by Kyle Stults on February 23, 2012
Breguet recently announced the launch of an iPad application for its new corporate magazine, “Quai de l’Horloge”. I downloaded it last night to give it a try — and WOW was I impressed. It is by far the best iPad app by a watch brand (yes, even IWC’s app, which I find good content, but overall too clever by half). The best part of the Breguet magazine app is the CONTENT, major kudos to Editor Jeff Kingston on this — I was totally immersed in the great articles on the Breguet Hora Mundi and Breguet’s pioneering work in the use of guilloche.
The magazine is published in 8 languages and gives its readers an insight into the brand’s philosophy, its exceptional heritage, the rich cultural ties to its products, and much, much more. The app is is very intuitive and easy to use — crisp navigation, rich and detailed high-res photos and meaningful story lines. Get this app today for excellent insights to one of the world’s most renowned watch brands. For any watch enthusiast and iPad owner, Breguet’s Quai de l’Horloge app is a must have.
Continuing my preview for ONLY Watch 2011 (see all the watches here) — here’s a first look at the Breguet Réveil Musical watch. This watch will be similar to the original Breguet Reveil Musical watch except for a couple of unique features, namely the music-box style tune it plays — “Castle in the Sky” — and the specially decorated dial which depicts a child whose hand is reaching out to an adult hand, a symbolic gesture of the “inter-generational solidarity and support for research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy”, according to Breguet. The interesting thing to me is the patented music-box mechanism on this watch. Basically, the dial is connected to a disc carrying pins (thus replacing the traditional music-box cylinder) which act upon the 15 metal teeth of the comb, resulting in the beautiful sound of music box music. Further, the dial itself rotates one full rotation while the music box tune is being played, about 20-25 seconds.
Breguet Réveil Musical Watch for ONLY WATCH 2011
48mm white gold case (16.3mm thick), automatic mechanical movement, caseband finely engraved with a musical stave, caseback personalised for Only Watch 2011 and engraved with the inscription “pièce unique”
Castle In the Sky Music Box Tune
Ed’s note: I am fairly confident, but not 100%, that this is the tune the watch plays:
Also, and I believe this is a little known fact, but the Breguet Reveil Musical watch also incorporates a Liquidmetal® membrane which serves to amplify the frequencies required to emit the tune. Liquidmetal is a exclusively licensed for use in watches by the Swatch Group, but is much more broadly recognized for its use in Omega watches such as the original Liquidmetal Seamaster Planet Ocean and the more recent Titanium Liquidmetal Seamaster Planet Ocean.
Long a fan of the Breguet Type XXI watches (my favorite being the Ref 3810 rose gold case on dark brown strap), I was excited to see the Breguet Type XXI Ref. 3810 issued in a Titanium case this year at Baselworld 2011. By way of background, the Breguet Type XXI watch was inspired by the Type XX chronograph, itself designed by Breguet for the Aéronavale française (the French naval air arm) during the 1950s. The new Breguet Ref. 3810Ti you see here features an automatic flyback chronograph movement, with matte black dial and luminescent hands and hours markers, and a black lacquered rotating bezel with numerals in relief.
Breguet Type XXI Titanium Ref 3810TI
42mm titanium case, comes on a calfskin leather strap (pictured) or titanium bracelet
The only peculiarity is the use of “grade 2″ titanium instead of the more common “grade 5″. Perhaps it is because Grade 2 titanium is considered “commercially pure” (i.e. unalloyed), whereas Grade 5 titanium is only about 89% titanium. At the same time, because it is an alloy, Grade 5 titanium is significantly stronger than commercially pure titanium while having the same stiffness and thermal properties — hence its widespread use for high performance components in the aerospace, medical, and marine industries). I suppose there is an argument for each of the Grades (i.e. “purity” vs. “performance”) in a watch such as this.
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.
Pop Quiz, all you “Who Wants to be a Millionaire“ and Jeopardy groupies: What do Gioachino Rossini, Serge Rachmaninov, and Arthur Rubinstein have in common? Composers, you say? Close, but not exactly. Musicians, you say? I suppose. The answer I am looking for is this: They are all distringuished patrons of Montres Breguet. Of course! And this, mon amie, brings me to my presentation of today’s horological masterpiece: the new Breguet Réveil Musical watch:
Breguet Réveil Musical Watch
48mm yellow or white gold case (16.3mm thick)
Based on the new Breguet Caliber 777 movement incorporating a silicon escapement and a Breguet balance-spring, the Réveil Musical houses a fabulous patented musical mechanism — a disc with pins rather than a typical music box cylinder mechanism. I’m not going to get into the particulars of the mechanism because it is too hard to visualize, but I think it is safe to assume that the auditory outcome is pleasing.
The watch will play a 20-25 second musical tune either at its owner’s pleasure — via a push piece positioned at 10 o’clock, or at any given time via a pre-set alarm function. The dial performs a complete turn during the 20 to 25 seconds while the tune is being played. A power reserve display at 3 o’clock indicates whether or not the watch has the energy to play the tune, and in fact will not make music without enough stored energy to enable the the musical to be played in its entirety.
Dial close-up: Note the seconds hand has a “Treble clef” end
The caseband is finely adorned with a musical stave (staff) — a nice touch, as I like to say:
Such an exceptional model naturally deserved an exceptional presentation box…crafted in resonance wood from the Risoud forest in Valle de Joux. Resonance spruce is the main type of wood chosen by luthiers as the vibrating membrane on stringed instruments.
Did you Know?
350 Years, and an Extremely Tight-Veined, Ultra-Light and Intensely Vibrant Wood
A harsh climate and extremely poor soil: such is the winning combination that enables the Risoud Forest to produce a 350 year-old resonance spruce, whereas these trees usually reach the age of 180 at most in other regions. This is a treasure for the luthier who must combine lightness in order to achieve the best sound for the soundboard, with rigidity in order to withstand the tension of the strings, which amounts to approximately 80 kg on a folk guitar. The construction does not allow any for any security margins as far as the thickness of the bracings is concerned, since any such differences would be detrimental to the sound of the instrument. Thus, the resonance spruce from the Risoud Forest, the largest single wooded stretch of its kind in Europe, enables the construction of guitars with an extremely precise and powerful sound. Credit: JMC lutherie.
The Veins of Risoud Resonance Spruce
350 Years, and an Extremely Tight-Veined, Ultra-Light and Intensely Vibrant Wood
A harsh climate and extremely poor soil: such is the winning combination that enables the Risoud Forest to produce a 350 year-old resonance spruce, whereas these trees usually reach the age of 180 at most in other regions. This is a treasure for the luthier who must combine lightness in order to achieve the best sound for the soundboard, with rigidity in order to withstand the tension of the strings, which amounts to approximately 80 kg on a folk guitar. The construction does not allow any for any security margins as far as the thickness of the bracings is concerned, since any such differences would be detrimental to the sound of the instrument. Thus, the resonance spruce from the Risoud Forest, the largest single wooded stretch of its kind in Europe, enables the construction of guitars with an extremely precise and powerful sound.
As a huge fan of the Breguet Type XX, XXI and Type XII watches (ann’d earlier this year), this new limited edition Breguet Type XX Aéronavale watch is quite exciting to me. The watch pays tribute to the original reason for the Breguet Type XX — the French Fleet Air Arm aka Aéronavale (the equivalent of the U.S. Naval air fleet), first ordered the Breguet Type XX chronograph in 1958 in a series of 500 numbered from 1 to 500. The now collectible Type XX’s were equipped with the “flyback” function (as all the Type XX watches), and identifiable by the characteristic caseback engraving “BREGUET MARINE NATIONALE AERONAUTIQUE NAVALE ”.
In 2010, Aéronavale is celebrating its hundredth anniversary. To honour the 100th anniversary of the Aéronavale Breguet is issuing this special Type XX in a limited, numbered edition of 1,000. Limited, numbered series such as this are a rarity for Breguet – so as you might have guessed there is a special kinship between Breguet and Aéronavale that makes this watch possible. Indeed, brand namesake A.-L. Breguet himself was appointed official watchamker to the French Royal Navy way back in 1815. And I also surmise that the late Nicolas Hayek himself was behind this project at some point.
Breguet Type XX Aéronavale 2010 (Ref. 3803)
Limited, Numbered Edition of 1,000 – Price: $9,200 (surprisingly reasonable)
39mm steel case, black lacquered rotating bezel with raised numerals, automatic flyback chronograph movement Breguet caliber 581, calfskin leather strap, special presentation box
specially marked caseback
However, under no circumstances would I buy this watch. This is simply because, as an American, the tribute to French Naval forces has absolutely no sentimental meaning to me. Enjoy it, France!
New for 2010…
Breguet Marine Royale (Ref 5847BB/12/BZ0)
45mm 18-carat white gold case, automatic movement, alarm (marked by the blue triangular hand, on/off indicator at 12 o’clock, alarm power reserve indication aperture between 9 and 11 o’clock), date, luminous hands, water-resistant to 300m, sapphire-crystal caseback.
Did you know it has been just over 10 years now since Swatch Group acquired Breguet? Yes indeed, I tell you its true, but enough history for now. The watch you see here represents the 2010 model for Breguet’s Marine collection. In addition to the specs above, the watch is also available in white gold with black dial, rose gold with black dial, and rose gold with rose gold dial. I estimate prices for all these models will be in the $35,000-$45,000 range.
While I think that the Breguet Marine collection has gotten stronger each of the past few years, and while I could certainly see myself “looking good” while sporting a watch like this off the upper deck of something like this, I still have trouble seeing this as a true “dive” or even “marine” watch, though with 300m water resistance and Breguet quality construction I’m not sure if my perception is warranted or not. It’s just that when I think of Breguet, “King of Tourbillons” is often the first thing that pops into my head, not marine/dive watches.
Don’t get me wrong — I generally like Breguet watches, and if I had my druthers, I would opt for a Breguet Type XXI (specifically, the very striking, very awesome Ref 3810BR/92/9ZU – pink gold case with dark brown dial and brown strap) or perhaps even the new Breguet Type XXII rather than this Marine watch. But to each his own, right? Let me know what you think of this watch and Breguet in general — drop a comment below!
XX…XXI….and now XXII
The best new release from Breguet this year…the Breguet Type XXII Flyback. Aside from its obvious visual appeal, the watch is interesting in a couple ways. First, its chronograph seconds hand that makes a complete rotation in 30 seconds, not the usual 60 on most watches. What this means, logically, is that it takes two full sweeps of the seconds hand (the red hand, below) to time one minute – and to tell the wearer how far along in each minute they are (i.e. the first or the second 30 seconds!) there is a small indicator near 12 o’clock.
The Breguet Type XXII chronograph also features a flyback function, allowing the totaliser to be returned to zero and instantly restarted in one and the same push of the button. Furthermore, the dial includes a second time-zone indicator along with an aperture for a date calendar.
This watch will be a hit, no doubt about it. Price? about $18,000.
An Exclusive Look at an Exclusive Event – It’s Breguet, Breguet, Breguet!
I thought you might enjoy this report of a very exclusive and intimate evening with Breguet that was posted on the World Watch Forum by Mr. James Bond. Bond, James Bond, is Perpetuelle.com’s Forum Moderator and watch enthusiast extraordinaire. If you are a regular visitor of our forum, you will most certainly know James for his uncanny ability to leave no inquiry or post untouched (ie all who post will get a reply from James) – he is the consummate watch forum gentleman.
James has built some fantastic relationships over the couple years that I have had the privilege of knowing and working with him, and as a result of these relationships, well……we all get to see some very exclusive, very expensive watches in venues and events that most can only dream of getting an invitation to. In this particular case, James takes us behind the scenes of a private event hosted by Montres Breguet and Dorfman, one of the most exclusive watch and jewelery stores in Boston. If you are not familiar with Dorfman of Boston, click here to check out the Dorfman’s website here and you’ll see what I mean by exclusive. They only carry Patek Philippe, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, and of course Breguet. Nothing but the absolute best at Dorfman – their motto is “Like No Other”. Indeed. Let’s just say that’s my kind of place. If you are ever in Boston, drop by their luxurious 24 Newbury Street location and you won’t be disappointed.
And now to my point – to see more pictures of this special Breguet event, including some nice pics of many many many fine Breguet watches, CLICK HERE to see James Bond’s report. There is even a video embedded in the report that James managed to shoot. Thanks James and next time won’t you take me with you?!?
The Breguet Classique Grande Complication – a Minute Repeater and Perpetual Calendar
by Kyle Stults on January 27, 2010
Tradition Meets Innovation
Set to debut at Baselworld 2010, the Breguet Tradition Fusee Tourbillon with Silicon Balance Spring (Ref 7047) represents the joining of traditional design with innovative materials. Breguet’s “Tradition” collection is characterized by its very open, mechanical looking dial with a small sub-dial noting hours/minutes and of course a tourbillon. It was just last year that Breguet introduced a new model in the anthracite color range, and the brand continues this year with the model you see below – 41mm platinum case, anthracite color, except now with silicon balance spring. The movement is a Breguet Cal 569 – manual wind with 50 hrs power reserve. More on this watch – and silicon balance springs – after the jump.
Montres Breguet has a long history of innovating with the balance spring, and in 2006 it introduced its first wristwatches with silicon balance springs and escapements. As you may know, the balance spring is a very fine coil spring that is most often made of metal. The balance spring is a vital and sometimes visible component of a mechanical watch, and I always enjoy watching (with our without a loupe) a balance spring oscillate in perfect rhythm as it helps the watch to keep time. The new thing about this “traditional” watch from Breguet is that it has a balance spring made of silicon. Thus unlike a metal spring, the silicon balance spring is less vulnerable to the influences of gravity, heat and other external factors that could otherwise impede its crucial role. As for magnetic fields, a silicon balance spring is pretty much impervious.
Aside from all this talk about silicon balance springs, I think it is also noteworthy that this watch has a “fusee-and-chain” transmission system which is rarely seen in watches and usually only in those of the highest caliber. It is a bit difficult to see in the photo. Overall, this is not a watch for me – I find it a bit too edgy/atypical for a watch called “tradition”, not to mention that the price on this watch should be quite high – I would think at least $50k, but feel free to set me straight if you have any insight.
- Eric Clapton Selling His Ultra-Rare Platinum Patek Philippe Ref 2499
- Special Report: Richemont, Swatch To Acquire Top Level Internet Domains
- Time Bandits: "Howard Hughes" Patek Philippe Saga Resurrected
- Closing Details on the "Howard Hughes" Patek Philippe
- "Howard Hughes" Patek Philippe Ref 1463 Sells Amid Controversy
- The Curious Case of the "Howard Hughes" Patek Philippe Ref 1463, Continued
- The Curious Case of the "Howard Hughes" Patek Philippe Ref 1463
- Howard Hughes Patek Philippe Ref. 1463 Up At Auction
- Elvis Presley Omega Constellation Sells For Record $42,000
- Auction Watch: Harry Houdini's Gold Pocket Watch
- World Record Rolex Price Set by Rolex Ref. 4113 Chronograph
- The Rolex Deep Sea Special - An Exclusive Report
- Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins