Breguet’s most recent entries uphold its oldest and noblest traditions, discreetly displaying the signature features that set a Breguet off from all other watches made. Dials made of manually engine-turned gold, open-tipped blued steel hands, fluted caseband, unique production number – the Breguet personality comes to the fore at first glance. Every new horological and jewellery design by Breguet expresses the philosophy laid down a full decade ago by Nicolas G. Hayek: enhanced by advanced technologies and inspired by the world of culture – beauty first, beauty foremost.
This year in Basel, Breguet is introducing its latest alarm movement fitted in the new generation of Marine watches. A technological gem, the watch naturally displays the instantly identifiable Marine decorative wave pattern.
A pioneer in acoustic research, Breguet today confirms a technological advance it already enjoyed 225 years ago with its invention of the gong. A new alarm mechanism built into the diver’s watch as well as a new minute repeater are also joining the collection. The delicate art of diamond setting continues to flourish at Breguet’s, with a repeater watch that’s a marvel of technical virtuosity, impressively wedding Haute Joaillerie to Haute Horlogerie.
New entries are joining both the Classique and the Tradition collections this year. Their sweeping lines and decorative harmony are sure to captivate any admirer of fine watchmaking.
Marine Royale 5847 ~ alarm water-resistant to 300 m
Breguet’s Marine collection draws its inspiration from the original designs created by Breguet himself for the French Royal Navy after his 1815 appointment as Horologist to the French Navy. Sturdy in design, Breguet Marine watches have for decades been reputed for their dependable performances. In 2004 Breguet launched a new interpretation of this product line, featuring a markedly more contemporary and sporty but ever elegant design. Following the launch in 2007 of the first tourbillon-equipped chronograph with silicon escapement, this year brings a groundbreaking new design: the Marine Royale alarm watch, water-resistant to 300 m.
Breguet’s Marine Royale 5847 comes with an alarm device that can only delight both amateur divers and aficionados of exceptional complications. Underwater tests confirm that sound travels better through water than through air. Sound waves require material support and their speed increases with the density of the environment. Sound travels about four times faster under than above water. Furthermore, as the underwater milieu is generally far less noisy than the aerial one, the alarm’s sound is perceived with greater clarity underwater.
The alarm setting crown and on-off pushpiece, in gold, are sheathed in rubber for easier handling, adding a further touch of sporty elegance. The watch naturally possesses the usual diver’s-watch features, not least a one-way rotating bezel inscribed with a graduated 20-minute sector. The bezel’s unidirectional rotation is secured by a blocking pawl, visible and located between the two winding crowns on the case flank. Shaped like a wave, it recalls the watch’s essential functions. To improve its legibility even in the murkiest waters, its minute markers and hand along with the hour hand are coated with white luminous superluminova while the hour and alarm markers glow blue. Represented by a blue triangular pointer at 10 o’clock, the power-reserve indicator is also luminous.
Rounding out its attributes, the Marine Royale 5847 possesses a date indicator and a self-winding mechanism. The white gold version comes with an 18 kt dial with black rhodium finish while the pink gold version features an 18 kt pink gold dial. Both are manually engine-turned with the collection’s dedicated wave pattern.
Classique 7337 ~ Date, moon phases and running seconds
The Classique 7337’s spare design derives directly from the early Breguet watches found today in the Breguet Museum on Place Vendôme in Paris.
Epitomizing Breguet’s timeless Classique collection, this elegant wristwatch shows the days of the week, the age and phases of the moon and the date. Hours and minutes are shown on an off-centered hour chapter in the Breguet style while at 5 o’clock the running seconds give the watch its asymmetrical allure. Inspired by the Museum’s no. 3833 antique watch, the date and the day of the week are positioned on either side of the indication of the age and phases of the moon, situated just above the off-centered hour chapter.
This memorable design comes in a 39 mm case with sapphire caseback fashioned in a choice of white and yellow gold and equipped with now famous extra-thin Breguet caliber 502 fitted with an auxiliary plate.
Classique Grande Complication 7637 ~ Minute repeater
Today still, the minute repeater ranks supreme among horological complications. Universally admired, its intricate construction has remained the preserve of a few master watchmakers with the skill and patience to fit and adjust its delicate parts.
In 2008, Breguet came out with a new way of designing these technological marvels, fitting them with an entirely re-engineered movement incorporating new materials and featuring innovative positions for the gongs, gong rests and hammers. This patented technique is now in service on Breguet minute repeater no. 7637.
Its large, 42 mm white or pink gold case houses a minute repeater movement featuring running seconds at 9 o’clock and a 24-hour (day/night) subdial at 3 o’clock. The crystal-clear sound issuing from the case had never been heard before in any repeater without chimes. The gold gongs match the color of the case while the hard-metal hammers have been polished and beveled – no mean feat for such unyielding material.
The hand-wound movement visible through the clear sapphire case back has been entirely chased by hand while, in true Breguet style, the dial is manually engine-turned silvered gold.
Continue reading – BREGUET New Watches in 2009 – Harmony and Refinement – Part 2