Writing this article should be a piece of cake for me. You know how you find doing things that you like to be much easier than doing things you don’t like? It’s like that saying where if you find a job you love doing then you aren’t really working at all any more. Well, writing about watches, in general, is pretty much that for me, but this is even more “that” than usual, as this is a new iteration of my second favourite tourbillon watch from my favourite watchmaker: Breguet.
I don’t often bother to include my ‘second favourite’ of something unless it’s a Top 5, but that’s no bad place for Breguet to be in my mind. My favourite tourbillon watch is also a Breguet, the Classique Comporld’slications Double Tourbillon 5347. This new watch features only one tourbillon, but it is an exceptionally thin one that’s been exceedingly well developed. It took the might of Bulgari to dethrone the original Classique Complications Tourbillon Extra Plat from its place on the throne of “world’s thinnest automatic tourbillon watch”. I think the Breguet has more class to it, though.
The new one has a blue dial made of enamel, as a demonstration of Breguet’s mastery of the enamelling art. We’re more used to seeing them make the most exquisite guilloché dials on the planet (I don’t think anyone today makes guilloché dials better than Breguet does). So, it’s nice to see something a little different. Although Breguet can make designs and techniques that are hundreds of years old seem fresh and modern, it’s not for everyone. Some are put off of their watches for this reason and go to brands like Patek Philippe and A.Lange & Söhne for some more ‘minimalist’ designs. Whatever.
The devil is in the details, and there’s plenty to see here. Cut through the blue enamel dial, which features the Breguet ‘Secret Signature’ hidden on it somewhere, is the ultra-thin tourbillon. The cage is made of titanium, and it features an ultra-light silicone escapement (Breguet’s watches were always about the technical development over the aesthetic aspects, yet he somehow mastered the aesthetics of his watches too). The escapement inside the tourbillon runs at 4Hz and can run for a total of 80 hours, which is impressive considering the calibre 581 is 3mm thick. It’s even an automatic winding movement, with the rotor shoved to the periphery of the movement to keep out of the way, it’s still decorated beautifully though.
The 41mm diameter platinum case is 7.45mm thick with long lugs that have been welded to the cold-rolled fluted caseband that signifies that it’s a Breguet timepiece. The leather strap is blue, just like the dial, and is exquisite. Available only through Breguet boutiques, this watch costs a whopping $161,800. Do I think it’s worth it? Oh definitely, but I’m a bit biased.
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