Owning a Breguet is an entirely different experience. It’s one of those (if not the) brands that has a special cultural history which is very evident in its designs and technology. Breguet Classique on the other hand embodies Breguet style at its purest. It epitomises the watchmaking ideology of elegant and refined designs, clarity and accuracy.
Today Breguet unveils two iconic models from its Classique collection, with a brand new look – The Breguet Classique 7137 and Breguet Classique 7337. Inspired by historic pocket watches created under the direction of its founder Abraham-Louis Breguet and his son, these new models feature one of the maison’s specialties: traditional engine-turning* (Which we’ll get to in just a minute).
The watches come in rose gold with a silvered gold dial and, on a more contemporary note, in white gold with a gold dial in the “Breguet blue” color. All of this is accompanied by a suitably slim and slender case, with the iconic coined edge. Roman numeral hour markers are imprinted on the dial; paving the way for the classic open-tipped Breguet styled hands. Breguet has also added the individual number of the watch to the dial, along with the secret signature which has been beautifully engraved. An embossed moon on a starry sky adds a new dimension to the moon phase display. Both these 39mm timepieces are worn on a leather strap with a folding buckle which are held together by curved lugs for additional wearing comfort. Beating inside is an extra-thin hand-decorated caliber (Caliber 502.3) with an engine-turned gold rotor which is also visible through the sapphire crystal case back. This movement has a reduced thickness with its open barrel and an offset rotor. This special design makes it possible to distinguish the barrel spring, which is otherwise hidden. The use of a silicon balance spring following recent technological research continues Abraham-Louis Breguet’s quest for precision on a contemporary level.
*Guilloche decoration, also known as engine-turning is a type of mechanical craftsmanship that involves the precision-engraving of materials in grids of straight, curved, or broken lines; a work of art created with the help of engine-turning lathes that create circular shapes or linear patterns.
In 1786 Abraham-Louis Breguet was of course drawn to the aesthetics of the end result, which gave cases and other components a silky appearance and a pleasant texture. But it was first and foremost the functional character of the process that attracted his interest. The technique provided better protection against general wear and tear to polished surfaces, which are often susceptible to scratches and tarnishing; while its anti-reflective properties allowed easier readability of the dial. In addition, the guilloche patterns helped delineate different zones on the dial for different readings, such as the chapter ring, small seconds, power-reserve indicator, and various different counters. The use of guilloche decoration in the design of his watches was set to take on increasing importance for the master watchmaker. In fact, it would contribute to the emergence of an iconic “Breguet style”. For instance, the contrasts offered by dials from that point onwards allowed the watchmaker to opt for elegant hands instead of the typical Baroque components of the time. Known today as “Breguet hands”, these are recognizable by their delicate body, ending in the famous hollow apple shape. They would go on to be an immediate success.
At the start of the 19th century, engine-turned dials outnumbered enamel dials in the Breguet creations. The brand’s continued loyalty to this design technique saw it go on to become a distinctive emblem of the House of Breguet. Now signed “Swiss Guilloché Main”, engine-turned silvered gold dials are present in the majority of Breguet’s contemporary collections.
Breguet Classique 7137
The Classique 7137 takes its inspiration from the Perpetuelle No.5 pocket watch and features a panier maillé basket weave pattern for the power reserve display, a damier checkerboard pattern for the date display and a clous de Paris hobnailing pattern for the main part of the dial. The dial of the white gold version is in Breguet blue color. In the rose gold version, the dial color is created using silver powder and a soft brush.
Breguet Classique 7337
Classique 7337 is an interesting one. The layout of this timepiece is inspired by Breguet’s Quarter-repeating watch No.3833, sold in 1823 which showed an hours chapter at 6 o’clock, topped by a moon-phase indicator at 12 o’clock.
The dial features delicate patterns: circular grain d’orge barley grain for the edges of the hours chapter, damier checkerboard for the small seconds and Clous de Paris hobnailing in the center. Engraved clouds bordering the lacquered sky of the moon-phase indicator, dotted with sparkles, are evocative of the Milky Way. Breguet has remodeled the golden disc depicting the moon in shiny relief and matte grooves. At 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, two apertures, with shapes reminiscent of those of historic models such as pocket watch No.3833, show the day and the date.
Even with these facelifts, the 7137 and 7337 are easily recognizable and still very historically relevant with Abraham-Louis Breguet’s creations.
From the end of the 1930s, Breguet reintroduced several classic codes of pocket watches in wristwatches, with engine-turned dials and fluted cases. Breguet confirmed this trend between 1950 and 1970 when it announced the current Classique collection.
With the new Classique 7137 and Classique 7337, Breguet continues to incorporate the timeless codes invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in today’s watchmaking.
BREGUET CLASSIQUE 7137
Case: round, in 18-carat white gold with finely fluted caseband. Rounded welded lugs with screw bars. Diameter: 39 mm. Thickness 8.65 mm. Sapphire-crystal caseback. Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 meters).
Dial: blue, in 18-carat-gold, engine-turned by hand. Individually numbered and signed Breguet. Hours chapter with Roman numerals. Open- tipped Breguet hands. Moon phases and age indicator at 2 o’clock. Date indicator at 6 o’clock. Power-reserve indicator between 10 o’clock and 11 o’clock.
Movement: mechanical self-winding, extra-thin. Decorated with côtes de Genève, caliber 502.3 DR1. Numbered and signed Breguet. 12 lignes. Thickness 3.65 mm. 37 jewels. 256 components. 45-hour power reserve. 18-carat-gold rotor, engine-turned by hand. Breguet balance wheel. Reverse in-line lever escapement with silicon horns. Flat balance spring in silicon. Frequency 3 hertz. Adjusted in 6 positions.
Strap: blue alligator leather with white gold folding buckle.
Also available in 18-carat rose gold with silvered gold dial: Reference 7137BR/15/9VU
BREGUET CLASSIQUE 7337
Case: round, in 18-carat white gold with finely fluted caseband. Rounded welded lugs with screw bars. Diameter 39 mm. Thickness 9.9 mm. Sapphire-crystal caseback. Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 meters).
Dial: blue, in 18-carat-gold, engine-turned by hand. Individually numbered and signed Breguet. Offset hours chapter with Roman numerals at 6o’clock. Open-tipped Breguet hands. Moon phases and age indicator at 12 o’clock. Date indicator at 2 o’clock. Weekday indicator at 10 o’clock. Small seconds at 5 o’clock.
Movement: mechanical self-winding, extra-thin. Decorated with côtes de Genève, caliber 502.3 QSE1. Numbered and signed Breguet. 12 lignes. Thickness 3.80 mm. 35 jewels. 236 components. 45-hour power reserve. 18-carat-gold rotor, engine-turned by hand. Breguet balance wheel. Reverse in-line lever escapement with silicon horns. Flat balance spring in silicon. Frequency 3 hertz. Adjusted in 6 positions.
Strap: blue alligator leather with white gold folding buckle.
Also available in 18-carat rose gold with silvered gold dial: Reference 7337BR/15/9VU