Triple Axis Tourbillon
The creation of a set of three types of tourbillons required Prescher to invent a third individual construction. Inspired by Randall’s work, Richard Good became the first clockmaker to add a triple axis tourbillon to a carriage clock in the 1980s. Thomas Prescher took out his old apprenticeship notebooks containing his sketches and interpretation of Good’s work in creating a triple axis tourbillon carriage clock. He wanted to modify this for use in a wristwatch.
Spurred on by the success of his pocket watches, Prescher set to work further miniaturizing these multiple axis mechanics. He met the challenge and added a third axis that revolved once every hour. The construction of such a tourbillon wristwatch was considered long impossible: it was thought that the movement height would be too great for practical use and that the weight of the additional components would not let enough energy get through to the balance. However, Prescher found a number of solutions to address these issues.
The meaning of such a complicated timepiece is much more art for art’s sake than the search for any improvement of a rate. A triple axis tourbillon with its spiral-shaped movement takes up far more room in the space of a case than either the single or the double axis tourbillons. It is especially the unencumbered view that makes the tourbillon seem to hover in the air on its three flying axes.
A triple axis tourbillon is not only a technical masterpiece of the art of watchmaking, but it is above all a piece of art that draws our eyes to it—magically—a kinetic sculpture of time.