Five new Breguet watches for every guy
Words by Rob Chilton
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The horology experts continue to push the limits of watchmaking
Classic, complicated, sporty? No guy is the same, and neither is the watch choice he makes. Breguet, master watchmakers since 1775 and inventors of the tourbillon in 1801, understand this and have introduced a new range of novelties for 2020 that made the horology world sit up and take notice. Here are the five standout pieces from the collection that EDGAR love.
There are several dazzling features that catch the eye when looking at this 40mm watch with its 18-carat white gold case so it’s difficult to know where to start. How about the movement components - bridges, wheels, escapement and barrel – sitting on top of the mainplate? Or maybe the retrograde seconds hand at 10 o’clock, from which the watch gets its name? Perhaps the gold winding rotor that’s an homage to Breguet’s antique watches is what stands out for you. For some, the pare-chute at 4 o'clock - a Breguet invention that protects the balance staff from shocks – is the highlight. For others, the headline news here is blue guilloche dial done by hand in the classic clous de Paris style.
A beautiful example of classic Breguet tradition, this elegant 39mm watch has been given a refresh for 2020. The model seen here in rose gold with a silvered gold dial created using silver powder and a soft brush carries a new, intricately embossed moon on a starry sky on the moon phase display. The hand-crafted engine-turning method has been employed on this piece to provide a panier maillé basket weave pattern for the power reserve display, a damier checkerboard pattern for the date display and a clous de Paris pattern for the main dial.
Covering Breguet’s thinnest tourbillon movement that’s no thicker than 3mm is a deep midnight blue dial that has been achieved thanks to the experts in Breguet’s dedicated enamelling workshop. Applied in several layers with a brush, the enamel is then heated in a furnace at 800°C before being gently polished and heated for a final time. Look closely and you’ll notice Breguet’s secret signature above the titanium tourbillon carriage, a trick that was introduced in 1795 to combat counterfeits.
Breguet’s relationship to the maritime world goes back to 1815 when King Louis XVIII of France handed the watchmaker a deal to become official watchmaker for the French royal navy. Naval clocks made by Breguet were sent on expeditions all over the world and was the first timepiece to reach the Antarctic in 1840. Now coming with a gold bracelet for the first time in 2020, the 42.3mm Marine Chronograph 5527 in rose gold has a stunning wave pattern on its dial made by hand, moon-tipped hands and a B on the seconds hand tat stands for the maritime lingo ‘Bravo.’
A complicated movement, a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar and beautiful hand-crafted details make this hugely distinctive piece an all-rounder of watchmaking excellence. Measuring a substantial 43.9mm, this piece now comes in a rose gold version and features a wave motif on the centre of the dial.
On the back, however, is where the genius is found. A remarkable, hand-carved and highly detailed depiction of the Royal Louis, an ancient flagship of the French Navy, stretches across all four bridges of the ultra-thin movement.
The niche British watch brand worn by UAE royalty