ART AND MATTER
This sturdy chronograph, which takes its inspiration from aviator watches, has become lighter in this series providing unrivaled comfort for any occasion. Its cutting-edge mechanism is still a point of reference.
Launched by Breguet in 2011, the Type XXI Titanium is part of the Type XX collection created in the middle of the 20th century for the French naval air army. Although the qualities of this series are clear to see, this chronograph stands out for its minute counter measured using a central hand. With the ability to measure short and long periods of time, it does so using the second hand and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. For speed while using the stopwatch, the watch has a flyback function. Simply pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock instantly resets the counters to zero. Without this device, three steps would be necessary to operate the reset. In addition to the time information, luminescent hands and index markers, this model has a day/night indicator at 3 o’clock, a small seconds dial at 9 o’clock and a date located in a window at 6 o’clock. This easy-to-read layout, positioned on a black dial, is crowned with a black bidirectional rotating lacquered titanium bezel decorated with raised numerals.
Within the 42 mm titanium case, water resistant to 100m, is the 584 Q caliber. This self-winding movement provides a power reserve of around 45 hours.
The Type XXI Titanium comes with a stylish calf leather strap. The manufacture is also offering a strap made from the same material as the case to reinforce the sporty look of this edition.
Price: 12,500 EUR breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
DANCE OF THE SIRENS
Inspired by the blue waves of the sea, the Marine collection for women welcomes new models made of gold or steel, some topped with a band of diamonds, and with guilloched mother-of-pearl or blue lacquered faces.
Around two centuries ago, a few years after opening his business on Quai de l’Horloge, Paris, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) became Watchmaker to the French Royal Navy, a prestigious title which was the crowning achievement of his many works, in particular in chronometers and maritime clocks. With the rich heritage left by its founder, the current manufacture, now based in the heart of the Joux Valley, has been inspired to create a collection named Marine including some pieces dedicated to women. This year, the Marine Dame welcomes new timepieces, all equipped with the 591A automatic caliber which offers a power reserve of 38 hours.
Since the guilloched pattern is a specialty of Breguet, the white or blue mother-of-pearl dials which form the pieces made of gold include the exclusive “marea” pattern, a decoration inspired by the undulation of the waves. Three applied Roman numerals connected by beaded minute markers surround this miniature hand-sculpted sea. These are passed over by the Breguet moon-tip hands coated with Super-LumiNova® displaying the hours, minutes and seconds, the counterweight of the latter takes the shape of a nautical flag. At 3 o’clock, a trapezoidal-shaped window displays the date. With the steel versions, the dial comes in white iridescent mother-of-pearl or covered in azure blue lacquer which resembles the light sparkling on the surface of the water.
The Marine Dame comes with a white or blue alligator strap, or a white rubber strap decorated with strands of aquatic plants.
Price from 17,200 to 34,000 CHF breguet.com
By Sharmila Bertin
With this splendid series, Breguet truly demonstrates its expertise in fine watchmaking and craftsmanship.
A masterpiece in the fine watchmaking arena since 2014, the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat by Breguet continues to build on its leading position. After developing variations in the dial, the brand is playing its ace by unveiling a series which, this time, does not feature this component. The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 is a masterstroke. The rose gold or platinum case with a diameter of 41 mm and a depth of 7.70 mm houses an openwork version of the 581 calibre just 3 mm thick. To reach their goal, the Breguet watchmakers have made several adjustments. The gold plate and bridges have been hollowed out to highlight the mechanical architecture. The oscillating weight has been moved to the outer edge. And to free up space, the silicon escapement has been transformed with a special construction. The regulating organ has also been given a complete design overhaul. Including its cage, it only weighs 0.290 g.
Price: 220,000 CHF (rose gold) – 235,000 CHF (platinum) breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
THE DAZZLING BREGUET BLUE
The new work from the Breguet workshops features a dial made of “Grand Feu” enamel in a beautiful, deep and intense blue colour. It pays homage to the aesthetic traditions created by the brand’s founder, while slightly changing the rules of the game.
While the watchmaking trend of the times favoured the ornamental – sometimes outrageously so – the watches by Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) stood out through the work on the mechanism and the pride of place given to technique and practicality. He rid his watch cases and dials of all excessive ornament to focus on the essential: time. His approach gave rise to the Breguet watchmakers’ specific design method, which is still preserved by the Breguet brand. One of the ambassadors of the simple style is without doubt the Classique collection, especially the new Classique 5177 Grand Feu Blue Enamel model. With a slightly more rebellious style than its elders, it respects the brand’s visual signature while making it its own.
Price: 23’100 CHF breguet.com
By Sharmila Bertin
ROYALTY IN ROSE
A few weeks away from Valentine’s Day, the dial on the flagship model in Breguet’s ladies collections comes dressed in rose mother-of-pearl with delicate purple tones to celebrate the most beautiful and exciting of all emotions
Is love a feeling, an emotion, a state of mind… or all three? You probably have to have experienced it at least once in your life to try to define it. If love is present in the heart of a person, a couple of a family, then one date is especially important: 14 February, Saint Valentine’s Day. The tradition begun in English-speaking countries has now spread across the world and millions of people celebrate it. Breguet is also taking part with a new version of the Reine de Naples 8905 model made in just 28 pieces.
This collection launched in 2002 shares many of the features of the very first wrist-watch designed in 1812 by Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) for Caroline Murat (1782-1839), the sister of Napoleon (1769-1821) and Queen of Naples (Reine de Naples in French). The Saint Valentine 2019 model is oval has a fluted white-gold case and a bezel highlighted by a stream of 128 diamonds. The watch case is 28.45 x 36.50mm. The sapphire glass caseback unveils the calibre 537DRL2, an automatic movement providing 45 hours of power reserve.
The mechanism is perfect and the dial is a wonder for the eyes. The rose mother-of-pearl gives rise to dazzling rainbow effects with mauve predominating. The hour and minute hands, with two blued steel Breguet “moon” tip hands, are set at the centre of a guilloché disc. At 7 o’clock is an engraved seconds sub-dial. The upper part of the dial contains the moon phase with the queen of the night and the stars made of white gold against a bright pink disc, along with a power reserve indicator.
The Reine de Naples 8905 Saint Valentine 2019 is worn with a mauve alligator leather strap.
Price: 38’500 CHF breguet.com
By Sharmila Bertin
This model perpetuates the tradition of expertise at Breguet. Noble materials set off a flagship complication providing crystal-clear chimes whenever you wish.
The minute repeater, a complication first developed in the 18th century, tells you what time it is without you having to looking at the watch and even in the dark. How does it work? A press on a dedicated monopusher launches a sound mechanism with three different tones. The watch then chimes the hour, the quarter hour and the minutes. So when it is 2.37, you will hear two deep chimes, followed by two tones with a different sound and finally seven higher-pitched chimes. The world has changed a good deal since its invention, but this watch complication still symbolises excellence and is a much sought-after prize among fans of luxury watches. The complication is only made by a handful of firms, including Breguet, which is perpetuating expertise developed by the brilliant French-based watchmaker of the same name. The Classique Grande Complication 7637 epitomises this tradition. On the dial, we find all the brand’s signature elements, such as the blued “moon” tip hands above a hand-engraved silver guilloché dial with a chapter ring featuring Roman numerals. Two time indications round off the display: at 3 o’clock, a 24-hour disc with a day/night indicator, and at 9 o’clock, a running seconds sub-dial.
Turning the watch over, you can see the hand-decorated and engraved hand-wound movement through the sapphire caseback (40 hours of power reserve).
Price: 230,400 EUR breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
KINGDOM OF MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND DIAMONDS
The new, majestic and elegant Reine de Naples watch was first presented a few months ago. It features all the femininity of the Breguet collections with an oval body and a mother-of-pearl dial delicately enhanced by two rows of diamonds.
In 1808, Caroline Murat, nee Bonaparte (1782-1839), the younger sister of the Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821), became Queen of Naples (Reine de Naples in French). Two years later, she commissioned her official watchmaker, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823), to make one of the world’s first wrist watches. The timepiece was paid for in 1811 and delivered to the queen in 1812, according to the carefully preserved archives at the Breguet Museum in Paris. It was oblong in shape and included a strap plaited with golden threads. Although the watch itself disappeared sometime in the 19th century, a description of it inspired the brand based in L’Abbaye, Switzerland, to create a collection in 2002. The Reine de Naples 8908 has been added to the collection this year.
The new model, like its illustrious predecessor, has an oval silhouette made of rose gold and measures 36.50 by 28.45mm. As in many Breguet models, the watch case is lined with fine fluting. A winder crowned with a cabochon ruby could be found at 4 o’clock. Two rows of diamonds, with a total of 129 gems, cover the bezel and chapter ring. This is the precious for the calibre 537DRL2, an automatic movement providing 45 hours of power reserve and partially visible through the sapphire crystal.
The watch dial is also oval in shape and covered in Tahiti mother-of-pearl, beautifully reflecting the rows of sparkling diamonds. A golden guilloché disc takes up a large part of the dial and includes hour markers featuring black Roman numerals and a couple of Breguet blued steel “moon” tip hands. Near 6.30 is a small seconds sub-dial, decorated like a nautilus shell. The upper part of the dial opens onto a fan-shaped moon-phase counter, along with a power reserve indicator with a fine blue hand.
Price: 35,200 CHF breguet.com
By Sharmila Bertin
EXCELLENCE IN MOVEMENT
Like the other watches in the Tradition collection, this model’s design takes inspiration from a subscription watch with a visible mechanism made by the great watchmaking firm in the 18th century.
With the Tradition 7027, launched in 2005, Breguet opened up a new line of watches all equipped with a special feature: the mechanism can be seen above the watch plate, resulting in a strong visual impact. The attractions of the Tradition GMT 7067 are maintained through the unique architecture of the mechanism, so that the main components are all visible, including the balance wheel at 4 o’clock. The watch is not only beautiful to look at, but is practical too, with a second time zone. A guilloché silver disc at 12 o’clock is home to the traditional blue “moon tip” Breguet hands, making their way around an hour rim with Roman numerals. This is where local time is shown. A second area, offset at 8 o’clock, is dedicated to the reference time. A silvered day/night indicator is placed above, so the owner can keep track of time during trips from one continent to another.
When you are on your travels, the Tradition GMT 7067 is worn with an alligator leather strap matching all elegant styles.
Price: 38,200 EUR breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
WAVES IN VOGUE
With an aesthetic style inspired by the world of the sea, this new model has all the assets to become a key element in the male wardrobe. We take a closer look.
Updating a watchmaking classic can seem like a challenge. For Breguet, the process paid off in 2017 with some cogent technical and design changes to the models in the Marine collection. The 5517 model launched at the last Baselworld includes all these new developments. You can find the new clasps on the strap, fluting on the cases and a redesigned crown. The model also stands out through the date display in a counter at 3 o’clock. To read the time elements, the brand’s trademark hands make their way around an hour rim featuring Roman numerals. In the centre of the dial, two styles are on offer, depending on the material used to make the 40mm-wide case. The titanium version has a sunburst slate-grey colour, while the white gold and rose gold models feature a magnificent wave pattern made using a skilful guilloché technique.
Each timepiece is driven by a self-winding movement. The calibre with its silicon components guarantees 55 hours of power reserve once the watch is fully wound. The mechanism can be seen through the sapphire glass caseback and includes a surprising rotor shaped like a ship’s wheel.
A range of options for straps are available to suit all tastes. Along with elegant brown or blue leather, there is also a rubber version for a casual-chic look.
Price: 18,000 EUR (titanium) – 28,000 EUR (gold) breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
ESSENTIAL FOR TRAVEL
So you can go from one continent to another with perfect peace of mind and without losing track of time, the brand has brought together two complications to make this watch indispensable.
The Marine collection is like an invitation to pack your bags, weigh anchor and explore a new world. In the pure Breguet spirit, the models in the collection stand out through their elegance and practical features, bringing style to your travel accessories. The 5547 has all the strengths characterising this range of timepieces. On the dial – blue, slate grey or silver, depending on the version – the time display is designed for optimum readability. The watch has a new aesthetic style launched in 2017. The hour rim is made up of Roman numerals and luminous markers, with fine moon-tip hands for the hours and minutes. At 3 o’clock, an eye-catching sub-dial is used to set the alarm. Depending on your needs, it could sound to wake you up or remind you about a meeting. When the alarm rings, a ship’s bell appears in a discreet opening under the brand’s logo at 12 o’clock. At 9 o’clock, in a nicely rounded counter, a small hand shows a second time zone. The time information is completed by the date at 6 o’clock.
The 40mm-wide case of the Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 is made of white gold, pink gold or titanium. The three versions come with a leather or rubber strap.
Price: 27,900 EUR (titanium) – 39,800 EUR (white or pink gold) breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu