Don Corson's Hand Made Watches, Work in Progress - Half-Flying Tourbillon Prototype
Making parts

Assembled Prototype

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After making 4 more or less simple movements with standard Swiss anchor escapements with great attention to the decoration steps it is time to forestall incipient boredom and try something new. In other words, it is time for a new challenge. I start by making a test prototype of only the important part, the regulating organ of the watch, without the source of energy and the time display. Once I see that my ideas work, I will start the design of a complete watch movement.

Work in Progress - Half-Flying Tourbillon Prototype


Why "Half-Flying"?

"Normal" tourbillon:
A "normal" tourbillon has steel pivots in ruby bearings carrying the tourbillon cage at the bottom and the top. The cage itself carries the antishock bearings for the balance wheel.
"Flying" tourbillon:
For a "flying" tourbillon the bottom of the cage is (usually) held by a ball bearing, there is no bearing holding the top of the cage. As with a "normal" tourbillon the cage carries the top and bottom antishocks for the balance wheel.
"Half-Flying" tourbillon:
In a "half-flying" tourbillon there is no cage. The bottom bearing for the balance wheel is carried by a plateau with a ball bearing which also carries the rest of the mechanism, but the top bearing of the balance wheel is carried by a separate cock. As there is no cage, this arrangement conceptually gives the best view of the mechanism. As you can see there are no obstructing elements and the view is sublime (just imagine after I have finished the decoration). This arrangement can also have the least weight for the tourbillon, reducing the power necessary to run it.
The slide show cycles through images of the entire process of making the watch. To jump to a certain step use the links at the left.

last update 2.10.2009

Mens Watch

Ladies Watch

Dresdener Regulator Gray gold

Dresdener Regulator Red gold

Tourbillon Prototype


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© Donald W. Corson 2009