Tourbillons are known as one of the pinnacle of watch complications. It’s an achievement for any to craft one. However, they don’t come cheap and some reaching as high as hundreds of thousands. This is where Sea-Gull comes into play. Sea-Gull managed to create a flying tourbillon movement which can be had for less than USD$1,000.
Perpetual is one of brands utilising the Sea-Gull tourbillon movement. They are based in Hong Kong and being managed by Alex. What makes Perpetual different from other sellers is that they have a workshop, a team of watchmakers and can service your timepiece. With that, the price also reflects the premium.
Pricing isn’t cheap compared to other sellers, but this is because of the reason mentioned above. My model is the Tourbillon T-03 which is priced at USD$1100.
I asked Alex about this before purchasing and he only responded with “The designation – ST is a good indication it is a seagull movement. To avoid confusion, no seagull name is mentioned on our website when the same name is also used for their watch collection.“. I can assume it’s an ST8001 (Sea-Gull).
The accuracy is rated at +- 12s/d. The tourbillon also acts as the second hands and has a 42 hours power reserve. The movement finishing like on the screws are not the greatest, but nonetheless it’s nice to look at.
Eventually a watch enthusiast will encounter a tourbillon and would love to own one. However, the starting price of a swiss tourbillon is above most would spend. Enter Sea-Gull.
The tourbillon is well built that it surprised me. Do note that not all Sea-Gull tourbillon are created equal as some may house it in a cheaper and less sturdy case.
The watch is not the most accurate watch I have. It did live up to its advertised rate with my daily wear resulting in -8s/d. Have to remember that a tourbillon was made for pocket watches and to negate the effects of gravity in a certain position. One thing to remember as well is that pocket watches are stored in a pocket and in a vertical position more often than not compared to wrist watches. A better explanation why this is important can be found in Wikipedia. The balance wheel has a regulator as well so don’t expect a free-sprung balance especially at this price point.
Case size is wearable at 41mm, but it might wear bigger due to the thinner bezel. If your wrist is like mine then it might look like it’s hanging a bit as well. Still smaller compared to a 40mm MeisterSinger.
Hands are heat blued. A surprise at this watch and price point. The strap is a genuine machined stitched alligator strap with their logo embossed. A little stiff outside the box which should soften with use.
So why did I sell it? The excitement of looking at the tourbillon eventually died down. Maybe because deep down I only know it’s a Sea-Gull and not a Swiss tourbillon. Also, it just fell out of the rotation as I got more watches to wear.
If you want to spend on a tourbillon for fun, I would recommend checking any watches that has a Sea-Gull tourbillon. They are cheaper than Perpetual’s and would often be considered disposable. However, if you want a well made Sea-Gull tourbillon with a future, look no further than Perpetual.