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Breguet - 2010 – 2020 : the top 5 Breguet timepieces of the decade

Breguet 2010 – 2020 : the top 5 Breguet timepieces of the decade

Worldtempus is taking a look back at the past decade to pick the most interesting, relevant and outstanding achievements of several major brands. The series goes on with.

Don't trust what you see. Regarding Breguet, trust it even less because the vallée de Joux brand is a dream machine in tame, classical and precious clothing. Not dream in a sci-fi, phantasmagorical or futuristic way but still in its own right. The past ten years have been a fertile ground and remind us of Breguet's double calling. It's constantly refering to its namesake founder, who we sometimes forget exactly how influential and trailblazing a watchmaker he was, both in theory and practive. So one should consider the design aspect, the technical aspect and their fertile convergence.

It's most likely not on your radar. The Reine de Naples adresses only women, has a strange shape, odd numerals and unusual complications, if any. The reasons that would make one dismiss it are precisely why it's such a strong timepiece. Chief among them is the fact that it's one of the very few woman's watch with a truly unique design, as shown by the ref.8918 launched in 2011. Its many variations, more or less precious and richly gem-set, have made the collection a true pillar of the brand.

2010 – 2020 : le top 5 des Breguet de la décennie

Breguet Reine de Naples 8918 © Breguet

Breguet means tourbillon, necessarily. Yet the brand is not at its best with over-the-top timepieces, but rather when it acts with refinement. One of the finest things of the past decade are slim watches and the  Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5377 is one indeed : 7 mm thick and only 3 for the movement, wound automatically by an annular rotor. Yes, some others are slimmer, but the goal here was not to beat records. It was finesse. The most striking thing about it is its tourbillon bridge, a straight, flat, no-frills bar. A sure sign that Breguet was aiming at technical efficiency rather than embelishment. The initial model, with guilloché dial and power reserve indicator, soon made way to the platinum ref. 5367 with white enamel dial shown here, and to a spectacular skeleton.

2010 – 2020 : le top 5 des Breguet de la décennie

Breguet Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 © David Chokron/Worldtempus

For many years, Swatch Group brands, even as high end as Breguet, have all used the same enamel dials. Instead of working with metal blanks, prone to warping and other causes of fracture of the enamel layers, the group chose to use ceramics base plates. A refractory, heat-proof material, it was the ideal candidate for a visit in a high-temperature kiln. Yet for an ambassador of tradition and perfection such as Breguet, it seriously lacked propriety. Order has since been restored as shown by the beautiful Classique 5177 « Grand Feu » Blue Enamel. Its dial is a wonderfully smooth, shiny, deep blue made of solid enamel. For those who like this elegant genre, it does casts a spell. Not to mention the hands as long as a woman's leg...

2010 – 2020 : le top 5 des Breguet de la décennie

The secret sign hidden on all Breguet dials © David Chokron/Worldtempus

The Tradition line comes and goes with the flow of erratic product plans. It was once a spearhead of sorts, before entering a somewhat dormant phase. Sleeping beauty just woke up and the 2020 Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597 reminds us just how strong, relevant and enjoyable wearing an 18th century wristwatch can be. Indeed, 200-year-old-looking features are everywhere on this timepiece as its displays its pre-Lepine (i.e. without flat, covering bridges) structure to anyone with eyes. The 7597 is truly spectacular, not least because of its bent and layered date hand. It underlines, if need were, the three-dimensional nature of this magnificent maze of a caliber.

2010 – 2020 : le top 5 des Breguet de la décennie

Breguet Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597 © Breguet

True, I may not be objective here. But here it goes : the Classique Chronométrie 7727 is one of the most important and exceptional timepieces of the past decade. From the outside, it's a richly guilloché dial Breguet like several others. Under the engraved silver plate, its houses a completely insane movement. Its escapement clocks at 10 Hz. It's fitted with two head-to-tail concentric hairsprings. And one of its balance staff pivots rests on a magnetic field. To conjure the nefarious effects of magnetism, Breguet uses a regulating organ entirely made of silicon. Almost no friction, a lot of torque combined with 72,000 vph make for a great ability to stay accurate, specifically that to quickly regain full isochronism. Breguet has created a true monster of chronometry here. That being said, they never gave up on printing « 10 Hz » on the dial, in this italic, techno-looking, out-of-place font. So there's still room for improvement.

2010 – 2020 : le top 5 des Breguet de la décennie

Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727 © David Chokron/Worldtempus

 

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