Thursday, February 24, 2011
In horology, a tourbillon is an addition to the mechanics of a watch escapement. Developed around 1795 by the French - Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet from an earlier idea by the English chronometer maker John Arnold a tourbillon counters the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, ostensibly in order to negate the effect of gravity when the timepiece (and thus the escapement) is rotated. Originally an attempt to improve accuracy, tourbillons are still included in some expensive modern watches as a novelty and demonstration of watchmaking virtuosity. The mechanism is usually exposed on the watch's face to show it off.