SPECIAL REPORT

Time To Move: Breguet

by Katherine Arteche
24 Aug 2019

From the inaugural watch show by the Swatch Group, we select our favourite timepieces that exhibit both technical and aesthetical prowess birthed from these watchmakers.

There are very few things of old that are still highly sought after in the world. We’re not talking about raiding ancient tombs à la Indiana Jones, but in the case of Breguet, it’s the timeless covet of a tourbillon. 

It’s been argued that the complication, one that’s been around for more than two centuries, has been surpassed by other innovations when it comes to countering gravity and achieving stabilisation. Yet, with its wide bridges and rotating cage, the complicated assembly is still a sight to be admired, and Breguet stages its naked display in the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395.

Exposing the 581 caliber through the front and back sapphire crystals, the skeletonised timepiece was intentionally created to be an eyeful of details you’ll have to lean in and pore over. The 18k rose gold case houses one of the thinnest self-winding movements with a tourbillon.

The open-worked tourbillon is hard to miss, with an oversized titanium carriage that holds it in place. The finer details lie in the Clous de Paris hobnailing, which are uniformly created using a diamond-tipped guilloche tool. This thin mechanical sandwich is bordered by a sapphire crystal Roman numeral chapter ring, with blued gold indicators and complementing main hour and minute hands.

History has shown that women were the first to wear wristwatches when Abraham Louis-Breguet created a ladies’ piece for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples in 1812. Thus, Breguet’s most famed ladies’ collection bore an eponymous homage, with timepieces designed in signature oval-shaped cases.

The latest Reine de Naples 8967 is modernised with a striking tone of blue, featuring an artistic blue-lacquered dial that has light and dark hues swimming against the large ‘12’ and ‘6’ numerals. The bracelet is toned down in a denim fabric strap, and a faceted crown is found at 4 o’clock.

The ladies line has also been extended with a new Marine watch collection, bearing design inspirations that speak more of calm ocean waves. The Marine Dame 9518 is created in two versions – in rose or white gold, each set with a diamond bezel.

Sized at a petite 33.8mm, an automatic-winding 591A calibre provides 38 hours of power reserve. Already, the ladies’ Marine is an exact counterpart of its famed men’s versions, much ado with the softer wave motif displayed on the dials and oscillating rotor. Each version fronts an engraved dial in either pale blue or white mother-of-pearl, and has the option of either a leather or rubber strap.