What is a tourbillon?

A tourbillon is a type of escapement used in mechanical watches. The invention of the tourbillon is credited to Abraham-Louis Breguet who obtained the first patent for it in 1801. The word “tourbillon” comes from the French word for “whirlwind”.

The purpose of the tourbillon is to counteract the effects of gravity on the watch movement. By housing the escapement in a rotating cage, the balance wheel and other components are subjected to a changing gravitational force which averaging out over time results in improved accuracy.

How Does it Work?

A tourbillon consists of several parts including the frame, cage, balance wheel, and hairspring. The frame is mounted on the mainplate of the watch movement and contains bearings which support the cage. The cage itself holds the balance wheel and escapement, and Rotates slowly on its axis typically once per minute. The balance wheel is oscillates back and forth at a regular interval, while the escapement controls the release of energy to power the watch. The hairspring returns energy to the balance wheel to keep it oscillating.

Pros and Cons

There are both advantages and disadvantages to owning a tourbillon watch. On the plus side, as we mentioned earlier, tourbillons help improve accuracy by averaging out irregularities caused by gravity. They also tend to be very aesthetically pleasing because all of the moving parts are visible through either an opening in the dial or via a transparent case back.

On downside, however, tourbillons can add significantly to both the cost and complexity of a watch movement. They also require more frequent servicing since there are more moving parts that are subject to wear and tear. However, these tourbillons can be found under $1,000.

1.) Akribos XXIV Men’s (AKR493YG) Genuine Mechanical Tourbillon Moonphase

This extremely affordable round faced Tourbillon has roman numeral indices on top of a textured white dial. Its approximately 42.5mm stainless steel casing isn’t too large for your medium to small wrists and also features a non-reflective sapphire. For the price, this watch is pretty unbeatable if you’re looking for an affordable Tourbillon.

2.) Stuhrling Original Men’s Tourbillon Grand Imperium Limited Edition

This Stuhrling Original has a Polished 23K yellow gold layered bevel, complete with a saphire crystal Limited edition, two-hand movement with open-heart tourbillon complication, Gold hydraulically pressed dial with gold, tone faceplate and individually applied black roman numerals, Water-resistant to 50 M (165 feet), and a Black genuine alligator leather strap with gold tone deployment push button clasp. For the price, it is almost unbeatable.


3.) Stuhrling Original Men’s ‘Tourbillon’ Dress Watch (541.331XK1)

The affordable mechanical hand wind movement Stuhrling and has a 5 star rating. Its textured black dial is accented by silver numerals instead of numbers which really gives it a classier look in our opinion. With a case diameter at 42mm, its not too large for a small wrist or too small for a large wrist. The open heart at the bottom of the case is what really sets this off as a quality time peice.


As we find more and more affordable Tourbillons, we will add them to this list. We come across a lot while were crawling the web for deals. Check back for more deals!

4.) View All Tourbillons under $1,000 on Amazon:

Amazon has a lot more tourbillons under $1,000 to offer. Click below to see all of them.
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If you’re in the market for a new watch, consider opting for one with a tourbillon movement. Tourbillons offer improved accuracy and can be visually stunning thanks to their exposed moving parts. Just be aware that they may come with a higher price tag and will need servicing more often than other types of watches.