McLaren styled tourbillions around the corner

James Bond is quintessential British; the legendary 007 spy created by author Ian Fleming has thrilled people of all ages for over five decades both in print and through film. The exploits of James Bond and lately his commander-in-chief M*has been exploited in the real world with the reintroduction of the SUB300T divers watch. The revival of the Doxa brand with a British flavour puts forward the reality of other British flavoured watch brands making their mark.

It is possible that a British powered tourbillon is just around the corner. To give an analogy the tourbillon is the McLaren design in watches (the use of the verb McLaren is to be noted). Ferrari and Lamborghini are names synonymous with breathtaking design in sports car design but for sheer performance, it is the British McLaren that stands out. The McLaren was born out of the classical mould in British entrepreneurship of independent car making;in the same sense, John Arnold the English watchmaker developed the concept of the tourbillon that was patented by Abraham Louis-Breguet in 1795. The mechanics involved in the tourbillon watch movement is a feat of engineering skill with aesthetics. It is an amalgam of brain with beauty; undeniably beautiful. Tourbillons are exploring the multi-cylinder styled IC engines by several axis tourbillon technologies such as double axis, triple axis and quadruple axis. The latest entrant is the flying tourbillon. Defying the effects of gravity is the essence of the tourbillon and designing the perfect tourbillon will be acclaimed as the holy grail of mechanical watch movement.

Maybe among the several schools of watchmaking is an untapped talent in Britain; whoever it is can be rest assured that there are stalwart watchmakers with the likes of Perpetual Time who can open and service a tourbillon.

A posting in Perpetual Time review alludes to the fact of excellent service rendered by this Liverpool and Manchester based watchmaking enterprise. In another post on Perpetual Time review the warm appreciation of the WOSTEP and Guild of Master Craftsman certified watchmaker keeps the flag of British traditional skills flying high.

And why is the tourbillon important; because as George Mallory quipped when asked ‘Why climb Mount Everest’ he said “Because, it is there”. Even after thousands of years since the toothed wheel was invented there is no mechanical watch yet designed that has never lost time.

  • (thanks to Dame Judi Dench’s portrayal who has nuanced the character of British stoicism and steely determination perfectly; other M’s acted by Bernard Lee, John Huston, David Niven, Edward Fox, Robert Brown and presently by Ralph Fiennes are also on par)

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