT5602 caliber, with a 70-hour power reserve and anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gausses. Of course, it’s also finished all-black with only a few contrasting gems and steel finishing. Overall, the Tudor Black Bay is a high-tech watch with fancy finishes and an exhibition case. 

Starts from approximately: $5,025

9. Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Blue (ref. 95.9002.9004/78.R590)

Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Blue (ref. 95.9002.9004/78.R590)

The Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Blue (ref. 95.9002.9004/78.R590) is a magnificent skeleton watch that allows you to admire the intricate details of its movement, front, back, and center. Some major sights are the blue oscillating weight, the Zenith star logo on the rotor, and the counters.

Plus, a mindblowing 36,000 frequency on its El Primero movement. Additionally, the watch has a power reserve of 50 hours. And if you’re worried about getting wet, fear not – it’s water-resistant up to 100 meters.

Despite its seemingly complicated look and prominent case, it’s a classy dress watch. Its 44mm titanium case synchronizes with the rubber strap and tones of blue from the El Primero movement. The Defy El Primero will pass for a luxury sports watch, statement piece, and night dress watch. 

Starts from approximately: $8,814

10. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 is a diver’s watch with stellar craftsmanship. The open back design is a great touch, allowing you a glimpse of its 227 components in action. Its sapphire crystal case back displays the oscillating weight, escapement, and balance wheel, all in motion.

The Fifty Fathoms 5015 in-house caliber 1315 has an impressive 120-hour power reserve. It is encased in a sizeable 45mm stainless steel case that’s comfortable to wear with its sail-canvas strap. 

It’s typically built for underwater use with a unidirectional rotating bezel, black dial, luminescent hands, and markers for legibility in low-light conditions and 300 meters of water resistance. If you love iconic watches that are bold to put their movements on display, the Fithy Fathoms is the true definition. 

Starts from approximately: $15,555

11. Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 (ref. 311.30.40.30.01.001)

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 (ref. 311.30.40.30.01.001)

This watch is the perfect trifecta of watchmaking – combining style, function, and history. The Omega Speedmaster is easily one of the most beautiful display case watches ever. It houses the Caliber 321 – early Speedmaster models worn by NASA astronauts during the Apollo missions – that would leave you staring at in awe.

It’s a hand-wound movement with 18k rose gold finished components, a Breguet balance spring, and 55 hours of power reserve. Again, this is the moon caliber on display. The face of the watch is one of simplicity and class. 

It features a sleek black dial with contrasting white minute markings on the sub-dials and bezel tachymeter. Its 39.7mm 316L corrosion-resistant stainless steel case bracelets are sturdy and complete each other for a masculine instrument watch look.

Starts from approximately: $23,900

12. Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-17-91-33)

Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-17-91-33)

At the heart of the red gold SeaQ is Glashütte Original’s Caliber 39-11 automatic movement, which boasts an impressive power reserve of up to 40 hours. This movement is built to last, with its signature three-quarter plate and Glashütte stripes adding a touch of elegance to the watch’s overall aesthetic.

The SeaQ’s blue dial with its sunburst finish, lume on the hands, and indices are top-notch features that provide excellent legibility in any lighting condition. It’s no surprise for a dive watch with its water resistance rating of 300 meters.

This is thanks to a screw-down crown, a screw-down case back, and a unidirectional rotating bezel. The SeaQ has a stainless steel case with a sizable 43.2mm diameter, giving it a sporty and masculine feel that will turn heads.

One minor critique of the SeaQ is its lack of a date function, which some users may find inconvenient. However, this omission aligns with the watch’s classic design and isn’t exactly a dealbreaker for most.

Starts from approximately: $26,524

13. Breguet Classique Chronograph 3237

Breguet Classique Chronograph 3237

Next on my list of the best open back watches if you love ornamented watches is the Breguet Classique Chronograph 3237. Before you notice the display case, its artful case and dial should catch your (or anyone’s) attention. It’s a fluted 36mm 18k yellow gold case with pump pushers that gives a discreet but bold look. 

When you look closely, you’ll appreciate Breguet even more. The roman numeral hour markers and Breguet hands are like eye candy. But the show’s real star is the silver guilloché pattern on the dial.

It gives substance to the dial’s bare center and outer rings while allowing the hour markers and counters to shine. As if that’s not enough, your eyes stay full when you turn the Breguet Classique 3237 on its back. Its in-house caliber 533.3 takes up the space with fine engineering for you to gaze at.

It has a 48-hour power reserve. And with a 36.0mm case diameter and 10mm thickness, it’s big enough to make a statement without being so big that it looks like you’re wearing a clock on your wrist.

Starts from approximately: $24,400

14. Patek Philippe Calatrava (ref. 6119G-001)

Patek Philippe Calatrava (ref. 6119G-001)

In a world of iconic dress watches, the Patek Philippe Calatrava collection is a line of A-listers. It is a true classic that embodies the timeless elegance and understated style that Patek Philippe is known for. 

The 6119G-001 displays the manually-wound in-house Caliber 30-255 PS in a full-circumference open case back. It gives you a full view of the back, with the movement’s jewels, rotor, and golden wheels with Patek Phillipe Seal in sight. 

The 30-225 has 165 parts in total and a power reserve of 65 hours. You’ll need as many hours to study the complication and geek out with your watch pals.

Moving on, the 6119G has a refreshing dial of understated luxury. It’s a charcoal gray background in a visible vertical satin finish with applied white gold stick markers and dauphine hands. 

Further, it features a 39mm 18k white gold case. It also has a stunning and meticulous hobnail guilloche bezel design. 

More impressively, the case is only 8.08mm thick, which makes it super-dressy and comfortable on any outfit. Especially when you pair it with the shiny black alligator strap with square scales.  Overall, the 6110G Calatrava is crafted to perfection.

Starts from approximately: $27,818

15. A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Platinum (ref. 425.025)

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Platinum (ref. 425.025)

The 1815 Rattrapante Platinum is a stunning 200-piece limited edition display case watch. First off, it’s powered by a manually-wound in-house chronograph movement – Caliber L101.2. So there’s a handful to exhibit in its sapphire glass case back.

More specifically, the movement has 631 individual components, running a “rattrapante” (or split-seconds) complication that times two events simultaneously. As a result, the movement has a super-complicated switching process, with two column wheels and a rattrapante clamp, which you can observe through the glass.

It delivers a power reserve of up to 58 hours before it needs to be rewound. Unsurprisingly, A. Lange & Söhne delivers an artistic dial to carry this beautiful movement. In addition, it has an argenté-finish that complements its 41mm 950 platinum case.

The blue hands, black Arabic numerals, and minute track look clean and legible on the silver dial. Impressively, the Rattrapante’s stellar movement and dial are packed into a 12.6mm thick case. Its lightweight and portability make it a go-to statement piece or casual watch for the elite.

Starts from approximately: $140,000

Conclusion

Display case watches are not built equal, nor are people’s tastes in watches. The best open-back watches, admittedly, only get better with the price. So, if you’re focused on the finishing and complication of the movement on display, we suggest you pick from the last 10 watches on the list. 

Ultimately, you’ll find a value-packed option whether you’re on a tight or affluent budget. If it’s on this list, it’s worth showing off. 

Best Solar Dive Watches

Ever had your power reserve run out just as you were about to use the chronograph function? Was your quartz movement not quite enough to impress that watch dude at your business meeting? 

Well, how about the Solar watches? Better yet, how about combining the functionality of a solar watch with the utility of a dive watch? 

Solar dive watches are not for everyone, but when you start thinking about all the versatility they offer, they might be a dark horse… 

About Solar Dive Watches

As you may know, watches either come with a mechanical or quartz movement. Well, not all. There are a few that are slightly different from the rest, like the Spring Drive from Grand Seiko. However, rising above all the rest is the Solar watch. 

As the name suggests, these types of watches are powered by solar energy or by artificial light. Typically, the solar panel(s) are located behind the crystal of the watch. From there, it’s simple physics really; sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel, and the energy is converted into electrical charges that move in response to an internal electric field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.

This electricity is then transferred into a rechargeable cell to power the watch during dark times. This unique technological approach might not seem the most romantic of all the watches you could get your hands on, but it is something that is remarkably useful in actual tool watches. 

This is why you find it in dive, field, and aviation watches. These were engineered to be as practical as possible, and what’s more practical than being powered by a massive nuclear fusion reactor millions of miles away? 

The History Of Solar Dive Watches

While watches have been worn all throughout the 1900s, the first wristwatch to be powered by the sun was the Synchronar 2100, developed by an American engineer named Roger W. Riehl in 1972. The watch was quirky, and while it was visionary, it wasn’t incredibly sleek. 

The top of the watch featured two large panels while the time was digitally displayed on the side; funnily enough, this makes it a rather food driver’s watch. This was just after Seiko released the first quartz-powered watch in 1969, so the world was eager for more development. 

From there, the technology was relegated to more cost-effective wristwatches, especially those made in Japan. While some Swiss companies have made use of the tech, it’s certainly not commonplace. 

It’s unclear which watch was the first dive watch to be powered by a solar unit, but it’s likely to come from one of the Japanese giants like Seiko, Citizen, or Orient. 

Should You Buy A Solar Dive Watch?

The big question you might be asking at the end of this list is whether you need a solar dive watch or not. Before we even dive into the list, you should first ask whether or not you even want a dive watch. Dive watches are typically bulkier and larger than others, so if you only have a 5.8-inch wrist, these may not be the best option. 

If you are a person that does regular diving, this might be the perfect watch for you, even more so for those that work on ships or boats. You might not always be moving enough to wind a rotor, and your sudden movements might damage the mainspring. A solar-powered dive watch would be perfect, seeing as it can gain power from the sun, which is always available, it’s robust enough to survive the environment, and fantastic water resistance. 

That said, there are also a lot of premier watch collectors that own some of these pieces as a ‘beater’. These are watches you wear when you know you might be in a rough-and-tumble environment and you don’t want to scratch that Rainbow Daytona you just bought. 

10 Best Solar Dive Watches

1. Seiko Prospex SNE575

Seiko Prospex SNE575

Seiko is one of the most well-known brands on the planet, especially when it comes to cost-effective dive watches. The Prospex range occupies part of the market for individuals looking for something slightly more robust and upmarket than the Seiko 5. Presented here is the ref. SNE575, a 38.5mm steel diver with a no-nonsense approach to utility. 

Designed to actually be used by divers, emphasized by the “PADI” writing at the 6 o’clock position because the watch is part of the ‘The Professional Association of Diving Instructors’, and the PADI writing on the watch is exclusive to Seiko. With a lug-to-lug of 46.5mm, the watch wears very true to the 38.5mm diameter, and thanks to the 10.6mm diameter, the watch has a very subtle wearing experience despite the utility. 

The dial features an engraving reminiscent of the longitude and latitude lines of the globe featuring large hour markers filled with luminescence. A solid 200m water resistance rating with a unidirectional bezel is accentuated by the solar caliber V147 which has an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month. 

2. Citizen Promaster Diver Blue Dial (ref. BN0168-06L)

Citizen Promaster Diver Blue Dial (ref. BN0168-06L)

While the first ‘Pepsi-colored’ dial was created with the GMT Master ref. 1675 from Rolex, many other brands have also utilized the combination of the two contrasting colors. One of those brands is Citizen, like with this ref. BN0168-06L Promaster Diver. 

The Promaster line is the robust and utilitarian line from Citizen, as presented with this 44m steel diver matched with a blue polyurethane strap. The bezel colors continue on the dial, as the blue dial is matched with a large red minute hand and equally large hour markers. If this watch could scream, it’d be screaming utility and legibility. 

A date aperture without a cyclops is located at the 4 o’clock position to double down on the practicality of the timepiece. All the functions are powered by the caliber E168, an Eco-drive movement that is Citizen’s solar-powered unit. The watch is also ISO-compliant, with a water resistance measurement of 200m. 

3. Casio MTPS110-1AV

Casio MTPS110-1AV

Casio is perhaps the single most loved brand from the kid down the street rocking his G-Shock to the collector whose daily is a Paul Newman Daytona. Both will own Casios and love them for their utility and honesty. 

This ref. MTPS110-1AV down-to-earth tool watch comes in two variations, one in blue and one in black. The dial is matched with a yellow or red minute and seconds hand, respectively, and at the 3 o’clock position, you’ll find a day-date function. 

The diameter is slightly larger compared to some of the others, measuring 46.9mm. A solid 100m water resistance matched with a mineral crystal and the utility of a solar power unit makes this the perfect ‘beater’ watch, or perhaps a watch you just wear when out and about working on your yacht. 

4. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph (ref. WBP1112.FT6199)

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph (ref. WBP1112.FT6199)

TAG Heuer is known for making some of the better watches for their price point. The first Aquaracer was presented in 2003 and has since become a mainstay in their lineup, ranging from quartz movements to automatic versions. The ref. WBP1112.FT6199, or the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph, is a solar-powered version and sports a rather stealthy appearance. 

A 40mm DLC-coated sandblasted black case is matched with a black bezel that features an insert made from carbon fused with luminous material, which massively increases legibility. The whole dial is highly legible thanks to copious amounts of lume on the hour markers and hands. 

The Solargraph caliber TH50-00 powers the watch and is based on the Citizen E168, displaying the time and the date at the 3 o’clock position on a sunray-finished black dial. 

5. Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar (ref. T121.420.47.051.00)

Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar (ref. T121.420.47.051.00)

Tissot presents some of the best value-for-money timepieces on the Swiss market, like this T-Touch Connect Solar ref. T121.420.47.051.00. Walking a thin line between a smartwatch and a regular watch might upset a few individuals, but it does seem to walk the line rather well. 

A digital display is located on the lower half of the dial, but you still have the normal three-hand display, so, the best of both worlds. The black display is still highly legible thanks to the not-so-subtle use of red on the seconds hand and the tip of the minute hand. 

A ceramic bezel elevates both the resistance to scratches but also features the four main compass directions, which matches the utility of the ‘smart part’ of the T-Touch, which according to Tissot, includes but is not limited to an altimeter, compass, perpetual calendar, alarm, time, time zones, automatic daylight saving time, timer, chrono split, chrono lap, chrono log book, and a step counter. 

The watch measures a whopping 47.50mm in diameter, so it certainly is not for everyone, but when considering the utility of the piece, it’s to be expected. 

6. Lum-Tec Solar Marine 2

Lum-Tec Solar Marine 2

If you’re looking for a more subtle approach to the dive watch category, perhaps the Lum-Tec Solar Marine is the option for you. The watch is limited to merely 500 pieces worldwide, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever see someone else wearing one. 

Measuring at a dainty 39mm with a bead-blasted finish to improve durability. The main feature your eyes will be attracted to is the white steel insert on the bezel fixed with lume for added legibility.

The watch’s overall look is also subtle thanks to the titanium carbide gunmetal PVD hard coating on the case, creating a faded look that doesn’t draw as much attention to itself as other, more colorful divers. 

The 300m of water resistance is matched with the 6 months power reserve thanks to the solar-powered caliber VS42A, which is manufactured by Seiko. 

7. Vaer D4 Solar Diver 38mm

Vaer D4 Solar Diver 38mm

What about a more compact diver? The Vaer D4 features a subtle 38mm polished case matched with a brushed-finished three-link bracelet or a brown NATO strap. With a lug-to-lug measurement of only 45mm, the watch sits quite comfortably on the wrist despite the 200m of water resistance. 

The watch exudes plenty of maritime subtexts with a deep blue dial with golden lined hands and golden text at the 6 o’clock position. In fact, each highly luminous hour marker is also lined with golden effects. An anodized aluminum bezel insert featuring 120-click technology surrounds the dial in a similar blue hue.

The movement within is the Epson VS22 solar movement with an accuracy rating of -30 / +30 sec per month. The bracelet is rather special at the price point of $359 – $449. It features four micro-adjustments, solid end links, and an 18mm taper.

8. Momentum Torpedo Pro Eclipse Solar 

Momentum Torpedo Pro Eclipse Solar 

With a name like Torpedo, you already know what type of watch you’re about to deal with. A 44mm steel diver with 200m of water resistance thanks to a screw-down crown. The crown is located at the 4 o’clock position to avoid the “wrist-bite” we so often experience with regular crowns. 

Behind the sapphire crystal is a black dial with contrasting circular sections, the inner section being slightly transparent and the outer being glossy. Subtle pops of color are courteous of the red seconds hand and the pointer for the date aperture at 4 o’clock. The black rotating bezel features ample impressions to allow it to be easily used even when wearing gloves. 

9. Seiko Prospex Tuna “Arnie” SNJ025

Seiko Prospex Tuna “Arnie” SNJ025

Seiko is back again with something for the meathead in your life – the Seiko ref. SNJ025, nicknamed the ‘Arnie’, is a contemporary model of the famous ref. H558 worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film The Predator

The aesthetics didn’t change much, and if Arnie could rock it, then you can imagine the watch being quite large. A case diameter of 47.8mm makes it a unit on the wrist and that excludes the several crowns. 

There are crowns to manage both the digital and analog display, as well as the several complications within; the power reserve display function, local time indication mode, stopwatch function, and an alarm. 

The watch is (surprise) also ISO-compliant, perhaps making it the dive watch to end all other divers. Powered by the caliber H851 with an accuracy rating of -15 / +15 sec per month. To improve the robust nature of the timepiece, a rubber outer bezel is placed around the dive bezel creating the signature look of the “Arnie”. 

10. Citizen Promaster Aqualand (ref. BN2036-14E)

Citizen Promaster Aqualand (ref. BN2036-14E)

Citizen is another giant in the dive watch world with legendary models like the Promaster range, as presented here with the Aqualand ref. BN2036-14E. With a water resistance rating of 200m, the watch has been awarded the ISO6425 diving certification.

The 46.1mm case is matched with a black polyurethane strap for increased sportiness and utility. The dial not only the regular hours, minutes, and seconds but also a power reserve display, depth meter, and maximum depth memory display. The movement in charge of timekeeping duties is the caliber J250, an Eco-Drive movement with a potential power reserve of 330 days. That’s a lot of diving… 

Conclusion

Dive watches are meant to help you in one of the most stressful times you can put yourself in. With the addition of a solar-powered movement, you get all the reliability and accuracy of a quartz watch with none of the battery-dying drawbacks.

A match made in heaven to be found at the depths of the ocean. Or at your desk in the office because the watch looks cool and you like the technological aspect of it – we won’t judge – as long as it makes you happy. 

best tourbillon watches

Whirlwind is the English translation for the french word, ‘tourbillon’. It was named tourbillon because it literally spins on itself and is constantly in a state of motion. However, it’s not what you’re thinking. A tourbillon is not just another superfluous complication designed out of vanity. 

Patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801, a tourbillon is a marvelous expression of fine watchmaking that defies conventional classification. Gravity is a force that can upset the accuracy of a timepiece when in certain positions leading to less accuracy and precision.

The tourbillon was thus designed to counter the effect of gravity on the regulating organ so that the watch can remain highly accurate no matter its position.

The fact that tourbillon watches are rare (and challenging to produce) confers a notable degree of scarcity in them, making them highly sought after by connoisseurs of exquisite timepieces. They are even considered the  ‘Holy Grail’ of Haute Horologerie and are fashioned by the most talented and highly skilled watchmakers. 

From the most affordable to the most luxurious and exquisite watches, read on to discover the best tourbillon watches with peerless complexity and craftsmanship!

About The Tourbillon

The escapement of a timepiece is often in a fixed position in each mechanical watch. This escapement includes a hairspring that is mounted on a balance wheel that rotates back and forth, and this is where the problem lies. 

Since the balance wheel has some heavier spots due to its design, the gravitational effects on these areas affect the watch’s accuracy whenever it is positioned differently.

Abraham-Louis Breguet realized that the only way to solve this problem was to house the entire escapement in a rotating cage. If the balance wheel and hairspring are in constant motion, then no matter what position the watch is in, the variations in timing will be annulled.

Consequently, the tourbillon was developed by Abraham-Louis Breguet in the year 1795 and patented in 1801. The next important evolution of the tourbillon took place in 1902 when a flying tourbillon was developed by Alfred Helwig and his students. The so-called ‘flying’ tourbillon was designed to improve the stability and visual appeal of the standard tourbillon.

Unlike its predecessor, it was cantilevered. This means it was only supported on one side, rendering an unhinged view into the classical escapement.

After this innovative creation, the double-axis tourbillon followed in the 1980s and featured a design that could rotate the tourbillon cage in two axes. Today, inventions like gyro tourbillons and triple-axis tourbillons proudly display the aesthetic prowess of high-end watch brands.

What Is The Purpose of Tourbillon Watches?

The initial purpose of a tourbillon was to check the effects of gravity on the movement of pocket watches. Pocket watches were typically worn in a vertical position. They could stay in this position all day except for the minor instances in which the wearer moved them to find out the time.

This sort of positioning when in use and flat storage when not in use meant the movements of pocket watches were subject to unequal pressures upsetting their accuracy.

By rotating the escapement and balance wheel through all the probable vertical positions, the tourbillon could cancel out the pressure on the movement and improve the accuracy and longevity of the timepiece.

This invention was of great advantage, and tourbillons invaded the Horological world as soon as they arrived. However, with the advent of wristwatches around the time of World War 1, the relevance of the tourbillon waned.

The movements of wristwatches are not susceptible to the same pressure as pocket watches since they are worn on the wrist and often moved by the wearer, creating a sort of ‘tourbillon’. 

In modern times, the tourbillon has evolved from a practical complication to a piece of engineering that demonstrates watchmakers’ craftsmanship, creativity, and aesthetic prowess.

35 Best Tourbillon Watches From Affordable To Luxury

1. Lenvino Tour Collection 02

With a price tag of fewer than $1,000, you’re not going to purchase the world’s most elaborate tourbillon. But the fact that you will get a distinguished timepiece with a real flying tourbillon movement is astonishing.

Lenvino is a Hong Kong watch brand known for creating authentic watches with premium materials. With its stainless steel circular case measuring 43mm in diameter and strap width of 20mm x 18mm, the Lenvino Tour Collection 02 is remarkably comfortable and suitable for most consumers.

The dial is ‘stripped’, drawing exclusive attention to the beautiful Flying Tourbillon relying on a cantilevered single support. The rotation is certainly a pleasure to behold when viewed from above, and the high quality is astonishing. The dial also has a grained texture and is adorned with printed Arabic numerals and skeleton alpha hands.

The Seagull TY800 real flying tourbillon movement vibrates at 21,600 beats per hour and provides a power reserve of approximately 40 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $900

2. ERA Timepieces Prometheus

ERA Timepieces Prometheus

Founded by Michael Galarza in 2018, ERA Timepieces is respected for keeping its promise. The young brand made a grand promise of offering ultra-rare and high-end haute horology complications in price tags that are accessible to all.

Whether the Prometheus Tourbillon lives up to the hype of delivering quality and craftsmanship worth a million dollars in a package just a little above $1,000 is up to the wearer. However, the timepiece is breathtaking. 

The Prometheus Tourbillon is a big watch with a stainless case measuring 44mm across, a thickness of 12.7mm, and a lug-to-lug distance of 51mm. The skeletonized dial features a pretty clever design with an exposed tourbillon carriage at 6 o’clock. 

The embellished dial has been painstakingly created to dazzle the eye and pay tribute to Haute Horology. Oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour is the Caliber HZ3360A. It is a Chinese tourbillon hand-wound movement with impressive accuracy and a power reserve of approximately 32 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $1,500.

3. Stührling Viceroy Tourbillon 296D

Stührling Viceroy Tourbillon 296D

Stührling is another watch brand that offers aesthetically pleasing timepieces at very affordable rates. At a diameter of 42 mm, the size is just ideal for showing off the details of the dial flawlessly. 

The Chinese-made timepiece may not feature a flawless tourbillon escapement, but if you want to sport a watch with this complication and are under budget, you can begin from here. 

The dial is highly legible with a guilloché-like pattern adorned with skeletonized alpha-styled hands and an exposed tourbillon movement. Applied Roman numerals juxtaposed with stick-style hour markers provide a nice contrast against the silver-plated dial. 

The tourbillon mechanism is positioned at the lower end of the dial giving the watch an attractive and luxurious feel. It is water resistant only to a depth of 50 meters despite having a screw-down crown and features scratch-resistant Sapphire crystals in front and behind. 

The watch is priced at $2,250.

4. Swatch Diaphane One Tourbillon (ref. SVAK1001)

Swatch Diaphane One Tourbillon (ref. SVAK1001)

Known for revolutionary ideas, Swatch is a watch brand famous for high-quality and stylish timepieces that defy the principles of quintessential Swiss watchmaking. The Ref. SVAK1001 is one such creative model with a joyful design that surprised Swatch fans when it was released in 2001.

Limited to 2222 pieces, the Diaphane One line contains Swatch’s most complicated watches. The 42mm case is made of plastic and aluminum (only the bezel material). The watch is classified as a Carrousel Tourbillion because it uses two different power sources—one for the escapement and another to regulate the rotation of the enclosure. 

The whole faceplate rotates once every 30 minutes, so you have two rotations per hour. The magnificent open-worked dial is adorned with Lancette hands in addition to stamped Arabic numerals and stick hour markers.

Visible through the sapphire crystal case back is a skeletonized manual winding movement; the ETA 93.001 has been refined with several decorations. It provides a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $4,000.

5. TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon (ref. CAR5A8W.FT6071)

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon (ref. CAR5A8W.FT6071)

TAG Heuer is a solid brand famous for utilizing avant-garde engineering in the production of its watches. 

The Chronograph Tourbillon is presented in a large case that measures 45mm in diameter.  The generous proportions are compensated for with a lightweight black PVD titanium case and carbon bezel.

The skeleton dial is nothing short of impressive, and including a tourbillon complication makes it more enthralling. The captivating flying tourbillon complication is housed in an aperture at the base of the dial. 

Three rotating arms hold it in position, and a generous application of SuperLuminova on the balance wheel means the escapement will be legible even in low light. The dial is multiple layers adding impressive depth and beauty.

A 12-hour chronograph register resides at 9 o’clock, while a 30-minute chronograph register sits at 3 o’clock. Both registers are open-worked, revealing a vertically brushed surface underneath. 

The in-house caliber HEUER02T COSC keeps the timepiece highly accurate and provides a power reserve of approximately 65 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $15,000.

6. Frederique Constant Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture (ref. FC-975MC4H4)

Frederique Constant Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture (ref. FC-975MC4H4)

The Frederique Constant Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture is presented in a 42mm rose gold-plated case that has been polished to the highest sheen. At the center of the brilliant silver dial, you will find a clous de Paris guilloché decoration and three sub-registers with crisp markings in black. 

At 12 o’clock is the indicator for month and leap year, while the date is at 3 o’clock, and the day of the week is at 9 o’clock. The 60-minute tourbillon is located at the base of the dial in a large aperture that offers us a superb view of the tourbillon cage, balance wheel, and silicium escapement.

Slender hand-polished leaf-shaped hour and minute hands eloquently mark the large printed Roman numerals in black. Hyper-expensive movements are neglected for this piece, and a reliable and affordable one has been used here.

A pane of sapphire crystal across the case-back offers a breathtaking view of the FC-975 Manufacture caliber. It beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph and has a power reserve of 38 hours. The Frederique Constant Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Manufacture comes mounted on a quality alligator strap fitted with a deployant.

The watch is priced at approximately $18,000.

7. Montblanc Star Legacy Exo Tourbillon (ref. MB126469)

Montblanc Star Legacy Exo Tourbillon (ref. MB126469)

Inspired by the spirit of Haute Horologerie, the Star Legacy Exo Tourbillon is cleverly constructed with an unmatched presentation.  The 18k rose gold case measures 42 mm in diameter and has been polished to the highest gleam. The slim height gives the watch a perfect wrist presence making it a choice dress watch.

The extremely detailed dial is exquisitely finished, and the breathtaking suspended Exo Tourbillon mechanism sits at the base of the dial. Exo is derived from a Greek word that means external. 

As such, an impressively large balance wheel is elevated outside the tourbillon’s cage. Not only is this move aesthetically pleasing, but it also makes rotation seamless, thus increasing the efficiency of the movement. The main plate and bridges are entirely open-worked and visible via the timepiece’s front and back.

Underneath a domed crystal, the Ivory-coloured dial is adorned with 18k rose gold leaf-shaped hands, a minute track, and rose gold-coated Arabic numerals. Elaborately decorated with 188 hand-finished components is the MB M18.69 movement, capable of a power reserve of 50 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $40,000.

8. Breitling Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon (ref. RB21201A1L1P1)

Breitling Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon (ref. RB21201A1L1P1)

Coming in a limited edition of 25 pieces, the Premier Chronograph Tourbillon is a heritage-inspired powerhouse that embodies Breitling’s most innovative legacy.

The timepiece is a reinterpretation of the original Breitling Premier watch from the 1940s and comes in a 42 mm 18k red gold case with a non-screw-locked crown and rectangular chronograph pushers.

The enchanting dial in British racing green has a distinguished two-tone finish and sets the stage for the exquisite tourbillon. The Star of the show takes center stage at 12 o’clock. An open sapphire crystal case back offers a gratifying view of the B21 movement where the reverse side of the tourbillon and the oscillating weight can be appreciated.

Other iconic details like grooves on the sides of the case, Arabic numerals, and vintage-inspired hands add elegance to the timepiece. It is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters and matched with a gold-brown alligator strap.

The watch is priced at approximately $50,000.

9. Ulysse Nardin Torpilleur Tourbillon (ref. 1282-310LE-2AE-175/1A)

Ulysse Nardin Torpilleur Tourbillon (ref. 1282-310LE-2AE-1751A)

Ulysse Nardin is a Swiss luxury watchmaker famous for manufacturing complex and highly accurate marine chronometers. The Ulysse Nardin Torpilleur Tourbillon is a charming illustration of the Brand’s Haute Horlogerie prowess and its deep respect for heritage. 

The watch is complicated yet stunningly beautiful and is presented in an 18K rose gold case. The black enamel dial from Donzé Cadrans is nicely executed, and features rose gold ‘poires Roskopf’ hands that contrast against bold silver Roman numerals.  

A power reserve indicator is at the upper half of the dial, presented in a subtle recessed sub-dial with “BAS” and “HAUT”, meaning full and empty in golden print. At the base of the dial is the elegant flying tourbillon with an underlying anchor offering a clear view of the tourbillon cage.

The watch is COSC-certified, and the tourbillon is fitted with an escapement fashioned completely in silicon. Since silicon is high performing, the operation is smooth with little exertion and lubrication.

The watch is powered by the in-house Caliber UN-128, an automatic movement with 208 components that provides a power reserve of approximately 60 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $60,000.

10. Zenith Defy Double Tourbillon (ref. 10.9000.9020/79.R918)

Zenith Defy Double Tourbillon (ref. 10.9000.902079.R918)

The Zenith Defy Double Tourbillon is an avant-garde piece with high-tech features that is both fascinating and rare. The carbon case measures 46mm across and has been constructed with ruggedness and durability in mind. 

Two tourbillons proudly occupy the entire left side of the dial. Both of them have been suspended from the PVD-coated open-worked bridges with chamfers highlighted in rose gold.

The tourbillon, which has taken over the 7 and 8 o’clock index, acts as the escapement for the watch. On the other hand, the tourbillon at 10 o’clock acts as an escapement for the chronograph and beats at an impressive 50Hz (or 360,000 VpH). This means it completes a rotation every five seconds! Mind-blowing!

The open-worked dial features large silver-plated hands, a chronograph power-reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, and hour markers filled with Super-LumiNova for enhanced readability.

Zenith’s high-frequency El Primero automatic movement with 311 components provides a power reserve of 50 hours. It is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters and comes equipped with a black rubber strap with a blue “Cordura effect”.

The watch is priced at approximately $90,000.

11. Bell & Ross BR 01 Tourbillon

Bell & Ross BR 01 Tourbillon

Bell & Ross might not be a very popular luxury watch brand, but its creation of quality timepieces for professional users such as divers and pilots has earned it reverence in the watch world.

The BR01 collection was launched in 2005 and has a lineup of mesmerizing watches with a design that resembles the classical style of cockpit clocks. The Bell & Ross BR 01 Tourbillon is a state-of-the-art timepiece with a large titanium case and black rubber bracelet. 

The watch is rather bulky but is paired with a very light case and comes with a relatively small crown that will not dig into the wrist. The timepiece is functional and incorporates four complications. A regulator and a five-day power reserve have been positioned at 9 o’clock, while a sub-dial for the small hours counter is located at 12 o’clock. 

At 3 o’clock is the optimum accuracy indicator, while the tourbillon with a black gold finish is positioned at 6 o’clock. Vivid red and yellow accents enliven the dial and add energy to the somber watch. 

The design is particularly bold, and large lumed applied hands and indices on the black dial keep the watch extremely legible and lively. The striking contrast of white on black means the time can be easily read at a glance anytime, anywhere. It is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters and is powered by a manual winding movement.

The watch is priced at approximately $100,000.

12. Panerai Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica (ref. PAM00350)

Panerai Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica (ref. PAM00350)

Initially designed as a prototype at the request of the Royal Italian Navy in 1936, the Radiomir was the first special luminous timepiece for divers from Panerai.

The Tourbillon GMT Ceramica pays tribute to Galileo Galilei for his significant contributions to the fields of astronomy and science. “Lo Scienziato” means the scientist, and this timepiece is nothing short of what you’d expect from a reputable watch brand like Panerai. 

The watch is truly unique and comes in a 48mm wide imposing dark monochrome case that has been made from zirconium oxide. The case size means the watch is really large and solid, with a notable wrist presence.

The refined skeleton structure of the dial is highly legible, unlike many open-worked dials. Lumed Arabic numerals have been used for 12, 3, 6, and 9, while bar markers are used for the others.

The tourbillon is elegantly positioned between 9 and 12 o’clock and is astonishing with its unusual axis and fast spin of 30 seconds per revolution.

A small seconds sub-dial is at 9 o’clock, while a timezone day/night indicator is positioned at 3 o’clock. It is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters and is powered by a skeleton hand-wound mechanical movement; the Panerai P.2005/Scalibere. 

The watch is priced at approximately $150,000.

13. Vulcain Tourbillon (ref. 620565Q18.BGK101)

Vulcain Tourbillon (ref. 620565Q18.BGK101)

The Vulcain Tourbillon Ref. 620565Q18.BGK101 is presented in a 42mm rose gold case with a thickness of 12.50mm which gives it an ideal weight and wrist presence. Vulcain is a Swiss watch brand with over 150 years of producing quality timepieces. Though not popular, the marque’s haute horlogerie prowess can be seen in this exquisite timepiece. 

The tourbillon, which is highly polished and presented with sharp external angles, takes the spotlight between 8 and 10 o’clock. The semi-skeleton dial is satin-like and features a circular charcoal grey texture enlivened by gold Arabic numerals juxtaposed with rectangular markers.

The dial’s symmetry is harmonious, with a black and gold tone-on-tone layout that adds profound elegance and style to the timepiece. Among other stand-out features, the watch is powered by the mechanical hand-wound Vulcain Tourbillon V- 62 caliber. It is a robust movement with an impressive power reserve of 120 hours.

The Vulcain Tourbillon is worn on a hand-sewn black Louisiana alligator strap which is secured to the wrist by a folding clasp buckle made of pink gold.

The watch is priced at approximately $100,000.

14. Breguet Marine “Grande Complication” Tourbillon (ref. 5887BR/G2/9WV)

 Breguet Marine “Grande Complication” Tourbillon (ref. 5887BRG29WV)

The Breguet Marine “Grande Complication” Tourbillon is a true classic, with an extra touch of first-class sophistication. 

Breguet is renowned for manufacturing complex timepieces, and this one is an ode to the ingenuity of the Haute Horologerie brand. The state-of-the-art watch is termed a “Grande Complication” because it features a perpetual calendar, an equation of time, and the latest tourbillon.

Introduced at Baselworld in 2017, the timepiece pays homage to the appointment of Abraham-Louis as the official watchmaker of the French Navy. It was in 1815 that Louis XVIII, the King of France, appointed him “Horloger de la Marine Royale”. This timepiece preserves traditional techniques and reinstates Marque’s unparalleled patrimony in the sphere of uber-complicated watches.

The striking guilloche-peaked wave motif underscores the connection between the Marine line and the sea. It is adorned with rose gold moon-tipped hands with luminescent material and applied Roman numerals. The perpetual calendar is paired with the equation of time display. In a window between seven and nine o’clock, you will find a power reserve indicator.

A mechanical self-winding movement, the caliber 581DPE with 57 jewels and 563 components provides a power reserve of 80 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $180,000.

15. Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Squelette 8 Jours Red Gold (ref. 6025AS-3630-55)

Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Squelette 8 Jours Red Gold (ref. 6025AS-3630-55

The Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Squelette 8 Jours Red Gold is presented in a 38mm 18kt red gold case with a classical Swiss design. The watch’s size might be a bit diminutive by modern standards, but the lugs are slightly rounded, ensuring a comfortable fit. 

Blancpain is a brand that is famous for its daring pieces in the horological arena, and the Squelette 8 Jours takes us right into the future. There is almost no dial, and the movement is what appears as the backdrop for the slenderred-goldd hands.

Inside the bezel of the contemporary-shaped case, a bold ring in black has red gold Roman numerals to ease time telling. The tourbillon is elegantly positioned at 12 o’clock, drawing deserved attention to the dial upon each glance. 

The power reserve indicator can be found at 5 and 7 o’clock, while at 9 o’clock is the rotary date indicator which is a very helpful feature for the modern man. The watch is splendid, easy to use, and houses the manually wound Calibre 1333SQ, a skeletonized movement with a power reserve of 8 whole days. 

The watch is priced at approximately $170,000.

16. Glashütte Original Senator Tourbillon (ref. 1-94-03-05-04-30)

Glashütte Original Senator Tourbillon (ref. 1-94-03-05-04-30)

Released in a limited edition of just 25 pieces worldwide, the Glashütte Original Senator Tourbillon Ref. 1-94-03-05-04-30 is a classic timepiece in the purest sense of the word.

The watch comes in a white gold case, measures 42 mm across and is perfect for a comfortable fit. The case features satin-brushed and polished surfaces with soldered lugs, faceted with polished edges. The varnish silver-grainé dial features a fine matte finish with blued steel hands.

A large date window at 12 o’clock reveals the date with the help of two discs of the same height that are separated from each other only with a faint arcing line. The date window is stepped and feels subtly abstract, adding a bit of depth to the dial.

The tourbillon is positioned at the base of the dial, and its rotating cage is framed by a clean track denoting the seconds.  An automatic movement, the Calibre 94-03, is visible through the sapphire case back of the watch.

It is mounted on a dark blue Louisiana alligator leather strap, equipped with a foldover clasp in white gold.

The watch is priced at approximately $100,000.

17. Omega De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition (ref. 529.53.43.22.01.001)

Omega De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition (ref. 529.53.43.22.01.001)

The 43mm case of the Omega De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition is crafted from polished 18k Sedna gold and brims with notable grace and poise. The central part of the case has been brushed with 18k Canopus gold. Sedna gold is Omega’s proprietary pink gold, while Canopus gold is the brand’s proprietary white gold alloy.

The black dial is quite discreet, with a radial brushed pattern exquisitely executed with multiple layers that enliven the watch and give it profound depth. The design is luxurious yet modest, focusing on the tourbillon at the central part of the watch. The tourbillon is impressive, with a modernized cage made of black ceramic titanium and hand-polished bevels.

It is encircled by a fluted gold ring, which functions as a decoration and a small seconds track. Applied gold indexes and small faceted gold hands adorn the dark dial. It is powered by the robust in-house – hand-wound movement, the Omega caliber 2640. Being a Master Chronometer, the timepiece is highly accurate, durable, and resistant to shocks. It comes with a 5-year warranty.

The watch is priced at approximately $200,000.

18. Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon (ref. SLGT003)

Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon (ref. SLGT003)

The Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon is a complex watch with an aggressive design that just puts it in a league of its own. 

The watch is the first complicated mechanical timepiece from Grand Seiko in its six decades of uninterrupted production and is nothing short of impressive. For the brand, it is its first mechanical tourbillon, skeletonized timepiece, and first constant-force mechanism watch.

It is arrayed with a sophisticated skeletonized, and delicately finished movement flaunting a tourbillon and a one-second remontoir on the same axis.

The case of the watch is constructed from 950 platinum and the Marque’s Brilliant Hard Titanium and measures a fitting 43.8 mm x 12.9 mm. The watch’s overall design is far from the familiar Grand Seiko layout and aesthetic but still enchanting and elegant.

The soul of the watch is the tourbillon and constant-force mechanism located at the base (6 o’clock). The rare mechanical complication combined on a single axis improves chronometry. The Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon is driven by the Calibre 9ST1, the first open-worked movement from GS from an aesthetic viewpoint with components that gleam in the light. It provides a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $350,000.

19. IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde (ref. IW504601)

 IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde (ref. IW504601)

The IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde is an incredible watch with a strikingly attractive design that is not loud or messy but contains a lot of information. The platinum case measures 44.2 mm in diameter and features a polished, beveled bezel with sloping lugs.

The refined appearance of the silver-plated dial is fashioned to maximize the interplay of light and is pretty much unadorned. The cleanness of the dial draws attention to the tourbillon at first glance, which is located at 12 o’clock.

The beautiful floating tourbillon is mounted on one side only against a dense background, allowing us to view the escapement and its mechanical sections below. As expected, the finishing of the highest standard with a decoration fits the movement’s geometric style perfectly.

The see-through sapphire crystal case back offers a generous view of the in-house 51900 caliber, a mechanical movement with 44 jewels, and an outstanding power reserve of 7 days (168 hours).

The watch is priced at approximately $130,000.

20. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph (ref. 103295)

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph (ref. 103295)

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph is a distinguished watch that features a tourbillon, an ultra-thin BVL 388 skeleton movement, and a chronograph.

It is the world’s thinnest tourbillon chronograph and is presented in an octagonal sandblasted grade 5 titanium case with many facets. The look of the watch is spectacular and aggressively angular with a round bezel.

Bvlgari reasserts its dominance in ultra-thin watchmaking with this unconventionally slim timepiece that is only 7.4 mm in height.

The watch has a monochromatic look with a truly superb skeletonized matte grey dial, as sections of it have been done away with to reveal the tourbillon escapement and the mainspring.

There are no hour markers that might hinder legibility, but there’s a perfect amount of symmetry and organization in the way the dial has been laid out. 

The running seconds’ indicator is at 9 o’clock while the chronograph minutes is at 3 o’clock. The hands are skeletonized, and the tourbillon sits at  6 o’clock. Driving the watch is the Calibre BVL 388, operating at a rate of 21600 VpH with a power reserve of 52 hours when fully wound.

The watch is priced at approximately $170,000.

21. Chopard L.U.C Triple Certification Tourbillon (ref. 161929-5001)

The Chopard L.U.C Triple Certification Tourbillon is a wonderfully constructed timepiece with three certificates. The name is derived from the COSC (a timing certificate), Geneva Seal ( this is issued by the Canton of Geneva for timepieces manufactured there), and Fleurier Quality Foundation label. 

This last certification is one of the most stringent quality tests in the watch-making industry. For a timepiece to be FQF certified, it must have surpassed the reliability, timing, and technical criteria. 

The watch is presented in a contemporary-sized 43 mm platinum case with alternative polished and satin-brushed surfaces. The 8-day power reserve indicator sits at 12 o’clock while the tourbillon is at the base of the dial.

Black rail-track minute markers frame the dial, and it is adorned with applied Roman numerals. Thanks to two sets of double barrels, the calibre L.U.C 02.13-L, made entirely of 18-carat gold, provides an impressive nine-day power reserve when fully wound.

The watch is priced at approximately $150,000.

22. Vincent Deprez Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition

Vincent Deprez is a French watchmaker known for making discreet yet beautifully executed timepieces in the most traditional way possible. The Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition is an ode to the relatively young brand and reflects the goal of using mostly traditional tools and techniques.

The watch is made by hand using traditional tools and is finely executed with overall coherence and a lot of attention to each detail. The watch measures a wearable 39 mm and features an open dial with a 60-second tourbillon. 

A large sub-dial for the hours and minutes features a grand feu enamel that has been fired by Vincent himself. The tourbillon is somewhat large at 12.6mm in diameter and is framed with a second chapter ring at 8 o’clock. The proportions are classical; the visible main plate has a traditional frosted finish resembling historic high-end watches. 

Oscillating at a rate of 18,000 vibrations/hour is an in-house hand-wound movement with 15 jewels and a power reserve of 52 hours. Nothing is ostentatious, but the overall design is elegant and clean.

The watch is priced at approximately $100,000.

23. Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral (ref. 00.10920.03.13.01)

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral (ref. 00.10920.03.13.01)

Famous for avant-garde complications and breathtaking designs, Carl F Bucherer is an independent Swiss watch brand with a rich tradition that dates back to the 1880s. The luxury watch brand has made its mark in the world of Horology and this unique timepiece showcases the brand’s signature complication.

The Double Peripheral Tourbillon is a complication that features a winding mechanism that does not rotate on the top of the movement. Rather than that, it rotates around the movement without obscuring the view.

Carl F. Bucherer has made the watch sophisticated and enchanting in that the tourbillon can easily be termed a super-flying tourbillon. The silver-colored dial of the 43 mm 18K red gold case is adorned with gold-plated indices and lancet-shaped hands.

The tourbillon is elegantly positioned at 12 o’clock and has a hand that acts as the seconds display. The cage has no visible bridges holding the device in place, but the weight is supported by three ceramic ball bearings that ensure a stable connection and smooth run. 

The pallet and escape wheel of the escapement are made with the anti-magnetic silicium allowing an increased power reserve of 65 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $70,000.

24. Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon (ref. PFH921-2020001-200182)

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon (ref. PFH921-2020001-200182)

Parmigiani seems to be aggressively invading the hyper-competitive realm of sophisticated watches. From the Tonda PF collection that debuted in 2021 to this flying tourbillon released in 2022, the brand continues to surprise us with heavenly delights.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon is an unconventional timepiece equipped with a flying tourbillon in a somber platinum dial that bestows undivided attention to the tourbillon.

The 42mm platinum case has a thin profile of 8.6mm with teardrop-shaped lugs and a screw-down crown that ensures 100 meters of water resistance. The flying tourbillon is positioned between 6 and 8 o’clock and is the star of the show, mesmerizing viewers with its mirror-polished screws that dazzle in the light.

The 18-carat gold delta-shaped hour and minute hands are open-worked and rhodium-plated. The indexes are short and are also crafted out of 18-carat gold and rhodium-plated. Encircling the main dial is a slightly recessed minute track denoted by short black lines. The watch is powered by Parmigiani’s ultra-thin automatic PF517 movement.

The watch is priced at approximately $160,000.

25. Cartier Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon (ref. CRW4100013)

Cartier Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon (ref. CRW4100013)

The Cartier Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon is an exquisite watch with a retro touch that bolsters its refined look. The 47mm case is impeccably polished and compelling, with a shape that is neither round nor square but looks like a turtle shell.

The dial is an exquisite display of intricate guilloche finishing on a satin-brushed surface. The outer section of the dial is open-worked with black transferred Roman numerals that look like they are about to burst through the case. 

Underneath the hour markers, a white galvanized surface beams with a sunray effect. Pared down to the bare essentials, blued-steel sword-shaped hour and minute hands adorn the stark dial while the tourbillon occupies the base.

The flying tourbillon complication and C-shaped tourbillon carriage double as a small seconds indicator. Oscillating at 21,600 vibrations/hour is the caliber 9452 MC, a manual winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. 

It is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters and is certified “Poinçon de Genève”. This seal is a guarantee of authentication awarded only to watches with outstanding finishing and quality materials.  

The watch is priced at approximately $85,000.

26. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon (ref. Q1682410)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon (ref. Q1682410)

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon is an elegant and discreet watch that is presented in a refined 40 mm 18K pink gold case. The pink gold case is entirely polished with a thickness of 11.3 mm, which is decent for an automatic tourbillon.

The mechanically complex timepiece is charming, refined, and compelling. The beautiful dial is presented in an “eggshell shade” with a slightly grained texture. The hands are half polished and half brushed, while the hour markers are gilded and facetted.

At the base of the dial is the tourbillon. It is encircled by a small seconds track and showcases Jaeger-LeCoultre’s exceptional watchmaking savoir-faire. The bridge of the tourbillon is a rounded mirror-polished arm that crosses over the tourbillon cage, giving viewers a breathtaking view of the tourbillon’s ballet.

Visible through the sapphire crystal case back is the in-house Caliber 979G with 33 jewels and a power reserve of 45 hours. The watch is fitted with a brown alligator strap with a pin buckle.

The watch is priced at approximately $90,000.

27. Girard-Perregaux Laureato Tourbillon (ref. 99105-41-232-BB6A)

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Tourbillon (ref. 99105-41-232-BB6A)

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Tourbillon is a masterpiece offering a supreme vision of elegance. The 45mm case is crafted from titanium and 18kt white gold, and the look of the watch isn’t one you see every day.

The dial is skillfully crafted with a matted gray of the same color as the case and an octagonal bezel is inserted within a circle.

The flying tourbillon, positioned at the base of the dial is the prima donna, enchanting the wearer with her outstanding performance. A lone bridge made of titanium sits across both sides of the cage, breaking up the congruous symmetry of the Clous de Paris pattern. The bridge resembles a double-headed arrow and supports the rotating tourbillon cage.

The watch is highly legible despite the tone-on-tone hands and indexes. Visible via the exhibition case back is the Calibre GP 09510-0002. It contains 33 jewels and provides a power reserve of 48 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $110,000.

28. H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Tourbillon (ref. 3804-1205)

H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Tourbillon (ref. 3804-1205)

H. Moser & Cie. is an exemplar of haute horlogerie with a reputation for crafting exquisite timepieces with complications of the highest standard.

The H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Tourbillon is a highly desirable watch in a stainless steel case measuring 42.8 mm across. The case is without flaws and features alternating polished and brushed surfaces. It also has a screw-down crown that bears witness to the 120 meters water-resistant capacity of the watch.

The gradient or fume dial is a beauty to behold, and the coloration is altered according to the light reflecting on it. It is decorated with clean, hand-applied multi-faceted indexes. At 6 o’clock is a large tourbillon which makes a full rotation every 60 seconds. An opening on the dial offers a first-row view of its beating heart.

Nothing is on the dial apart from the hands, indexes, and of course tourbillon. The H. Moser & Cie calligraphic logo finishes it off with elegance and style. It is powered by the in-house caliber HMC 804. This movement is fitted with a double flat hairspring and powers the watch for up to 3 days.

The watch is priced at approximately $50,000.

29. F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain Calibre 1403

F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain Calibre 1403

Coming as a tribute to François-Paul’s earliest watches, the Tourbillon Souverain Calibre is a magnificent watch with an unconventional design. The timepiece draws inspiration from the brand’s first clocks and pocket watches and brings all the distinctive elements into one design.

One thing that is glaring when you take a look at this watch is how it dispenses with extreme care the tourbillon at 9 o’clock. Time is indicated on an off-centered dial that is positioned at 3 o’clock while the tourbillon sits in an aperture that has a complete mirror polished rim with a beaming countenance. 

The platinum case measures a fitting dimension of 40 mm across and features a fully polished finish, a domed bezel, and a flat crown. The background, which is noticeable on glancing at the watch, is the base plate of the movement as the watch has no dial. 

The base plate is finished with a Clous de Paris guilloché pattern. In addition to the tourbillon and off-centered dial, it houses a power reserve at the top and a deadbeat seconds at the base.

The timepiece is exquisite, smart, crisp, and eminently practical.

The watch is priced at approximately $180,000.

30. Piaget Polo Emperador Tourbillon (ref. G0A38041)

Piaget Polo Emperador Tourbillon (ref. G0A38041)

Piaget is a brand with over 100 years of extensive expertise in fine horology. The Emperador Tourbillon is one of the brand’s most enthralling creations that shows the Marque’s ingeniousness in terms of technology.

This timepiece pushes the boundaries of creativity with an ultra-thin movement that plunges us into the magical world of Piaget’s mechanics.

The watch comes in an 18K white gold case that measures 46.5 mm across —  it is a really large watch — with a thickness of 10.4 mm. The flying tourbillon movement sits in an aperture with a wide mirror polished rim at one o’clock. It has been conscientiously decorated and polished to the highest level. 

Something fascinating about this timepiece is the off-centered oscillating weight turned around to exhibit the micro-rotor in white gold. Piaget distribution of mirthful moving parts in the watch’s dial creates the shape of a Lucky 8 since the P-shaped tourbillon cage is opposite the micro-rotor.

The watch is priced at approximately $100,000.

31. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon (ref. 6000V/110A-B544)

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon (ref. 6000V110A-B544)

The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Ref. 6000V/110A-B544 is presented in a stainless steel case that measures 42.5mm in diameter. Its height of 10.39 mm, coupled with inward sloping case flanks, keeps the large watch snugly fitted on the wrist. 

The case is exquisitely finished with a brushed finish on the top surface and a mirror finish on the edges. The beautiful Laiton Générique CuZn dial features hands and hour markers crafted from 18k white gold. 

Both hands and hour markers are coated with luminescent material to ensure legibility during the day and night. The tourbillon at 6 o’clock has a cage inspired by the Maltese cross and performs one revolution per minute. It also serves as a small seconds display.

Visible through the open-worked case back is the Caliber 2160, an aesthetically pleasing movement with 188 parts that provides a power reserve of approximately 80 hours. Thanks to a peripheral rotor in use and not the ubiquitous central rotor, the self-winding movement is just 5.65mm high.

The watch features a quick-release mechanism at the lugs and is delivered with straps in steel bracelet, crocodile, or rubber.

The watch is priced at approximately $140,000.

32. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon (ref.26730BC.GG.1320BC.01)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon (ref.26730BC.GG.1320BC.01)

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon comes in an 18-carat white gold case that measures a fitting 41 mm x 10.6 mm. The case and bracelet are finely brushed and polished while the bezel is finished with a new “frosted” technique.

The distinctive feature of the watch is found in the dial. The blue Grande Tapisserie dial has a breathtaking dimpled texture with a circular brushing that offers it profound depth and a unique interplay of light.

The flying tourbillon is visible at 6 o’clock through a round aperture on the dial. Since it has been secured only on its lower point, it does not have a bridge. As such, the tourbillon cage can be relished with no hindrance. The hour markers and hands are in white gold with a luminescent coating.

The watch is powered by the in-house Calibre 2950, an automatic movement with 270 components and 27 jewels. Its running time is approximately 65 hours when fully wound.

The watch is priced at approximately $350,000.

33. Patek Philippe Grand Complications Platinum Tourbillon (ref. 5316P-001)

Patek Philippe Grand Complications Platinum Tourbillon (ref. 5316P-001)

Patek Philippe’s inventions are always state-of-the-art pieces. They always come with an understated elegance that bespeaks confidence and exclusivity. 

The Grand Complications Platinum Tourbillon is a beautiful watch demonstrating the Marque’s superlative watchmaking prowess. Everything is spectacular and refined, from the design to the construction and finishing.

The timepiece is termed a grand complication because it is equipped with a tourbillon,  a minute repeater, and an instantaneous perpetual calendar. The calendar is termed “instantaneous” because registers on the dial for the month, day of the week, and date all turnover in unison as soon as it strikes midnight.

The platinum case is 40.2 mm in diameter and just a little over 13 mm in height. The black enamel dial is adorned with gold-applied hour markers and faceted dauphine-style hands. At 6 o’clock, you’ll find the moon phase and sub-seconds with an arched date display right above. 

At 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock, you will find the day and month apertures. Unlike other brands that proudly flaunt their tourbillons, Patek Philippe has kept the tourbillon under the dial, concealing the wealth of the wearer.

The watch is priced at approximately $900,000.

34. A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon (ref. 730.079)

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon (ref. 730.079)

The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon Ref. 730.079 is presented in a 39.5 mm polished platinum case with a brushed case band. The glossy white dial is a pure interpretation of classical pocket watches from the 19th century and is dressed with blue steel hands. 

The red 12 index is a feature found on ancient pocket watches of the brand, and it adds a notable degree of gracefulness to the timepiece. The sword-shaped hour and minute hands reach out towards Arabic numerals, which have been fired and printed neatly with great diligence. 

Positioned just beyond the hour markers, a minute track with short black lines encircles the main dial. The one-minute-tourbillon straddles the lower portion of the dial and its presence animates the entire face of the watch. 

The watch features a Zero-Reset mechanism which allows time adjustment to the nearest second and a stop-seconds mechanism for the tourbillon. As such, the seconds’ hands can be reset to the zero position when the crown is being pulled.

A glance through the sapphire crystal case back reveals an excellently finished and decorated movement; the L102.1. It is a hand-wound with a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.

The watch is priced at approximately $200,000.

35. Richard Mille RM 47 Tourbillon

Richard Mille RM 47 Tourbillon

Richard Mille is an exclusive brand that focuses on the production of ultra-luxury Haute Horlogerie timepieces. Nicknamed the “Billionaire’s Handshake”, the watches from the Swiss watchmaker are famous for housing technically complicated mechanisms. 

The RM 47 Tourbillon was released in a limited edition of just 75 pieces after 4 years of intense work by some of the best horologists and craftsmen. Inspired by the philosophy of Bushido and paying tribute to the ancient samurai culture, this timepiece emphasizes extraordinary aesthetics and unmatched technicalities.

The watch is presented in a black PRP ceramic tonneau-shaped case with a 3N yellow gold case band and a black TZP ceramic bezel and case back. A single glance plunges us into Richard’s magical world of mechanics. A samurai armor at the central part of the watch has been crafted out of solid gold with artistic details painstakingly designed by the famous hand engraver Pierre-Alain Lozeron.

Among other stand-out features, a crossed pair of falcon feathers lies at six o’clock to immortalize the Asano clan’s heraldic Kamon. Overall, the design is luxurious, excellently executed, and enchanting, as you would expect from such a brand.

The watch is priced at approximately $1,000,000.

CONCLUSION

The tourbillon has evolved from a functional architectural device to a romantic emblem today, but it will forever remain a classic expression of high watchmaking.

It’s been over 200 years since its invention, yet only a handful of established watch brands have mastered the art of tricking gravity by use of a tourbillon. Less than that amount dare to provide a fitting tribute to this splendid expression of high watchmaking because of the complexity and high-end craftsmanship required.

As a result, these watches are always very expensive. Expect to spend from $15,000 to price tags that break the six-figure barrier for a Swiss-made tourbillon watch.

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