Long renowned for producing luxurious, elegant, and highly complicated timepieces, particularly tourbillons, which the eponymous company founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, invented – the manufacture Breguet is also very capable of producing uncomplicated masterpieces.
Introducing the Bréguet Classique 7147, a simplistic, time-only, wristwatch, with a “Grand Feu” enamel dial that is essentially a complication in itself. Moreover, this enamel dial is especially unique because it has an offset “dimple” that delineates the small seconds from the main display, without any marking on the dial, whatsoever.
In regards to producing the “Grand Feu” dial, here is what the Breguet says about the process, “It is based on a colorless vitreous mixture – called flux – composed of silicic acid, sodium borate, nitre, and minium. The flamboyant and ageless colors of enamel are achieved by adding metallic oxides to this combination. The result is subsequently crushed to a powder and humidified to form a paste called barbotine (slip). The latter is applied in successive layers to a metal disc repeatedly fired in a kiln heated to more than 800°C. This process continues until the dial has attained a radiant whiteness and glowing texture. Then comes the transferring of the famous slender, dainty yet legible Breguet numerals, embodying an inestimably precious horological heritage and reminiscent of the early watches and clocks from the House.”
Against the creamy white fire-baked dial are open-tipped Breguet hands in blued steel which indicate hours and minutes, along with a blued steel baton-shaped hand in the offset small seconds display at 5 o’clock.
Visible through the sapphire caseback is automatic 3Hz movement, caliber 502.3SD, which is a mere 2.4 mm thick, made completely in-house, features 35 jewels, a 45-hour power reserve, and is finished with “Côtes de Genève” and “Clous de Paris” hobnailing. Additionally, the movement is equipped with a balance spring in silicon and an inverted in-line lever escapement with horns made of silicon – which is extremely light and non-magnetic, helping to ensure chronometer level performance.
The fully polished 40 mm diameter case is available in 18K white or rose gold, with a delicately fluted caseband, welded lugs, screw bars, and a water resistance rating of 30 meters.
In conclusion, Breguet has taken a basic “Grand Feu” enameling timepiece, and put their own elegant spin on it. From the blued-open tip hands to the flawless enamel dial to the immaculately finished movement to the difficult to produce dimple in the dial – this is a true Breguet, regardless if it is technically a basic three-hander. (Ref. 7147BB/29/9WU – white gold, 7147BR/29/9WU – rose gold).
The retail price is $21,000.