Inspired by the Deep Space Tourbillon of Vianney Halter, the Hawk Eye is a fully functioning, 3D printed triple-axis tourbillon. This complex horological mechanism with 70 moving parts will soon be available to download from Thingiverse.
The tourbillon is a fascinating horological marvel which ranks among the highest achievements in watchmaking. Patented in 1801 by French-Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, a tourbillon aims to counter the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel inside a rotating cage.
Subsequent developments in watchmaking have rendered the tourbillon obsolete. A modern mechanical watch can keep more accurate time; a cheap quartz watch even more so. But tourbillons still exist today as a novel demonstration of technical virtuosity, and they are usually hideously expensive.
So it might seem unusual to find such a complex mechanism scaled up from wrist-size and recreated with 3D printed parts. But that’s exactly what’s happened, courtesy of Thingiverse member Adrien de Jauréguiberry.
Triple-Axis Tourbillon Made from 70 3D Printed Parts.
The Hawk Eye project is a triple-axis tourbillon modeled on the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon. The model has seventy 3D printed components and the unit is electrically powered, so there is no mainspring or full gear train. Instead, the Hawk Eye concentrates on the workings of the tourbillon itself.
Excited? Ready to go ahead and print one of your own? Patience, dear friends. While a video has been shared to YouTube and a page on Thingiverse has been parked, the full set of STL files are not yet available. de Jauréguiberry is still working on the final iteration, but promises to share the Hawk Eye soon.
However, the Hawk Eye has provenance as a remix of another horological project on Thingiverse, called Clockwerk. This is also a triple-axis tourbillon inspired by the Deep Space Tourbillon, but made from more parts and fully kinetic. If you’re looking to flex those watchmaking skills with a practice run, then the Clockwerk is a great place to start.