Celebrated for the genius of his technical innovations, the aesthetic aspect of his work was equally important for Abraham-Louis Breguet, whether for the harmonious construction of movements, or the decorating of dials with hand-crafted engine-turned or ‘guilloché’ motifs that quickly became a recognizable feature of his timepieces.
First applied by Abraham-Louis Breguet in the 1780s, the art of ‘guilloché’ is perpetuated today by the House of Breguet through its apprenticeship programs, with the very detailed repeated patterns now visible on dials, cases, case-backs, and oscillating weights.
Here are three outstanding examples from this year’s collection:
BREGUET CLASSIQUE HORA MUNDI 5727
Introduced in 2011, the Hora Mundi created a sensation with its quadruple-patented instant-jump time-zone display system with synchronized date, day/night and city indications. Dispensing of the need for a subdial to show a dual time, the single pair of Breguet open-tipped hands is linked to a mechanical memory that keeps track of the time in two time zones, enabling you to display one or the other on demand with the pushpiece crown at 8 o’clock. When switched from one memorized time to another, the date and day/night (24-hour) indication are simultaneously adjusted.
This 2016 edition replaces the original depiction of the globe with a masterful “clou de Paris” hobnailing motif entirely hand-crafted on a silvered gold dial. Between 3 and 4 o’clock, the 24-hour indicator boasts a flame pattern ‘guilloché’ bearing the Breguet inscription at the top; below, a cross weave motif is stamped with the watch’s serial number. City indication is at 6 o’clock.
The round 43mm x 12.6mm (reduced from the original 13.55mm thick) case with sapphire crystal case-back houses the self-winding Calibre 77F0 (Calibre 770 and a module) with silicon escapement. Power reserve of 55 hours. Water-resistant to 30 meters. Leather strap.
EUR66,900 for the rose gold version; EUR67,400 in white gold.
BREGUET HÉRITAGE GRANDE DATE 5410
Identifiable by its “tonneau” shaped case doubly curved for a perfect fit on the wrist, this new addition to the Héritage line features a large date indication at 12 o’clock on a superbly crafted silvered gold dial with ‘guilloché’ motifs that provide depth while highlighting the other functions of the timepiece. The chapter ring with large transferred luminescent Roman numerals surrounds a minute scale, complemented by a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock and luminescent Breguet open-tipped hands in blued steel.
The 45mm x 32mm case houses the self-winding Calibre 516GG, with silicon balance-spring and 65 hours of power reserve. Water resistant to 30 meters. Leather strap.
Priced at EUR27,000 in rose gold; EUR28,000 for the white gold version.
BREGUET CLASSIQUE 7147
This new Classique 7147 is pure refinement. Its entirely engine-turned silvered gold dial presents a beautiful “clou de Paris” hobnailing motif that shows off the cross weave pattern of the small seconds subdial at 5 o’clock. Blued steel Breguet hours and minutes hands point to the Roman numerals of the chapter ring. The Breguet secret signature, a token of authenticity, is engraved on either side of the numeral XII, while just beneath, each timepiece is individually numbered.
The 40 mm case with delicately fluted caseband has been almost halved in thickness, down from 10.8mm to 6.10mm. Through the sapphire-crystal case-back we see the extra-thin 2.4mm self-winding movement, numbered and signed Breguet. Calibre 502.3SD with off-centered oscillating weight, Breguet balance-spring and silicon escapement has a power reserve of 45 hours. Water resistant to 30 meters. Leather strap.
EUR20,500 in rose gold; EUR21,000 in white gold.
These models are expected in boutiques this summer.