Breguet : The Classiques, forever contemporary

Classique 7147

Case : 18K pink (or white) gold, fluted caseband, sapphire crystal caseback, water-resistant to 30m Diameter : 40mm Movement : mechanical self-winding (Caliber 502.3SD, 45h power reserve), inverted in-line Swiss lever escapement with silicon horns, silicon Breguet balance-spring  Functions : hours, minutes, seconds  Dial : 18K silvered hand-guilloché (“clou de Paris” hobnailing, “cross-weave” motif at 5 o’clock), individually numbered and signed Breguet Strap : leather


Classique Phase de Lune Dame 

Case : 18K pink gold case, sapphire crystal caseback, water-resistant to 30m  Size : 30mm Movement : mechanical self-winding (Caliber 537L, 45h power reserve), numbered and bearing the Breguet signature, silicon in-line Swiss lever escapement, silicon balance-spring,  adjusted in 6 positions  Functions : hours, minutes, small seconds, indication of the phases and age of the moon Dial : Grand Feu enamel, individually numbered and signed Breguet,  blued steel Breguet open-tipped hands  Strap : leather

Epitomizing the quintessence of classicism since 1775, Breguet watches also embody inventiveness and creative serenity. The Classique collection, representing the archetype of this horological symbiosis, regularly returns to the forefront to celebrate certain major milestones in the history of Breguet. At Baselworld 2016, the Classique collection welcomes ladies’ and men’s models serving as vivid reminders of Breguet’s pre-eminent rank on the watchmaking scene. Both the technical content and the aesthetic appeal of the new Classique 7147 emphasize the impressive heritage of the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix winner of the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.


The first such historical element takes the form of Breguet’s iconic open-tipped hands, developed by the maestro in the 1780s to remedy the legibility issues affecting the hands of that era, which tended to be excessively short, broad and ornate. The extreme slenderness of these gold or blued steel versions and the elegance of this new shape not only established itself but was soon widely imitated, to the point where watchmaking jargon adopted the term “Breguet hands”. Another aesthetic distinguishing feature of Breguet watches in general, and of the Classique collection in particular, is the omnipresent sense of respect for decorative codes. On the Classique 7174, the expertise perpetuated by a few noble watchmaking Houses including Breguet is thus expressed on its entirely hand-guilloché silvered gold dial, mainly adorned with “clou de Paris” hobnailing along with a cross-weave pattern around the offset seconds subdial at 5 o’clock. The slender elegance of the white or pink gold case appeals as much as its finely fluted caseband.


The sapphire crystal provides a chance to admire the micro-rotor of its haute horlogerie self-winding movement, equipped with another Breguet invention that has also become part of standard watchmaking parlance. This is of course the “Breguet balance-spring” equipping this ultra-thin (2.4mm) caliber, in this instance made of silicon. It is perhaps less well known that it has now been ten years since Breguet presented its first balance-spring in this material that is insensitive to magnetic fields and ensures enhanced resistance and lightness. Finally, these new Classiques models also recall the decisive role played by the inventor Abraham-Louis Breguet in the first self-winding watches, thanks to the development of a reliable oscillating weight ‘à secousses’ (which responded to the wearer’s movements and ordinary walking) fitted in a watch acquired by the Duke of Orleans in 1780. “The watch that winds itself” considerably heightened the burgeoning fame of Breguet at the time. As timeless, high-performing instruments for more than two centuries, Breguet watches continue to prove with the Classique collection for ladies (see article on page 46) and men that they remain perpetually contemporary, forever and beyond…


Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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