Chinese manufacturer SEA-GULL presents a dual-axis tourbillon. Please read this exclusive report from China written by my contributor Logan

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

Once again watch-insider.com is the very first site to show something absolutely unexpected. Who thought that a Chinese manufacturer would be able to produce a dual-axis tourbillon?

This is what my friend Logan just wrote me in his email. Guys, this is thrilling!!

Quote …

“Dear Alex,

I’m sending you the original photos, but I’m sorry that the quality of photos can’t be higher now. They’ve been done.

Anyway, it’s only a prototype, I have a chance to photograph the final version of this watch in September and I’ll bring you HD videos at that time.

Besides, they told me that they are working on a petite sonnerie movement (surprising) and a perpetual calendar module. If they can make the prototype before September, I’ll also photograph them.

Cheers,

Logan” …

End of Quote

 

Dear Logan, the pictures are great. So no reason to worry 🙂

Thank you for this exclusive report and your kind email!

Here is Logan´s report

 

Quote …

“Yesterday, Mr. Cao, the head of the R&D department of SEA-GULL, showed me their dual-axis tourbillon prototype. This new model is named WingTourbillon. But honestly, even I don’t know the meaning of this English name.

It is interesting that several years ago, SEA-GULL made some traditional tourbillon watches priced at 5000 CNY (about 800 CHF, amazingly low), but today they are starting to make dual-axis tourbillon.

In the presentation, Mr. Cao made it very clear that SEA-GULL was in the midst of a major shift in their product focus.  In the past, SEA-GULL focused on matters such as achieving low price complications.  In the future, SEA-GULL wants to be known for high-end watches, and he thinks this dual-axis tourbillon will be a good beginning.

The SEA-GULL factory

SEA-GULL Factory
SEA-GULL Factory

The pictured watch is just a prototype and many small details may change in the final version.

The SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

 The Movement 

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

The technical details of the Sea-Gull Wing Tourbillon movement:

Components: 261

Total diameter: 33.8mm

Total height: 6.35mm

55 hours power reserve

The inner carriage rotates a circle every 60 seconds

The outer carriage rotates a circle every 150 seconds

Total mass of tourbillon: 0.68g

Time indicator at 4 o’clock

Power reserve indicator at 2 o’clock

21,600 A/h

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

We can see many details from the design drawing of tourbillon. Two axes are perpendicular to each other. The inner carriage is made by Titanium and the outer carriage is made by Aluminum, in order to reach a relatively low weight of the dual-axis tourbillon system.

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

Total components of the tourbillon system: 137

The transparent back of the prototype

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

Details of the tourbillon

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

The engineer told me that the final version of the SEA-GULL WingTourbillon will incorporate Silicon made escape wheel, in order to reach a better weight distribution. In addition, a free sprung system will be incorporated. We can see that in the design drawing of the final version. The engineers of SEA-GULL want this watch with both beautiful looking and accurate timing.

We can find 6 weights on the balance wheel

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

  A Silicon-made flower-like escape wheel can be seen

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

Another prototype with a slightly different case prototype

SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon
SEA-GULL WingTourbillon

The commercially available version will be launched in late 2013, the presell price is 300,000 CNY (about 48,000 CHF, it’s far more expensive than the traditional tourbillon of this brand itself.)

In my personal view, this watch still has a long distance to go before becoming a real so-called high-end watch. The decoration of the movement and the tourbillon cage looks cheap. But remember, this one is only a prototype. The R&D department claimed that they certainly would brush up the designing and the quality.

Btw, Mr. Cao secretly told me that the final version would be produced in September. At that time, I’ll bring more photos and a HD video of this watch to you” …

End of Quote

 

Logan, this is thrilling!! Thank you very much for sharing the SEA-GULL WingTourbillon with us!

Guys, what do you think? Looks good, isn´t it?

If it functions as good as it looks this is something the Swiss watchmakers might have to fear in the future.

Of course I have not seen the SEA-GULL WingTourbillon and therefore I can not say anything about its timekeeping-performance nor the quality, but still the pictures look not bad.

The only thing I can comment is that the SEA-GULL tourbillon itself looks like the tourbillon mechanism of the Panerai P.2005 caliber, but with the difference that the inner carriage is also rotating. The movement decoration looks very much like the one Jaeger-LeCoultre uses for its high-end calibers.

There is one funny thing to tell here: Since the Panerai Tourbillon P.2005 is not rotating as we expect it doing it from a typical tourbillon, some colleagues and I simply called it the chicken grill when Panerai presented us the P.2005 in Florence some years ago. Even when the Panerai construction is meant to be a tourbillon one could discuss if this is really a tourbillon in spirit of Abraham Louis Breguet.

Yes, chicken grill! Just imagine how a chicken grill turns and then you know how the Panerai P.2005 and obviously the SEA-GULL tourbillon are (rotating) working. Again to mention that in the SEA-GULL execution also the inner carriage is rotating, whilst the Panerai rotates only around one axe.

You think I am cheating or fooling you? Then please Google the Panerai P.2005 tourbillon and you will understand what I mean …

The case of the SEA-GULL WingTourbillon remembers me of the Zenith Christophe Colombe watch …

Thanks to Logan I will be able to keep you updated about further developments coming from SEA-GULL

 

Now I am looking forward reading your comments!

 

 

 

 

More from Alexander Linz

Pre-Baselworld 2014: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity (Updated 24.02.14)

There is only little information available about this new Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece...
Read More

16 Comments

  • I have faith in Chinese watch manufacturers as they are known to make practical, rugged, and good-quality watches for the low prices they offer, but I seriously doubt this high-end strategy of Sea-Gull is going to pan out in the short term. For starters, even the Chinese (those who can afford expensive watches) hate domestic brands. Sea-Gull’s got work cut out for it.

  • Are we now starting to take the Chinese watch makers seriously?
    This strangely reminds me when the first Japanese motorcycles arrived in the West and they were quickly dismissed as cheap, poorly built, poor quality and no real challenge to the dominant British motorcycle industry.
    But just look what happened!!

  • 1. It’s cheap (could be cheaper if u know ppl in China)
    2. It’s the first 3D tourbillon by Seagull.
    3. It’s the first 3D tourbillon by China.
    4. Coz it’s cheap it could be your daily wear.

    Enough reasons for me to spare my cash…
    I wish they could add more chinese elements there like the caligraphy at the back.. Seagull is just a baby and know nothing about advertising..

    • Some people just don’t know how to read. How is $39 000 Swiss francs CHEAP? Ignorance is not a bliss. It is a menace to humanity. And a reflection of general populace’s stupidity.

  • The Chinese are eager to dethrone the Swiss supremacy in both the production of high quality watches and consumer´s preference. I prefer to pay more for a good Swiss watch than to buy a cheaper Chinese one, regardless the complications offered by it.

  • It will be interesting to see just how precise this machine is really going to be! Forgetting price for the moment, how will it compare in accuracy to say a JLC, Breguet or Greubel Forsey or any other Tourbillon Swiss making brands. Can it give them a run for their money? Me thinks nope!

  • The most important thing to note here is that, “no longer are the Chinese doing the copy cat routine, for the first time, this is an innovative and creative way to solving the timekeeping problem” Ladies and gentlemen, at last our brother in the east is waking up, after centuries of sleep. This is only the first place that his intellect is manifesting itself, or is there a renegade brother of ours, hiding in the background directing the R&D department? Methinks it could be.

  • I like the Power Reserve Indicator but I would not buy any watch that had such a small dial. I like the dial to take up the entire area of the watch and then to have the Power Reserve Indicator inside the dial.This is just my personal preference.

    • Instead of dial I should have said time indicator that is too small for my taste. I like the time indicator to take up the entire area of a watch and then have sub dials located inside.

  • Alex many thanks for this interesting story. Even though I think this is technically on a high standard and at a low price point at around $ 35.000 I would buy for this price a Patek or other branded watch. But one has to be critical since SEA-GULL in the past came out with reliable watches at their price point. So watch out!

  • at this price I think i’ll buy two pieces
    be serious guys
    40k in euros i definitely buy a Lange or Patek end of story
    or another think why don’t you buy the chinese Rolls Royce
    a little from this a little from another and the tourbillon is ready
    cheers

  • Wow.
    At nearly €39,000 it’ll have to be top notch quality build and finish. We’re at the stage with the “China Made” branding that the Japanese were with “Made in Japan” maybe 50 or 60 years ago, i.e. cheap and cheerful, and not a little be flaky and unreliable. But look at the quality of their manufacture across all industries now: top quality that they can charge at a premium price point.
    So, having said that, the movement is intriguing (if not quite in the Gruebel Forsey league!) and will need lots more R&D to bring to market, not to mention some seriously good marketing.
    In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming of €40K Swiss watches I want that have far more cachet that a Sea-Gull.

  • An interesting story:
    Chinese watch fans found the case of the prototype looks like a little sister of Zenith Christophe Colombe. We told SEA-GULL and they listened to us. Thus, they made another prototype with a ‘new’ case. This time, it looks like a JLC… And we don’t want to point it out again.
    I think Chinese brands can make good machines, but they do not have enough originality. That’s the main problem.

  • What an interesting tourbillion. I’m actually speechless/blown away by Sea-Gull. This is yet another great story Alex. Thank-you

Comments are closed.