FrontRunners: Big Swinger

Zenith’s Zero-G Tourbillon (www.zenith-watches.com) is a fantastically complex mechanical construction, but whether it is an actual tourbillon is open to debate. Like a tourbillon, the Zero-G nullifies the effect of gravity on its regulating organ. Yet instead of using a revolving-cage design, the watch employs a system of gimbals that swings the oscillating balance wheel back to the flat position no matter how a wearer turns his wrist. Gimbals are composed of two hinged, concentric metal rings, and they are often used on ships as mountings for marine chronometers. Zenith created an elaborate system of couplings and gear wheels that transmits power to the balance through the gimbals. Even if the watch’s name is a misnomer, the Zero-G Tourbillon is a truly mesmerizing timepiece.

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Photo by Didier Gourdon
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Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
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