Opening Day at Baselworld!
“World timer” watches are definitely IN right now, with Montres Breguet joining the realm with this beautiful Classique 5715 Hora Mundi. Long time Breguet aficionados may recall that Breguet had already introduced a first Hora Mundi watch in 1996, in the Marine line, however the 2011 version has markedly different functions. Breguet notes that the 5717 Hora Mundi is the first example of a mechanical timepiece with an instant-jump time-zone display, allowing the traveller to easily display the time in two pre-selected time zones, changing instantly from one to the other simply by pressing a button, without disturbing the operation of the watch. The cover for this disc, representing a cloud and bearing the Breguet name and the watch’s serial number, is engraved entirely by hand. A remarkable watch from Breguet! Stay tuned for more — the Breguet lineup is really good this year!
Breguet Classique 5717 Hora Mundi
44mm diameter red gold or platinum case (13.55mm thick), Breguet caliber 5717 with silicon escapement, sapphire caseback
Accurate operation during setting is ensured by a stop second system. Changing the time zone affects not only the time, but also the date synchronised through a calendar tracking system – and the day/night indicator. Three versions of the dial are available, each representing one part of the world: the Americas, the European and African continents, or Asia and Oceania – six references in all.
How to read the watch:
The disc appears in a window on the dial at 12 o’clock. The window is large enough to show three consecutive dates at once. For example, on the 25th of the month, the number 25 will cross the window from left to right over a period of 24 hours. Gradually, the 23 disappears, then the 24, and the 26 appears, followed by the 27. However, to avoid any confusion in reading the date, Breguet’s watchmakers have made an improvement. To the dragging calendar system they have added a tiny retrograde hand, hidden beneath the dial and ending in a small circle. The circle surrounds the day’s date as soon as it appears at the left side of the date window, and follows it through the day until it disappears at the right side of the window. At midnight, the hand with the circle jumps back to the left side of the window to indicate the date of the day just beginning. This entirely unique system is designed to make reading the date easier in a dragging calendar configuration.
This watch’s most iconic complication, however, is its instant-jump time-zone display system with synchronised date, day/night and city indications, a world first for a mechanical watch. This function lets the wearer preselect, from among the cities listed for the 24 time zones, two cities for which he wishes to display local time. He can then change from one to the other by pressing on the combined crown/pushpiece at 8 o’clock, which triggers an instant jump. For example, assume it is 4 pm in Paris on the 25th of the month. Rotating the combined crown/pushpiece reveals «Paris» in the window at 6 o’clock, then the crown at 3 o’clock is used to set the hands to 4 o’clock and the date to 25, taking care that the day/night indicator shows the sun. For quick display of the local time in Sydney, the crown/pushpiece is first rotated to bring up the name of the Australian city in the window at 6 o’clock; the watch then automatically sets itself to Sydney time. Since the difference in time is nine hours, the hour hand will move forward by nine hours. At the same time, the date will change to the 26th and the day/night indicator will turn to show the moon. When it is 4 pm in Paris, it is in fact 1 am the next day in Sydney. Once the watch has been preset, the double instant-jump time-zone display system will simultaneously change all the indications – hour, date and day/night – in a coordinated way from Paris time to Sydney time when the wearer simply presses on the crown/pushpiece. This complication will thus prove extremely useful for frequent travellers, or persons in contact with others living in distant countries; it allows them to get in touch with such people while being certain that they are not waking them up in the middle of the night.