What lies BENEATH
When the past marches in step with the future, history is created. The new tourbillon from Breguet is a case in point.
The Tourbillon is synonymous with Breguet, simply because Abraham-Louis Breguet invented and patented it over 220 years ago. The master watchmaker created a watch that negated the effects of gravity on the functioning of the oscillator which improved the chronometric accuracy of the movement. He incorporated the balance wheel, spring and escapement into a rotating cage, and the double rotation of this cage and parts was called Tourbillon. A regular feature in most collections, weighing just about one gram, it stands testament to excellence in watchmaking.
In 2014, Breguet introduced a watch that was an amalgamation of the brand’s classic design sensibilities and innovative spirit: The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Thin Automatic 5377. The introductory edition with a guilloché dial and a power reserve indicator was followed up in 2018 by an ultra-classic version with a white enamel dial and sleek design (ref. 5367).
This year, the stunning Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 was introduced at the first ‘Time to Move’ event. This timepiece is the perfect blend of exemplary watchmaking, technology and structural beauty.
The Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 is an open-worked model that is bold, modern and attractive. It retains all the technical elements of the previous versions and comes with a 41mm diameter and a profile of 7.7mm, with a delicately fluted caseband and soldered lugs with screws. At 3mm, the extra thin 581 calibre is one of the finest self-winding tourbillon movements; a feat of great technical craftsmanship.
The watch, a modern technical wonder, is wound by a peripheral rotor and the single barrel, mounted on ball-bearing rollers, offering an exceptional 80hour power reserve. The tourbillon housed in a titanium cage, with anti-magnetic parts, a lever escapement with silicon horns and a flat silicon balance spring beats at a high frequency of 4Hz, which literally spells exceptional chronometry.
All this mastery sits in a fluted case with a domed glass box, where time is displayed on a slightly opaque sapphire ring with printed Roman numerals. This ring is offset by traditional hands that are opentipped in blued steel. The watch dial features applied indexes in blued gold.
The watch has been crafted with a lot of room on the left which has been achieved by hollowed out gold plate and bridges, which help flaunt the true beauty and complexity of its moving parts. This allows an undisturbed view of some of the technical elements that are usually hidden, such as the components of the peripheral winding mechanism like the ball bearings.
Viewed from the dial side, the tourbillion cage and balance are located between 4:00 and 6:00, with the mainspring barrel between 12:00 and 2:00 and the gears visible between 9:00 and 12:00, while the automatic winding train becomes apparent when viewed from the back.
This masterpiece is a fine example of extraordinary hand decoration; the technique of Clous de Paris was created on the remaining plates to make it resemble a work of art. The razor-sharp edges have been painstakingly bevelled by hand, using a file to achieve a satiny finish with even a 45-degree transitional edge. Noteworthy etching work and hand polishing has been used for different inscriptions and borders to frame the holes.
The Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 comes in a rose gold case with a gray movement design or a platinum case with a rose movement and is worn on an alligator strap with a folding buckle matching the case.
SKIN IS IN The Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 is bragworthy for all the right reasons