Intricate watch commemorates first man in space

A tourbillon doesn't stay in one place, but "orbits" around the watch dial, which bears the names of places and cities Gagarin passed in his Vostok-1 spacecraft back in 1961.

Gagarin Tourbillon
Bernhard Lederer Universe

In case you didn't know, today marks the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's journey into space. The Russian cosmonaut became the first man to orbit the earth on April 12, 1961. A high-end luxury watch called the Gagarin Tourbillon celebrates that great day in history with a delightfully complex design.

The highlight is the flying tourbillon, an intricate mechanical device that keeps time in more expensive watches. Unlike in other mechanical watches, this tourbillon doesn't stay in one place, but "orbits" around the watch dial, which bears the names of places and cities Gagarin passed in his Vostok-1 spacecraft back in 1961.

As a bonus for Gagarin fans and horologists, the tourbillon takes exactly 108 minutes to make a complete revolution around the watch face, the time that the cosmonaut stayed in orbit around the earth. Swiss designer Bernhard Lederer also threw in a magnifying glass to closely observe the intricate movements of the tourbillon mechanism.

If you want to see The Gagarin Tourbillon in action--trust us, it's worth it--check out the promotional video below.

While we don't know how much this luxury timepiece costs, its high-grade platinum 950 casing and limited availability (only 50 pieces will be made) should give you a rough estimate.

(Source: Crave Asia via aBlogtoRead.com)

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