By 1792, his “perpétuelle” watches were all equipped with it — a good sales movement, akin to how luxury brands of now maintain some of the more significant innovations (special materials like ceramic or ceramic, in addition to unique color mixes) exclusively because of their high-end collections. Also sometimes called elastic suspension of the balance wheel, the more pare-chute is the forerunner of the modern “Incabloc” along with all other shock protection mechanisms — but it is something to think that it dates back to the 1700s. Like any good businessman, Breguet wanted to maintain his business expanding, but to do that, he had to create his products available to a (very slightly) wider crowd. To do this, he had to create Breguet watches available at a lower price, so he created a new kind of watch that could be made at lower prices: the so-called souscription montre or “subscription watch. “Like any fantastic businessman, Breguet wanted to maintain his business expanding, but to do that, he had to create his merchandise available to a (very slightly) wider audience. To do this, he had to make Breguet watches available at a lower price, so he created a new kind of watch which could be produced at lower costs: the so-called souscription montre or “subscription view. “The more simple movement needed the mainspring barrel in its center with a symmetrical moving train wrapped around it, with the grade more often than being fitted to some larger case — little cases with complicated movements meant greater refinement and hence were in another category altogether from subscription watches. The easy movement structure allowed for the opinion to be fixed by any trained watchmaker and not only those at Breguet, further decreasing maintenance costs.
Of the thousands of watches shown at Baselworld, literally nothing looks quite like a Breguet. That is especially so when it comes to the brand’s visually distinct Classique collection which marries the technical complexity of Breguet’s modern movement capability with incredibly ornate, hand-engraved motifs inspired by many of the decorative codes that were once used in the earliest days of watchmaking. Two new models have just joined the Breguet Classique stable: the three-hand Breguet Classique 7147, and a refresh to the award-winning, time zone-jumping Breguet Classique Hora Mundi 5727.
Now, if you’re just looking to dip a toe into the world of Breguet’s exceptional hand-finishing, the Breguet Classique 7147 might be the best place to start, as it uses many of the same impressive signatures as others in the collection, at a more attainable price. Here, you’ll find the textured “Clous De Paris” or hobnail finishing throughout the center dial, and a cross-woven small seconds subdial at 5:00 – both of which neatly contrast the beautiful heat-blued pomme hands which, nowadays, are more collectively referred to as “Breguet hands” due to their invention by Abraham-Louis Breguet in the late 1700s.
Beneath the dial, the Breguet Classique 7147 is no slouch either – powered by Breguet’s in-house-developed Cal. 502.3SD – an extra-thin 2.4mm movement which carries a number of modern flourishes like a silicon balance spring and lever escapement with silicon pallets. This movement has an operating frequency of 3Hz and affords a power reserve of 45 hours.
Available in both rose gold or white gold, the 40mm case itself also carries some very nice detailing, like fluting in the caseband and vintage-inspired, welded lugs with screwed bars which complete the look. Granted, 40mm is arguably quite large for a watch of this design intent, but it also reflects a commitment of sorts – like the movement within the watch – to not only honor the past, but to embrace the future of watchmaking as well.
However, the real star of the 2016 Breguet Classique additions would have to be the Breguet Classique Hora Mundi 5727 – successor to 2011’s award-winning Breguet Hora Mundi that took home a truckload of top prizes for its impressive technical achievement. The Breguet Classique Hora Mundi was, and still is, unique in that it was the first mechanical watch with an instant-jump time zone display that synchronized all the other indicators on the dial – including the date, 24-hour indicator, and city indications, all at the push of a button at the 8:00 position on the 43mm white gold case.
This time around, though, the Breguet Classique Hora Mundi 5727 forgoes the North America map motif on the dial in favor of much of the same case detailing and white gold dial finishing on the Breguet Classique 7147 – ultra-classic design language that many fans could probably agree feels yet more Breguet, if that were even possible. Obviously, the biggest differences with this watch lie in its Cal. 77F0 movement, which enables the wearer to simultaneously “jump” four different functions at once, ensuring a perfect synch between home time and another time zone anywhere in the world. The Cal. 77F0 operates at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 55 hours.
The more affordable Breguet Classique 7147 has a price of $21,000 in rose gold and $21,500 in white gold. The Breguet Classique Hora Mundi 5727 is $68,600 in rose gold and $69,100 in white gold. breguet.com