Dive Watch Releases / Articles

2008-11-22

DIVING Tourbillons (to dive or not to dive?)

By TLex Having a Tourbillon in your collection as a manufacture or a high end watchmaker is fast becoming a prerequisite. Every year more and more tourbillons are unveiled to the world of 'Haute Horology'. Tourbillons are the pinnacle of modern-day watch making, and showcase what watchmakers are capable of.

It was only a matter of time before someone put a tourbillon into a dive watch case.
Why stick a tourbillon in a dive watch at all? Why, not if it can be done? Wouldn't this kind of movement be more at home in a dress watch? I am of course biased, but no, in my opinion it wouldn’t. There is certainly a place for tourbillons in dive watches.

Tourbillons are the most sophisticated of movements, pure art in motion, things to marvel at and admire. The price of a tourbillion can run well into the tens of thousands of dollars. So why not protect it in the strongest of cases from your collection, those of dive watches. Some of which are rated from 300m up to an incredible 3000m, thus insuring a secure housing for the movement.

As the trend and popularity for dive watches has increased over the past 5yrs so has the production of diving tourbillons. A marriage of these extreme opposites seems like a logical progression. The ruggedness and robustness of a dive watch coupled with the delicate, yet highly complicated and sophisticated tourbillion, surely a winning combination.

So what of the functionality of a dive watch? Of course in many cases this creates a paradox, especially with an open tourbillon that showcases the movement’s inner workings. It works against the simple, uncluttered and easily legible design required of a functional dive watch.

But lets be honest here, only a very tiny percentage of dive watches produced each year, especially those at the luxury end of the market, ever get to see the deck of a dive boat. Most are bought purely as jewelry.

So would one ever expect to take one of these exotic pieces into the ocean? Probably not, but if a millionaire every falls from his luxury super-yacht he needn’t give his diving tourbillon a second thought.

Here they are the ‘Diving Tourbillons’:

Aquanautic Superking Diving Tourbillion Monopusher

© Aquanautic

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon



Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon


© Blancpain

In 2006 Girard-Perregaux put a tourbillon into their extreme diver the Seahawk II Pro, rated at 3000m. They also built an 18ct Rose gold version rated to 1000m.


Girard Perregaux Seahawk II Pro


Girard Perregaux Seahawk II Pro


© Girard-Perregaux

Hysek Abyss Explorer Tourbillon


Hysek Abyss Explorer Tourbillon

© HYSEK

Roger Dubuis Easy Diver Tourbillon


© Roger Dubuis

Parmigiani Pershing Tourbillon

© Parmigiani Fleuer

UTS 1000m Tourbillon


© UTS

Zenith Defy Xtreme Tourbillon



Zenith Defy Xtreme Tourbillon


© Zenith

Zenith Defy Xtreme Sea Tourbillon


© Zenith

This year the Concord C1
Gravity Tourbillon grabbed the Geneva Watch Making Grand Prix and last year Zenith’s El Primero Zero-G Tourbillon also took a prize. Whilst these two tourbillons are not strictly dive watches they are classed as sports watches and reaffirm that tourbillons don’t just belong in dress watches.

Concord C1 Gravity Tourbillon

© Concord

Zenith Defy Xtreme Zero-G Tourbillon


© Zenith

Finally it's not all bad news for those of you on a budget. Have you ever dreamed of owning your own Diving Tourbillon?
Well here's your chance, I came across this on the net.

It is of course a blatant ripoff of the GP Seahawk II Pro with a Chinese made tourbillon inside, but it could be yours for as little as 1000USD.

Its water-resistance is not stated in the spec, but I wouldn't wash my hands wearing it. By the way the name on the dial 'Alfred Davis' is the same name as the British Co founder of Rolex from 1905, interesting choice of name.

Alfred Davis Flying Tourbillon

© Alfred Davis

Update April 2009 Since writing two more diving tourbillons have been released.

NIVREL Tourbillon Shark Sea 3000m

© NIVREL

Richard Mille RM025 Tourbillon Chronograph Diver


© Richard Mille

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