Last week, 6 of Swatch Group’s brands including Blancpain, Breguet, Glashütte Original, Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz and Omega debuted their 2019 novelties to select media and guests at TIME TO MOVE; an exclusive showcase organised by the Group in Switzerland. One of the most exciting releases at TIME TO MOVE was the new Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 by none other than the forefathers of watchmaking – BREGUET.
For this new release, Breguet has opted for an extra-thin three-millimeter thick skeleton design for its tourbillon movement. Almost 50 per cent of the material from the movement has been removed, without of course compromising the overall build of the watch. This skeleton design, within an 18-karat gold caliber that literally plays with the limits of what is possible, highlights the true craftsmanship of Breguet watchmakers. Engraving, engine-turning, and anglage add to this to create something truly outstanding.
At the heart of the watch is an ultra-thin 581 calibre with an outstanding power reserve of 80 hours thanks to a high-energy barrel beating at 4 hertz – a particularly high frequency for a tourbillon. Here, for the first time, it has been incorporated in a fully skeletonized design, a contemporary interpretation of this ancestral technique. The design of the movement and the tourbillon in particular had to be entirely rethought. For instance, the rotor was placed on the periphery of the plate, saving on thickness at the same time preserving a clear view of the mechanism. The titanium carriage engages directly with the wheel train, not via the intermediary of a pinion at its base, and, what’s more, the silicon escapement has been given a distinct angled shape, something that considerably saves on space.
What is unique about the movement, however, is its outstanding decoration and finishing – first of all, the hand-crafted engine-turning, or guilloche design, of the remaining plate surface. Clous de Paris hobnailing is created using a diamond-tipped guilloche tool here, a method that gives this work of art a distinct splendor but allows for no imperfections. This kind of work on an item like this is a first at Breguet. The sharp edges are painstakingly chamfered by hand, using a file until a perfectly smooth and even 45-degree bevel is created. Significant engraving work is then carried out by hand for different inscriptions as well as borders to frame the holes.
Available in platinum or 18k rose gold case, the watch measures 41mm in diameter and is only 7.70m thick. The sapphire dial features applied hour markers in blued gold. The hours chapter is created using galvanic growth and the timer is laser-engraved and filled with blue varnish. Sophisticated and minimalist, this design is rounded off with traditional blued moon-tipped hands and soldered horns in the true Breguet style.