By Harlan Chapman-Green
There is a specific reason I was holding off writing about this Breguet so far. I really was trying to save the best until last, well, at least the best in my eyes anyway. If you don’t know I’m a ridiculously huge fan of Breguet, both from the years of the man himself right up to the present day and I’ll shamelessly plug my own Breguet Forum on social media here where we have discussions about the company, its products and, well, pretty much anything about it. But, it’s time to move onto the main reason we are here, because Breguet has once again committed a piece to be sold for charity to aid the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
There is yet another reason I like a Breguet watch when it comes to Only Watch, more than just the fact that this piece comes from my favourite manufacture, but more to do with what happens after the charity auction. You see, once all the funds have been counted and the money donated everyone else pretty much goes back to normal with themselves. The watches they often put forwards are simply altered special editions of models that already exist in the current lineup. Okay, of course, things are changed around like dials and colour combinations but there isn’t really a lot else. Breguet approaches Only Watch in a different and smarter way. They use it to their own advantage, not for money of course but to gauge reactions from the press and public by releasing pieces early.
You could say that we are all a big focus group for them, if you’ll recall all the way back to 2015 Breguet introduced a new looking Type XXI, the 3813 in platinum which sold for 90,000 Swiss Francs. Lo and behold the next year along comes exactly the same watch but with a stainless steel case. So I’m pretty confident that at next year’s Baselworld we will get to see the Classique Quantième Perpétuel en Ligne in the lineup. It’s a great looking watch too. You can’t immediately say it’s an Only Watch piece as there isn’t the OW logo glaring out at you (there is a small engraving on the caseback), but given that no other Breguet currently looks like this you are pretty safe when it comes to exclusivity.
Unlike some of Breguet’s other perpetual calendars which are a myriad of guilloché and subdials this one is a little more streamlined and sleek, but still keeping to the traditional engraved looks that we’ve come to expect from what’s known as ‘the grand old lady of watchmaking’. Indeed Breguet pulls punches with this one by showing how well it can simplify what is an exceedingly complex addition. The display is broken up into three separate parts consisting of a day of the week window which I can’t for the life of me work out why they coloured it anything other than white or possibly silver (note to Breguet, that sticks out like a sore thumb). In the centre are the hands in the signature Breguet style with the month indicator wrapped around the middle. At 6 O’clock we have the date inside of which lives the instant jumping leap year indicator. All the necessary information, nothing super fancy. It even lacks a moonphase which Breguet perpetual calendars are known for having.
The classic fluted case of yellow gold is 39mm in diameter and incredibly thin at 9.05mm. It runs for 45 hours and is automatic winding which adds in practicality to this watch, the run speed is 3Hz. The highest bidder will also be invited to the manufacture in the Vallée de Joux, where they will see every process from start to finish.
The estimate for this watch is between CHF 80,000 and CHF 100,000, however Breguet’s strong track record over the years indicates this could go higher than 100,000.