Here is a piece of seminal work by promising young independent Théo Auffret. The Tourbillon à Paris 00 was the piece with which the watchmaker entered, and won, the F.P. Journe Young Talent Competition in 2018. He later refinished and sold the watch, making it his first production piece. It features a 38mm sterling silver case with a regulator-style dial layout, and a one-minute tourbillon created and finished by hand. The watch is replete with many small details particular to it.
The Tourbillon and why it matters
The tourbillon occupies a special place within the pantheon of horological complications. Since its inception over two centuries ago, it has taken different forms, from the overly restrained, classic approach, to the opulently displayed and technically innovative one. Regardless of its execution, no other complication has captivated the imagination of both collectors and watchmakers in quite the same way.
It is possibly one of the most aesthetically pleasing and easy to grasp, at least on a visual level, complications of all. As the cage regularly rotates at a steady pace, it appears to be doing everything and nothing at the same time. It seems complex, yet simple.
It is only in recent times that the tourbillon has become so wildly popular. When it rose to prominence in wristwatches at the turn of the century, it became the benchmark for any watchmaking brand that aspired to be regarded as haute-horologerie. It is also considered a training ground for young watchmakers seeking to prove their worth to the world, with François-Paul Journe being a recent example from the last few decades. For many, it is synonymous with complication.