If there were a competition for the best gentleman’s watch, Breguet would enter the Classique 7147. The brand staged the launch of its “Classic Tour” in London on 4 October 2017, “honouring the art of living of a true gentleman” by presenting craftspeople who emulated “the day of a perfect gentleman who, after slipping his Classique watch onto his wrist, prepares himself with the help of his city’s finest artisans” (quote from Breguet’s press release). At Mark’s CLub in London, the trades on display were a tailor, a bespoke shoe-maker, as well as a barber and a distiller of rare spirits. I’m not sure whether this corresponds to everyone’s idea of the modern gentleman: perhaps the Classique, with its distinctly vintage appearance, is suitable for an “old-style” gentleman, someone fitting the description by Alexandre Pushkin in the book Eugene Onegin (1825-1833), “A dandy on the boulevards (…), strolling at leisure until his Breguet, ever vigilant, reminds him it is midday.” It’s striking that Breguet are adopting this style of marketing, catering specifically for a theme that must have been identified by a future trends agency for 2017.
Hymn to guilloché engine-turning
There is no doubt that this version of the Breguet Classique 7147 is a great talking-point. It is a tribute to the art of guilloché, one of the brand’s hallmarks along with the fluted caseband, blued steel Breguet hands and secret signature. Guilloché was originally used for functional reasons, to prevent premature tarnishing and make surfaces more resistant to scratching. On this piece, the dial is in silvered gold, and the central part is in Clou de Paris, while the small seconds subdial has a cross-weave pattern, and there are lines of Clou de Paris framing the chapter rings. The secret signature can be seen on either side of the Roman numeral 12.
The offcentred subdial is a brilliant touch, typically Breguet, giving the watch an idiosyncratic note perfectly suited to a gentleman who will be anything but standardized. The 40-millimetre case is very slim, available in white or rose gold, so that observers can immediately tell whether you are a discreet or flashy gentleman. Water resistance is the standard 3 atm.
The Classique 7147 is powered by a very slim – 2.4 millimetres – self-winding movement, the Calibre 502.3SD, with 35 jewels, running at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hertz), providing a power reserve of 45 hours. It incorporates the latest Swatch Group technology with silicon pallets and balance spring.
Breguet Classique 7147 in rose gold
Breguet Classique 7147 in white gold
The Breguet Classique 7147 in white gold is reference 7147BB/12/9WU, price €21,300. Read more on the Breguet website.