To the casual admirer, the ref. 00225-3434-53B Le Brassus 'Carrousel Volant Une Minute' probably seems like an impressive watch - its platinum case measures a generous 43.5mm and a quick glance reveals a mechanism reminiscent of a tourbillon - only, it's not. It is a carrousel mechanism and to the best of our knowledge, Blancpain is currently the only one using it.
The 2008 self-winding 225 movement has a one-minute flying carrousel.
Like the tourbillon, the carrousel counteracts and neutralises the effects of deceleration and acceleration of the balance wheel caused by the gravitational attraction of the Earth. The balance wheel and escapement, the regulating organs of a watch, are influenced by gravity when they are positioned vertically. But when rotated by a tourbillon or a carrousel, they pass through all vertical positions in succession, cancelling out these inaccuracies.
A tourbillon consists of a rotating carriage; a carrousel, in contrast, consists of a platform on which the balance wheel and its bridge go round like a wooden horse on a merry-go-round, the reason for its name.
Blancpain has achieved a world first by reviving this complication, almost forgotten for more than a century, and using it in a wristwatch. Incidentally, the carrousel from the Manufacture of Le Brassus is the first to have a carriage that completes one revolution in exactly one minute.
The picture depicts the movement without its rotor.