Watches & Whiskey: A Match Made in Heaven
This installment of watch and spirit pairings might be the most unexpected one to date. Today, we head deep into the heart of Tennessee with Breguet and Leiper’s Fork Distillery.
I’m sure you’re wondering what on Earth Breguet could have to do with bourbon and Tennessee whiskey. After all, the Breguet watch brand is even older than the state of Tennessee, founded in 1775 and 1796, respectively.
Breguet is known for its refined, elegant aesthetics and devotion to ancient horological techniques, such as crafting its guilloché dials by hand on traditional rose engine lathes. Meanwhile, Tennessee whiskey brings to mind the behemoth producer Jack Daniel’s.
However, excellent craftsmanship, attention to detail, and low levels of production are just a few of the shared values between the historic watch brand and Leiper’s Fork Distillery.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this seemingly unusual pairing.
The Watch: Breguet Classique 7147
This gorgeous dress watch is pure Breguet. The manufacture is known for its traditional guilloché work, and the Classique 7147 has a stunning guilloché dial crafted by hand, as noted by the “Swiss Guilloché Main” inscription at 6 o’clock.
Each dial takes hours for an expert artisan to craft and features two different types of guilloché: the central Clous de Paris motif and a checkerboard pattern within the offset small seconds sub-dial at 5 o’clock. Combining two contrasting motifs is a Breguet signature, as is an off-centered dial or design element. And, for legibility, it has hour and minute chapter rings and blued Breguet hands.
Powered by the ultra-thin (2.4mm) Calibre 502.3SD automatic movement with a silicon balance spring and 45-hour power reserve, the Breguet Classique 7147 features a 40mm rose gold case that is only 6.10mm thick and retails for approximately $21,000.
The Whiskey: Leiper’s Fork Distillery Bourbon Bottled in Bond
Much like today’s top watch manufactures, Leiper’s Fork Distillery aims to make as many components of the whiskey in-house as possible. The Chief Distiller even grows the corn for the bourbon on his own farm, and they mash, ferment, distill, and bottle on the property using traditional methods for the small-batch whiskey.
All of Leiper’s Fork whiskey is non-chill filtered and pot distilled, which gives it a full-bodied style. And again, like many top watch brands, it makes a limited amount of whiskey per year: 25,000 gallons. To put that into perspective, brands like Jack Daniel’s, which are mass-produced, can ferment 40,000 gallons at the same time.
While Tennessee has a long history of whiskey production, only three counties allowed the distillation of whiskey until 2009 – Lincoln, Moore (home Jack Daniels), and Coffee Counties – so craft, or small batch, whiskey is a nascent business in the state. That means newer distilleries don’t have the older whiskies we might expect from a Scotch brand that has been laying down and aging bottles for decades.
Leiper’s Fork Distillery’s Bourbon Bottled in Bond has a 5 Year age statement, but that doesn’t mean it’s young or simple. This complex Bourbon has a great depth of flavor, with notes of baking spices and chocolate from the new American oak barrels. The finish is long and fresh, lingering elegantly on the palate.
Bourbon might be the most famous whiskey in the US, but don’t overlook classic Tennessee whiskey. The distillery’s Tennessee Whiskey Bottled in Bond swaps wheat for rye, and its charcoal filters the spirit through sugar maple, which gives more coffee, fruit, and sweetness on the nose.
You can book a tour and a tasting to experience these delicious whiskeys the next time you’re in the Nashville area on the Leiper’s Fork Distillery website.