Christian Klings - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Christian Klings
    Year: 2016
    Model Name: Tourbillon n°2
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual wind Klings caliber
    Dimensions: 46.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Registration papers, technical drawings, photos and fitted box

  • Catalogue Essay

    Considering that in his close to 3 decades career Christian Klings has made about 30 watches, it is always with great emotion and respect that collectors welcome the appearance of one of the master’s creations to the market.

    Klings, a German born and based watchmaker is known by the cognoscenti for his superlative timepieces made by hand using traditional watchmaking methods. The design of each watch is first sketched with pen on paper – he never uses computers in his work.

    Each component bears the differences of handmade work, leaving slight variants in the texture of the Geneva stripes or guilloché work of the dial with its own distinctive character.

    Klings is as much an artist as he is a watchmaker and thus focuses on creating bespoke timepieces upon commission from savvy collectors.

    The present Tourbillon n°2 pocket features a self-starting detent tourbillon, not only an incredibly difficult movement to master but in this case, a world first.

    A grail of chronometry and the result of a historical pursuit for precision, the detent (or chronometer) escapement is one of the most accurate types of escapements. Developed in the mid-18th Century, it was mostly used in marine chronometers.

    In the detent escapement, the balance wheel swings undisturbed during most of its cycle, except the brief impulse period, which is only given once per cycle (which explains why the seconds hand is only moving 3 times per second for a frequency of 21’600 vibrations per hour). It runs virtually without friction and the escape wheel teeth do not require oiling.

    The greatest downfall of the detent escapement was the fact that it was very sensitive to shocks which result in the escapement from stopping, furthermore it is not self-starting meaning the watch needs a little shake to get the escapement running.

    With his Tourbillon n°2 Klings has devised an ingenious self-starting system whereby an extra pair of springs connected to the gear train lock the balance once the mainspring is empty. Once wound up, the movement of the gear train unlocks the spring, releasing the balance wheel.

    According to Klings he started working on a self-starting detent tourbillon around 2001 but the project only saw the light of day in 2016.

    The watch furthermore features a power reserve display, jumping seconds and a moonphases display.

    The rarity, beauty and complexity of the present timepiece make it the crown jewel of any collection.


An impressive and unique self-starting detent escapement tourbillon pocket watch with power reserve, jumping seconds, moonphases display and technical drawings

46.5mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF60,000 - 120,000 

Sold for CHF163,800

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva
+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022