Towering above the rest, meet the new Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge
Editor’s note: This is a Mind (stats), Body (design features) & Soul (what’s special) review of the new Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge watch. For our detailed reviews, please head to our dedicated review section here.
What is it: The new Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Quai de l’Horloge
Why: Because when it comes to tourbillons, who else but Breguet to unveil masterpieces after masterpieces (they have already wooed us this year with the release of the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 and the Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887. As for this new release, it is a new version of a Double Tourbillon watch that was presented for the first time back in 2006. This time around it does away with the dial and presents the brand’s prowess when it comes to showcasing the horological genius
When released: September 2020
Where: Global release, non-limited edition, but limited production
Who is it for: For the true connoisseur of haute horlogerie and fine watchmaking, for someone who has the finances and the appreciation for timepieces that display the wealth of Breguet’s expert craftsmanship
How does it do: 10/10. Its fine watchmaking at its best. Like the brand puts it, the timepiece “blends mechanical virtuosity with aesthetic mastery”. Besides the movement, personally, I love the straight lugs and the subtle burst of blue that’s both understated and regal. But even if I forget all about these, the insanely decorated case-back is almost aphrodisiac.
Missing: Zilch. Nada. From a horological, mechanical or aesthetic — thing legibility could be increased — point of view, there is simply nothing that I would like to criticise about this timepiece. The large 46mm diameter is not going to fit my wrists, that’s for sure. But it’s not a critique, just a personal gripe really. Other than that, the price tag of roughly ~1 million AUD is hard to digest, not because the watch doesn’t deserve to come with it, but because this is a timepiece I can foresee never, ever being in my collection.
The new Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge reference 5345PT/1S/7XU features the manually wound mechanical movement calibre 588N numbered and signed Breguet.
The 161⁄2 lignes diameter movement comprises of (a generous) 81 jewels, 738 components, beats at the low frequency of 2.5Hz (18,000 Vph), and offers a decent 50-hour power reserve. Most strikingly, it showcases two independent tourbillons that are affixed by a bridge to a centre plate and that help complete one rotation every 12 hours. The two independent tourbillons themselves complete a full rotation per minute.
This hand engraved movement has been adjusted in six positions and features balance springs with Breguet overcoil — steel balance springs are endowed with the characteristic terminal curve, allowing for concentric development of the spring — and monometallic balance wheels with gold screws. The display caseback allows you to be mesmerised by the hand engraving that depicts the building — where Abraham-Louis Breguet fulfilled his life’s work — on Quai de l’Horloge in Paris that this watch is named after.
Ernest Hemingway once said: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”. Abraham-Louis Breguet lived and worked in Paris. The new Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge is born of this very sentiment. I don’t know if you have ever been lucky enough to be seduced by it, but like the city, this timepiece is a treat for the senses.
The movement is encased inside a round and rather large 46mm diameter and 16.8mm thick platinum case with a finely fluted case-band and a sapphire-crystal caseback.
In terms of case architecture, like I said above, I really like the aesthetics provided by the straight and rounded welded lugs (with screw bars). Bearing the hallmarks of authentic Breguet styling, these lugs use screw-pins instead of the usual sprung bars to hold the strap between the horns.
Another aspect I admire in all Breguet timepieces is the presence of the typical fluted case-band. This fluted case-band is another Breguet trademark that adds to the charm of this particular watch. The fluting is caused by fine grooves enhanced with double beading on the case-band and is achieved by cold-rolling the fluted pattern into the case-band and it is then finished by hand on a mechanical workpiece-holder. As a matter of fact it is my dream to own a Breguet watch one day and amongst one of the many reasons is the use of the fluted case-bands.
Continuing this high attention to detail design mantra on to the dial, the stylised and rounded steel barrel bridges take on the form of the letter ‘B’ (for bithcin’; no, not really). The components take flight in various finishes: straight-grained, chamfered, and satin-brushed. The sapphire dial features an hours chapter ring with Roman numerals and open-tipped Breguet hands in blued steel. These slim, sleek, hollow, eccentric “moon” tip watch hands were designed by the man himself, Abraham-Louis Breguet, back around 1783 and are the definition of simple and easy to read hands that visually resemble a hollow apple or a crescent moon. Also visible is the hand-engraving guilloché work.
Completing the understand grey with blue undertones look is the natural slate on rubber strap with a triple folding clasp in platinum. Mind you, when I say slate, I don’t mean just the colour, but rather an actual slate stone coating on rubber.
The new timepiece features the now trademark visual aesthetic codes such as the Breguet hands and the engine-turned guilloché motifs, and of course the tourbillon. As you may know, Abraham-Louis Breguet was among the first to introduce guilloché decoration to watch dials. Guilloché or engine-turning is the art of precision-engraving of materials in grids of straight, curved, broken lines or circular shapes & linear patterns.
Breguet has one of the richest histories in the world of watchmaking, and this new timepiece is a clear reflection of that. The House of Breguet was founded in 1775 and is widely considered as the epitome of excellence in watchmaking. Breguet watches have graced the wrists of some of the greatest figures in history, and it was in 1795 that Breguet developed the tourbillon escapement and patented it some six years later. Given Abraham-Louis Breguet is the father of the tourbillon, it comes as no surprise that the new Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge amazes.
Simply put, timepieces like these are a welcome antidote to the horological scene that is often painted red with fashion watches.
To find out more about the new Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge and other Breguet timepieces, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are © Montres Breguet SA. All Rights Reserved.