In the challenging year that has been 2020, releases from watch brands have tended to fall into one of these two categories: Variations on signature models that brands know will sell, and statement, high-horology pieces that are sure to garner plenty of headlines.
Breguet’s latest release, the Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Quai de l’Horloge, falls squarely into the latter category. The 46mm platinum timpiece is an update of the reference 5347 with a guilloche dial that was launched in 2006. At first glance, the imposing watch, now with an openworked dial, makes a dynamic statement with its rotating double tourbillons.
But it’s not just the tourbillons that make up the visual spectacle that is the 5347. While it is not uncommon for 60-second tourbillons to double as the seconds hand, it’s not every day that we see a pair of tourbillons set on a moving centre plate that also helps to indicate the hours. The plate makes a full rotation every 60 minutes, which allows the bridge that connects the two tourbillons to double as the watch’s hour hand — half of this elongated bridge is blued and indicates the hours.
That’s of course far from the only decoration here. The double mainspring barrels are each topped with a bridge that takes the form of a stylised B. Clearly visible through the open dial, all the movement components are straight-grained, chamfered and satin-brushed by hand. The plate on which the tourbillons are mounted are also decorated with guilloche, a Breguet signature.
As if all that wasn’t enough to admire, the exhibition caseback reveals a wonderfully detailed engraving. Crafted on solid gold, the engraving depicts the facade of the building that was occupied by renowned watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet from 1775 onward, at 39 Quai de l’Horloge in Paris. Looking through the windowpanes etched into the back, the viewer can glimpse the wheels of the manually wound movement. What a view.