As a function of the tourbillon being so wide in diameter, the central hands for the hours and minutes are placed a bit higher on the dial as opposed to dead center. Some people like this eccentric sense of design, and others don’t. I’ll be honest, I am among those who dislike this concept in theory, but when wearing the Jiusko Tourbillon it doesn’t really bother me much, even though I know it is there.
Through the caseback sapphire crystal, you can get a view of the movement back which, again, isn’t fancy, but it is decorated. You see the precise lines of machined Geneva stripes and things like blued screws and large rubies. It’s actually not an altogether bad-looking movement, even if it does have a more industrial look to it. One of the tricks of hand finishing and decoration is the small inconsistencies which together offer a more natural, organic look, versus the cold straight lines of machine decoration. Anyhow, the caliber 3320 movement back isn’t at all bad and is at least as nice as you’d expect from something with a tourbillon that is sold as a high-end product.
You can’t find information about the Jiusko Tourbillon watches on the Jiusko website – at least I couldn’t. I was, however, sent an attractive document discussing the watch in Chinese. If you’ve ever had to translate watch writing in Chinese to English, then I don’t need to say more. Let’s just say that not all terms translate very well. What I did find amusing was, referring to the power reserve indicator, suggesting that the complication was important to “avoid the occurrence of the watch stopped walking brought embarrassment.” I guess that is true, wearing a stopped watch is embarrassing. They also refer to the JFL0168L Jiusko Tourbillon as a “coveted, heart throbbing timepieces masterpiece.”
The watch case itself is 42.5mm wide and about 12mm thick in mostly steel. The sides of the case have a sort of Greek-style decorative motif etched into the case, and the bezel is 18k yellow gold. Even though gold isn’t exactly uncommon in China, Jiusko makes a big deal of the fact that the bezel is in gold, and even offers a laminated “Certificate Of Precious Metals & Gems” from the Gem Testing Centre Of All-China Federation Of Commerce… and each watch is tested by them individually.
Other nice design elements include a brown (real) alligator strap (with decent deployant buckle) as well as guilloche-style dial with applied hour markers (there is a version of this watch out there with diamond hour markers, by the way). There is also a sapphire crystal cabochon in the crown and the watch case has a welcome 100 meters water resistant. That latter depth rating is certainly more impressive than most Swiss tourbillons you’ll find out there.
While the Jiusko Tourbillon JLF0168L-SG isn’t the “breakout” Chinese tourbillon that will hit the mainstream, it is a surprisingly competent design and very wearable timepiece that I enjoy. Sure, I like to snicker about the name of the brand and how it isn’t easy to pronounce (I suppose I do that with some European brand names as well), but at the end of the day, I appreciate how far Chinese tourbillon watches have come.
In some ways, China already won the “tourbillon war.” They have stripped the Swiss of a mechanism that the luxury timepiece industry likes to claim MUST demand a serious premium, and that tourbillons are inherently ultra-exclusive. That just isn’t the case anymore, and the Chinese won because they proved that a competent tourbillon could be produced for a tiny fraction of the price of Swiss ones. Now, mind you, given the designs and attention to detail, I would still prefer a Swiss tourbillon, if money were no issue – but that seldom is the case. If watches like this get a bit more popular, either Chinese tourbillons will go up in price (not terribly likely), or the Swiss will be forced to come up with other arguments as to why tourbillon-based timepieces should remain so expensive. Price for the Jiusko Tourbillon JFL0168L-SG watch is $2,560. jiusko.com US sales and service: jiuskousa.com
>Model: Tourbillon JFL0168L-SG
>Size: 42.5mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Tourbillon watch lover looking for a solid deal and not afraid to take a little risk on design.
>Best characteristic of watch: Great value for the money and, for perhaps the first time, a genuine feeling of luxury from a Chinese tourbillon.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Still a Chinese watch from a design standpoint which means there are some symmetry and logic inconsistencies. Day/Night indicator could be better. Who will service the movement?