The Rake



Breguet Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5377

While the hoverboard and the jet-pack have been confined to the more risible realms of sci-fi, one gravity-cheating device has not only stood the test of time but remains a technological marvel in 2018: the tourbillon, for which Abraham-Louis Breguet was awarded a patent in 1801.

It wasn’t Breguet’s only major innovation: there was also the ‘perpetual’ automatic, the gong spring for repeater watches, the first employment of rubies for watchmaking, the first shock-absorber device, and even the first wrist watch. But the tourbillon — an unfathomably ingenious technology based on encasing the balance and spring, lever and the escape wheel into a cage whose rotations compensated for the effects of gravity, thus ensuring better accuracy — was surely the most unequivocal statement of his genius.

Almost 220 years after his patent was issued, the introduction of the Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5377 — at 7mm the thinnest automatic tourbillon in the world — arguably gives Breguet’s

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