AATOS Tiago Review: The Cheapest Tourbillon Watch In The World?

AATOS Tiago Review: The Cheapest Tourbillon Watch In The World?

AATOS Tiago Review: The Cheapest Tourbillon Watch In The World?   wrist time watch reviews

When the first Chinese tourbillons came out in 2007 there was a collective gasp in the watch community. For the first time ever, one could, at an accessible price, buy and own a tourbillon without the huge price tag of a Swiss one.

Tourbillon fever ran rampant among the watch community and the forums were instantly set alight. I remember those murky days well when I trawled through the internet looking for scraps of information. What did these tourbillons look like? Were they good? How much? And most importantly, how could I buy them?

Tourbillon fever ran its course for me quite quickly. Early designs were ugly derivatives of Swiss designs, and prices, though much lower than a Swiss one, were still high, coming in at multiple thousands in USD. At that price, it was not on the cards to risk the money on an unknown quantity when the same amount could buy me a decent Rolex that I could get serviced or resold very easily.

AATOS Tiago Review: The Cheapest Tourbillon Watch In The World?   wrist time watch reviews

It is now February 2013, and I have in my hands, a Chinese tourbillon bought at the amazingly eye popping price of 399 GBP from Amazon UK.

Why do I have this watch?

My recent entry into watch blogging came to the attention of a long-lost friend who contacted me to tell me that he had just bought a tourbillon watch from Amazon. Now, this friend does not know much about watches, and often defers to me for advice. So, when he told me that he had paid 399 GBP, I instantly assumed that he had overpaid for one of those faux tourbillons, i.e the open heart.

AATOS Tiago Review: The Cheapest Tourbillon Watch In The World?   wrist time watch reviews

He brought it along to meet me so that I could have a look at it. I checked the open window at 6 o'clock and sure enough, the escape wheel and pinion was circling around the balance wheel. I checked the invoice also and sure enough, I saw only three figures in the price, instead of the usual five or six normally associated with a tourbillon.

So this was the real deal. Not an open heart, but a true blue and plainly authentic tourbillon. How was this possible?

The watch in question was the AATOS TiagoLSB, a watch from a brand that doubtless many have not heard of. A quick Google search turns up a bunch of online retailers, but no official brand website or company address.

So what do you get for your money?

15 comments
TANGOWATCH
TANGOWATCH

Nothing to be shameful here....A ToubIllion is a Toubillion...the concept is the same! If the chinese can improve its quality to mid level of Swiss quality controll.....then its a threat to the Swiss! REVERSE ENGINEERING AT ITS BEST FROM THE CHINESE and affordable pricing .....Sometimes I 'm bugged by the insane prices of those Swiss branded toubillions....an old designed mechanism!

DrGonzo47
DrGonzo47

seriously im very impressed i can look at that tourbillon  all day though i must admit the 24 hour and day night is a joke but i can live with that 

DrGonzo47
DrGonzo47

i bought one put a very nice banda blue leather strap and it looks a million yuan 

jmfloresa
jmfloresa

Just for the mere joy of having a tourbillon in my wrist in this lifetime,  I will go for it and wear it all day careless  ( even when wrestling with my 3 year old boy),  I'll never be looking under the hood because I will be aware of what I'll get for the sticker price.   And if in a couple of years it brokes,  I'll buy the newest model, or the minute sonata repeater, or the astro-horological one...  The point is, why only the über-rich get all the fun/toys? 

DanielPatrick35
DanielPatrick35

I saw these on the forums last year and was highly interested, but the busy designs with day/night wheels, etc. just don't do it for me. I desperately want a tourbillon - not so much to wear but to wind up and look at - but with a simpler, cleaner design ala Zenith Captain Tourbillon or Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionalle 14-Days Tourbillon would be much better for this watch.

Lesthepom
Lesthepom

if the car you are driving if a ford you wouldn't go back to the dealer and complain it didn't have a Ferrari gear box if you buy this watch I think you are getting fantastic value for money complaining it hasn't got the fines finish of the Swiss relay is apples and oranges if you take it as what it is a Chinese Tourbillon for 399 wow I am not sure what the cheapest Swiss made one is but I am sure it is  considerably more and I don't include Invictor in that if you have purchased one or intend to Enjoy it for what it is 

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

(from the castle walls)

"Sire...the masses are revolting!"

"Yes they are. But they appear to be wearing some quite nice watches!"

Humanloop
Humanloop

I've owned this watch (the earlier generation, without the blue numbers) for a year and a half. I have had no issues with it. I have several Swiss watches (not crazy pricey), and agree that the quality of the Aatos isn't near Swiss. I can honestly say, I'm still not bored of it, love watching it, AND it has such a great sound. If I had a ridiculous income and could afford a Swiss tourbillon, sure I'd have one, but I can't.....so I'll enjoy the Chinese one!

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Maybe it's just me, but I cannot get past the day/night wheels on these watches. They are ubiquitous in Chinese watches, and to my tastes/eye, do the most damage. Calling them day/night wheels is a compliment, they are just faker moonphases (and usually listed as such) that I simply cannot digest. I could point out other fallacies here, but they would mainly be reiterations of what has already been said in both the article and other comments, so I don't feel the need to pile on - these exist for a very real purpose, and sell quite well because of it - the common man can, in essence, get his hands on and own what is essentially the holiest of holies in the watch world. I don't judge in any regard, but I will continue to pass on watches like this. When I'm ready to own a tourbillon (it would, and will be nice, but it's not exactly a burning item on my want list), I'll do it correctly.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

This watch is what happens when the desire for the over hyped tourbillon reaches ridiculous extremes.  Simply having a crude rendition of a complication on a watch is not fait accompli.  The process, the finishing, the quality is just as important.  If you're going to neglect that you may as well not bother.  The watch dial is hideously cheap looking and the many deficiencies will need a lot of work before such watches gain wide acceptance.  If you want a quality watch, then save for it.  The instant and easy gratification of owning something like this will fade rapidly.

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

I would pray on chinese watchmaking guys if they make swiss and german watches cheaper, tourbillon watches as well.

TANGOWATCH
TANGOWATCH

@Ulysses31 You only need one bright spark and a good watch maker get better machined watch cases, sapphire crystals. good qc bracelets and housed that dammed cheapo tourbillion fromn the chinese into it.

VIOLA ! GOOD MARKETING AND advert! and Pricing..........you give those Swiss a fight for their lives!

AronL
AronL

You know what? Some of us don't have the means to drop five or six figures on a watch. And we would rather put that money toward, I don't know, a CAR or a HOUSE.

If we can get something of decent quality at a reasonable price, don't you dare judge us.

Mein Uhr
Mein Uhr

@AronL I can't disagree with you here but Ulysses31 does bring up a good point. Just look at the car companies... 10 years ago, a Hyundai looked like a cheap car for A to B purposes only. Today, the Hyundai Elantra looks similar (enough) to a BMW. Sure, not everyone has $100,000+ to drop on a watch, but it's no excuse to make an affordable watch look cheap.

AronL
AronL

I completely agree with you, but I must point out Adi's point that the watch doesn't look cheap unless you view it through a loupe.

And honestly, I wear watches because they look nice. Technical excellence is a secondary boon :)

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