Breguet released the latest Classique Tourbillon Automatique 5367 at Baselworld 2018. This time with a Grand Feu Enamel dial. The 5367 is iconic for its displaced tourbillon carriage, and off-center hours and minutes display. It also ranks among the thinnest tourbillon watches with an automatic winding system.
The Case and Dial
Talking about thinness, the case height measures just 7.45 mm. That is quite a feat, even without the enamel dial. But considering that the same thickness was achieved despite using a Grand Feu enamel dial, throws greater focus on difficulty of production and the skill required in both the dial making and the assembly process. For some context, Grand Feu enamel dials are usually thicker and wider in part due to the multi-layer powdering and firing, and also the need for strength to prevent bending or cracking of the dial.
The Breguet is cased in 18 K rose gold with a finely fluted caseband. Using the same case design from the Classique collection, the case also features a simple rounded bezel and straight lugs.
Sapphire crystal is used on both the top and back case. Sized at 42 mm in diameter, the watch shows a well-balanced dial with clever use of white space on the periphery of the dial. As much as the tourbillon cage is centerpiece on this watch, the enamel cut-out lines and precision is also fascinating to see. The cross-section of the dial, visible through the cut lines reveal the thinness of the enamel, and the quality of cut and finish done on the dial.
The rest of the dial is done in true Breguet fashion, with heated blue steel Breguet hands and Arabic numerals for the hour markers. The markings on the dial are likely done using a pad printer with enamel ink and fired as well before completion.
The watch uses a mechanical self-winding movement, an ultra-thin Cal. 581 which measures just 3 mm. Using a peripheral rotor, as opposed to a micro-rotor, the space is maximized and thickness of the movement reduced. A similar concept was used by Bulgari in its latest Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. The Cal. 581 has an 80-hour power reserve and beats at 4 Hz.
Housing many Breguet inventions and patents, the movement also uses an inverted lateral lever escapement with silicon horns, silicon balance spring and a tourbillon with titanium carriage. The movement is very well-decorated, in an almost flamboyant fashion. Hand carved patterns, polished beveled edges, polished inward angles, polished screw wells, the list goes on. But apart from techniques, the movement decoration is a showcase of the decorator’s skill in the play of light and reflectiveness. There is a very clever contrast of matte surfaces, like the dressage finish on the tourbillon bridge surface, with polished surfaces and edges. Top that off with a Hand carved copperplate inscription of the brand name and model number. The engraved lines and circular patterns is like a zoomed in perlage, an almost artistic sketch on canvas.
The watch is quite a sight. Top tier finishing, impressive movement engineering and an ‘eternal’ Grand Feu dial. Even without the heavy weight Breguet history, the product just sings for itself. A very good-looking watch indeed. The choice of an enamel dial addition to the other guilloche 5367s is ideal for the 5367 fan who wants a purer classic look, as opposed to the still beautiful, but more mechanical and industrial looking guilloche or hobnail dials.
The retail price is S$211,900 inclusive of GST in Singapore and CHF 144,000 inclusive of tax in Switzerland.
Movement Cal. 581
Power reserve (hours) 80
Escapement inv. right-angle lever, Si horns
Balance-spring flat, silicon
Number of components 334
Diameter (mm) 42
Case thickness (mm) 7.45
Water-resistant (m) 30