The SIHH, Salon International de la haute Horlogerie, just closed its doors that some brands are already unveiling novelties… For Baselword, three months later ! And not the less significant : Breguet. Pre-released at Baselworld 2013, the Breguet Classique Tourbillon extra-thin automatic returns to centre-stage in a platinum façade.
Platinum remains a long-term trend. Considering the price of platinum pieces, it only represents a small percentage of the portfolio of high-end brands, but stable, even growing at some point. For instance, we have seen Vacheron Constantin enriching its Excellence collection with new references in platinum. Still, in most cases, platinum remains a material for traditional and institutional brands, such as Breguet. Modern manufactures tend to try new materials and alloys, such as Roger Dubuis with its full silicium case dedicated to the Quatuor (SIHH 2013).
This extra-thin watch is accentuated by one of the most spectacular horological inventions – the tourbillon. It is distinguished by an off-centre tourbillon with a carriage in titanium which formulation is protected by several patents. The movement of this 5377 itself incorporates a balance spring in silicon – lauded for its anti-magnetic properties – and an escapement made of silicon and anti-magnetic steel.
Breguet Platinium Tourbillon – The Silicon Paradox
Breguet has been working for more than 10 years on silicon. The brand has achieved huge results. However, some have underlined that this material cannot be repaired : once broken, the only way to get the watch up and running again is simply to replace the full silicon escapement. In a way, it’s not how Breguet has been designing its timepieces for the last 250 years : always repairable. And no one knows to date how to repair silicon.
However, these technical characteristics enable the new calibre 581DR fitted into this Classique “Grande Complication” to beat at 4Hz, a high frequency for a Tourbillon. Yet the power reserve is not sacrificed. Thanks to the patented “high-energy” barrel, the reference 5377 provides 90 hours of running time.
Breguet Platinium Tourbillon – Platinum case, Platinum rotor
To keep the height of the movement down to 3mm in a 7mm thick case, Breguet’s watchmakers have placed the bi-directional platinum winding rotor on the periphery of the movement. This technical trick makes this automatic Tourbillon one of the world’s thinnest.
Stylistically, the dial of this 42mm platinum watch is decorated with four engine-turned patterns : 1) a hobnail pattern for the hours and minutes chapter; 2) a barleycorn surround; 3) a straight chevron pattern for the power-reserve indicator at 8:30; 4) cross-hatching to outline each feature. A blue sapphire at the centre of the Tourbillon bridge draws the eye down from the hands.
This new Classique “Grande Complication” Tourbillon extra-thin automatic is a thoroughbred Breguet combining timeless aesthetic and technological vanguard. (www.breguet.com)