Who Is More Accurate In The End: Tourbillon And Carloso

All are to reduce the effect of gravity on the time of the watch. What is the connection and difference between the tourbillon and Caruso?

 Blancpain Le Brassus Tourbillon

 At this year’s Baselworld, Blancpain’s Le Brassus series Carrousel Tourbillon watch, for the first time, integrates Carrousel and Tourbillon speed regulation systems. This is an innovative move, and it also gives people a sense of these two processes. Unprecedented attention. As two important devices designed to reduce the effect of gravity on the movement of the movement, the tourbillon and Caruso have long been famous in the watch industry, so what are their characteristics and what are the differences?


 Mr. Abraham Louis Breguet invented the tourbillon escapement at that time in order to offset the errors caused by the gravity of the tourbillon escapement system by the rotation of the tourbillon frame. At the end of the seventeenth century, people’s requirements for the accuracy of clocks increased significantly, and they could no longer tolerate such a ‘position difference’. Therefore, Baodi digs his head and seeks a solution. He thought: The reason why the escapement is affected by gravity is that its parts are in a fixed motion state. If the position of this part is constantly changed, the different orientations will cause the effect of gravity to be offset in most cases. Based on this idea, Breguet came up with a clever way. He installed the escapement speed control system in a frame. This framework is constantly spinning at a certain speed.

Tourbillon system

 Ordinary mechanical watches, because the balance spring in the escapement system will be affected by tightness and metal fatigue, and the law of balance wheel swing will also be affected by gravity, so the error is large. The tourbillon escapement speed regulation device plays a considerable role in overcoming the above-mentioned series of effects. Especially in the era of pocket watches, this type of rotary escapement has greatly improved the accuracy of clock movement. Although today’s watches are facing more position changes and the ability to adjust the accuracy of the tourbillon is weakened, the tourbillon is still a top watchmaking technology and is sought after by most watch fans who love mechanical watchmaking.

Camellia floating tourbillon

When the balance wheel is affected by the gravity in one direction at one position, it will be affected by the gravity in the other direction at another position. The frame is continuously rotated, and the position of the balance wheel is also changed accordingly. In other words, on a macro level, the influences from various directions will cancel each other out, which is equivalent to no influence.

The idea of ​​the tourbillon is to place the core escapement of the watch in a frame (Carriage), so that the frame regularly rotates 360 degrees around the axis-that is, the axis of the balance wheel. In this way, the original escapement mechanism is fixed, so when the watch rest position is changed, the escapement mechanism does not change, resulting in different forces on the escapement parts and errors; when the escapement mechanism rotates 360 degrees continuously At the time, the azimuth errors of the parts are integrated and offset each other, thereby minimizing the errors.

Blancpain’s Carrousel

The Rgulafeur Tourbillion, the ‘regular’ tourbillon, invented in 1795 and patented in 1801 by Master Baoji. Due to the difficulty of making the observatory tourbillon at the time, only a few hundred have been produced in the past two centuries. In 1892, the Frenchman Bahne Bonniksen simplified the rotary escapement and obtained a patent, and named it Carrousel-Karrusel (meaning ‘carousel’ in English, also called eccentric tourbillon). The Carloso gantry rotates much slower than the tourbillon. Depending on the design, it makes a full turn in about 34 to 52.5 minutes. Despite sacrificing accuracy, the lever-type escapement invented in the United Kingdom is simplified and structurally enhanced in Switzerland, and is better than the original tourbillon escapement. Since then, Carloso, who did not have a British lever escapement, produced it in Coventry, England, tested it at the Kew Observatory, and was partially used by the then Royal Navy.

Exploded view of movement

Although Carloso did not affect the lofty status of the observatory tourbillon at that time, or did not affect the increasingly important application of the tourbillon in the observatory. But in the twentieth century, other tourbillons other than lever-type were doomed to begin to fade away. Watches using the more reliable lever tourbillon began in 1930, and the tourbillon observatory pocket watch became the most advanced marine watch. The lever tourbillon watch has also become a frequent visitor to the observatory competition. For example, in 1945, Patek Philippe launched a lever tourbillon with a balance weight balance, and performed a dance pose at the Geneva Observatory Competition from 1943 to 1967. It was not until 1969 that the upheaval of the quartz watch entered the observatory competition came to an end.

Blancpain watch

Different from the ‘Tourbillon’ transmission structure, the lower end of the ‘Caruso’ rotating bracket protrudes from a hollow shaft, and a wheel piece is connected to the lower end surface. The sprocket meshes with the three-toothed shaft. The rotating support shaft passes through the splint and is supported by the latter. The two opposite end surfaces of the rotating support and the wheel plate serve as thrust surfaces. The four-wheel shaft passes through the hollow shaft at the lower end of the rotating bracket. The four-wheel plate meshes with the escapement gear shaft in the rotating bracket, and the four-wheel shaft meshes with the three-wheel plate outside the bracket to transfer the impulse of the three wheels to the escape wheel. The four-toothed shaft transmits the motion to the escapement toothed shaft through the four-wheel plate. The pendulum shaft is not concentric with the four-toothed shaft in the rotating bracket. Because the rotary bracket is not directly driven by the four-wheel axle, the rotational speed of the rotary bracket is always lower than that of the four-wheel axle. Therefore, the ‘Carussell’ transmission design is actually a differential planetary gear train.

Comparison of tourbillon and caruso

Caruso is another innovation in clock technology after the tourbillon. Many netizens are not very clear about the difference between these two technologies. In simple terms, they have the following differences:

1.The tourbillon generally rotates faster than Carrousel;

2.The tourbillon has more parts than Carrousel;

3. The tourbillon is generally driven by four wheels, while Caruso is five wheels;

4. Carrousel is mostly eccentric design and does not rotate around fixed gears.