Hands On the Ebohr Flying Orbital Tourbillon


In terms of modern and complicated high-end Chinese watch brands, Ebohr is definitely topping the list with their line of watches appropriately named...Complication. I had a chance to sit with the Vice General Manager and Design Director, Gaosheng Yan, at their Shenzhen headquarters who explained the process of creating a watch of this high standard. Boasting not only an extremely impressive movement but also a handsome and modern case, Ebohr has gone to great lengths to stand out from the competition in every aspect of their presentation. After having the chance to wear this watch myself I can honestly say, if not for the logo on the dial, one could easily mistake this kind of craftsmanship for something from a high end Swiss luxury watch brand.

Similar (in function) to the Jean Dunand Tourbillon Orbital, the flying one minute tourbillon makes a full orbital rotation once every hour. But what Ebohr wanted to do differently was to strip away the dial and put the mystery of an orbital tourbillon movement on full display. Removing the dial presented a few challenges for Mr. Yan, one of them being the plate that the tourbillon rotates on. "It was too simple. Since we removed the dial, we needed what was behind the dial to also be beautiful." Their movement supplier wouldn't customize any detail on the rotating plate, so they had to create the decorated plates independently and supply them back to the watchmakers to finally be added to the movement.

So how do you read the time on this thing? Mr. Yan explained that they wanted to keep most of the watch face open to expose the tourbillon, so they moved the entire hour indication to the section located from what would normally be the 3 o'clock to the 7 o'clock positions. The large minute hand does a full dial rotation as usual, but the hours are read by a hand with 3 prongs of different lengths. Each prong passes over a section of 4 hours. So for example, the small prong reads the hours closest to the center of the watch, 1-4 o'clock. As 4 o'clock comes and goes, the middle-length prong begins to pass over the middle indicator section covering the 5 to 8 o'clock hours. And so on for 9-12. Difficult to describe, but actually not difficult to at all read once you understand what you're looking at. 

In the video below the time is exactly 6:45.

The watch case is also quite different from anything typically seen on other modern Chinese. It's quite chunky, which is a pretty good idea since you want those delicate moving parts to feel safe and protected. Another thing I happen to love is when the a leather strap is rounded to perfectly fit the case between the lugs. I would love to see more of this, especially on thicker watches. 

This watch isn't cheap at about $15,000 USD (RMB95800). But compared to watches with a similar function...15k is actually reasonable, if this is your kind of thing.

View a gallery of images from our day trip to shenzhen, including a lot of other cool watches here. And visit the Ebohr website here

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