Swiss watch manufacturer Breguet has always been good at maintaining the balance between tradition and innovation. This year’s models are no exception and demonstrate once again why this storied brand is one of the oldest and most well-respected in the industry. We’ve profiled three of our favourites here for you today, all of which are available for purchase from Watches of Switzerland. All three come in 18k rose gold and that’s about where the similarities end. Read on to discover three innovative new models from Montres Breguet.
This lightweight dress watch features one of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s most innovative inventions. The tourbillon – patented all the way back in 1801 – was designed to counter the effect of gravity on pocket watch movements. Its design and construction have been improved upon over the years but the fundamental concepts underpinning its use remain the same. The new enamel dial also bears the legacy of the minimalist design DNA Breguet established for the brand over 200 years ago. Elements such as the blued moon crescent hands, the motifs used for the minute track, and the Breguet numerals painted on a white enamel dial can all be found on some of the earliest pocket watches the master watchmaker created.
At 7.45mm thick, the Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 is one of the thinnest automatic tourbillons in production. The complex calibre 581 achieves its 3mm slenderness by employing a peripheral rotor mounted on ball-bearings – providing unobstructed viewing of the highly decorated movement (visible through a sapphire case back). Calibre 581 uses an inverted lateral lever escapement with silicon horns (to reduce friction) and boasts 80 hours of power reserve – incredible for such a thin movement. The balance spring is silicon while the tourbillon carriage is made from titanium. The wristwatch is presented in a fluted case measuring 42mm, water resistant to 30m (3 bar/ 100ft). $189,000
The Classique 5157 is another demonstration of Breguet’s stylistic legacy, showcasing many of its founder’s pioneering ideas. Breguet was the first to use rose lathe guilloché dials (to suppress the reflection of light on the metal’s surface) in 1786, and his famous blued steel, open-tipped hands date back to a 1783 pocket watch. On the Classique 5157, the silvered gold dial bears the traditional “Clous de Paris” hobnail pattern framed by a superbly cut hour track with stylised Roman numerals. On either side of the ‘XII’, Breguet’s secret signature is engraved (a practice he adopted from 1795 as a countermeasure against counterfeiters). Beyond, a dimpled pattern around the outer circumference serves as the minute track. Each dial is individually numbered.
Another ultra-thin dress watch at just 5.4mm thick, it measures a comfortable 38mm in diameter. Between the minimal bezel and the rear of the case is sandwiched the signature coin-edge – cold-rolled into the metal and then finished by hand. On show through a rear sapphire is the beautifully finished architecture of the automatic 502.3 calibre. A 22k gold ‘partial’ rotor sits in the same plain as the bridges, carefully avoiding the keyless works. This allows for the exceptionally thin dimensions. The open barrel movement turns on 35 jewels and has a total of 140 components, including silicon balance spring and lever. The power reserve is 45 hours, and water resistance is 30m (3 bar / 100ft). $24,100
Steeped in its own history, with specifications dictated by the French military, this pilot’s watch possesses a handsome personality that sets it apart from the rest of the Breguet line. The 2018 edition comes with a slate grey, Breguet-signed dial. The large, old-world Arabic numbers along with the time hands receive a slightly aged luminous treatment that’s intentionally mis-matched to the colour of the triangle on the bidirectional bezel, for added character. The rotating bezel allows for two events to be timed concurrently.
Breguet’s Type XXI models feature two chronograph hands located coaxially at the dial centre – one to track seconds and the other to track elapsed minutes (while a 12-hour sub-register is located at 6 o’clock). This allows space for a 24-hour time display with discreet day/ night indicator to appear at 3 o’clock, in addition to small seconds at 9 o’clock and quickset date at 6.
The Type XXI 3817 is a versatile size at 42mm. The caseband is delicately fluted, matched by the edge-treatment of the bezel, and fitted with rounded lugs. Between the two chronograph pushers, the screw-locked crown supports this pilot’s watch to a depth 100m (10 bar/ 330ft) water resistance.
A sapphire case back showcases the visually impressive 584Q/2 calibre, based on the decades-old, bulletproof, cam-style chronograph, Lemania 1350. The modified calibre features modern enhancements such as the free sprung architecture with silicon balance spring, and the inverted in-line lever escapement receiving silicon pallets. Hand-finished parts including a rose lathe engraved rotor make for quite a spectacle. The self-winding movement stores a power reserve of 48 hours. $32,900.
Combining impressive complexity with striking aesthetics, these three models again demonstrate Breguet’s ability to consistently produce superior timepieces. The dress watches are worn on leather straps, while the Type XXI 3817 gets its own deluxe calfskin strap with a full steel clasp. Contact us now to find out more about these new models from Breguet.