Modern Royalty: Breguet Knights Their 2019 Novelties (Hands-On)

One of our favorite stops during #TimetoMove was the historic Breguet manufacture. Join along as we discover this year's novelties. 

By Vincent Daveau

Located in the heart of the Vallée de Joux, Breguet is one of the oldest Swiss manufactures. Since 1775, Breguet has been creating masterpieces that accompany Kings and Queens. The inventor of the tourbillon, Breguet has always been a pioneer. For 2019, the brand is returning to its roots.

Back at sea

For the manufacture located at L’Abbaye, the time has come to look toward the future while keeping a keen eye to the past. Among the pieces turned towards the future, three new Marine models which evoke the brand's rich history in marine chronometry.

A quick rundown of the three models presented, the Marine 5517 (40 mm and water resistant to 100 meters), the Marine Chronograph 5527 (42.3 mm and 100 meters) or the Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 (40 mm and water-resistant to 50 meters), affirm their elegance with robust performance. These pieces are certainly trendy. Unlike Breguet's regal precious metal references, this new series is entirely cased in titanium. 

The Jeux d’Azur

In the spirit of time, Breguet's Reine de Naples was chosen to play the color card. Called “ Les Jeux d’Azur” (translated 'Azure games') this piece seduced our group because its beauty was out of the ordinary. You can get lost in the deep blue dial made of lacquer reminiscent of a star-filled sky. 

As we learned, Breguet craftsman add touches of clear lacquer on a dark dial substance while it's still liquid. With unique blending techniques, they render each watch a unique and singular look. With a steel case and fluted flanks, this pieces comes to life thanks to a self-winding mechanical caliber ref. 591C, visible through the transparent case back.

Extra-thin wonders

Perhaps the most breathtaking watch on display was the fabulous Classic Tourbillon Extra-thin Skeleton 5395. It is one of those objects whose intrinsic qualities stimulate wonder. The delicacy of its Caliber 581 caused a sensation in previous achievements because the design of the tourbillon had to be completely rethought which gives birth to its unique architecture.

The famed manufacture goes one step further for 2019, by removing nearly 50 percent of material from this already particularly light movement. Fully skeletonized, this 18-carat gold caliber plays literally with the limits of physics, reminding us that the watchmakers, at Breguet, are practicing a true craft. Combined with incredible engraving, hand guilloche, and chamfering, combine for an extraordinary result.

This 41mm art piece will be available in 18-carat pink gold. Rest assured, you will have a hard time taking your eyes from it. You'll wander from one openwork delight to another, all while trying to capture every detail of this extra-flat Caliber 581. The new Classic Tourbillon Extra-thin Skeleton 5395 is a true masterpiece of watchmaking. At just 3 mm thick, it is one of the finest self-winding tourbillon movements in the world.

A technical achievement that required a series of complex adjustments. The oscillating weight has been placed at the periphery of the plate, an option that allows a gain in thickness, while maintaining a clear vision on the mechanics. The tourbillon, meanwhile, has benefited from a complete reworking: the titanium cage meshes directly with the gear train, In addition, the silicon balance adopts a specific bent construction, which allows significant space savings.

A very rare structure, that only Breguet can accomplish. If 2019 is #TimeToMove, Breguet has "moved" their novelties into the stratosphere!

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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