Hands-On: In The Master’s Footsteps: The Breguet Reference 7337
Which is why I figured it would be pleasant, in a literal sense, to make a stride back and take a gander at something Breguet does very well in reality, however which has tumbled off the radar of watch devotees a piece: make customarily lovely watches in a plan language that is as new today as when it was created by Breguet himself in the late 18th and mid 19th centuries.
That language is one that for lucidity and effect has been only sometimes if at any point equalled – Breguet not just comprehended the estimation of effortlessness and utilized negative space to incredible impact in his own plans, however he additionally had a sharp sense for how to show information in a tastefully satisfying design. Instrumentality in watch configuration is profoundly esteemed by most watch customers nowadays – not to no end are device watches and even vintage apparatus watches encountering a practically fantastic wave of fame. However, it’s much more hard to make a complicated watch that either passes into consistency, or which falls into the snare of having a dial that, as George Daniels so wryly yet appropriately put it, “resembles a gas meter.”
The Breguet Classique reference 7337 shown here has a dial which is gotten from one of Breguet’s unique plans; the motivation for the 7337 is a pocket watch – Breguet no. 3833 – offered to M. Thomas Hawley on May 12, 1823 for 5,000 francs. That watch was one of Breguet’s alleged “garde-temps” watches – in other words, it was made to be a particularly precise watch and as was frequently the situation with the garde-temps watches, it was combined with different complications. Breguet no. 3833 was likewise a quarter repeater, with a schedule complication and a sign of the age and period of the moon.
The ref. 7337 is a close precise copy as far as dial plan of the 3833 and is itself a marginally bigger adaptation of a previous Breguet wristwatch, the ref. 3337. Ref. 3337 was 35.8mm in width, and had a little cabochon on the crown yet 7337 takes the size up to 39mm. Its dial is likely truly outstanding in the business – silvered gold, hand-enhanced with rose-motor applied guilloche. The impact of genuine guilloche is regularly (more cheaply) copied by stamping, however the genuine article is very time and work escalated and includes utilizing a physically worked cutting machine modified with a progression of cams, in which the watch face is guided by hand against the graver. That alongside the overall composition of the dial, just as the blued Breguet hands and exceptionally 19th century moon face on the moonphase, make this especially a Breguet watch – to avoid mentioning its satisfying slimness – it is anything but a super flimsy watch fundamentally, yet the case is just 9.9mm thick and it wears firmly on the dress watch side of the fence.)
Part of that slimness is because of another piece of watchmaking history: the development. Inside is one of the exemplary level automatic developments of present day watchmaking – or rather, a variation on it. Breguet’s type 502.3 QSE1, a 12 ligne development, has an exceptionally particular off kilter rotor. That unbalanced rotor is there for a similar explanation you locate a miniature rotor in certain developments: to help keep the development all the more level. The development is truth be told dependent on a development initially made by Frederic Piguet, before the company became Manufacture Blancpain: the F. Piguet type 71, which was all at once one of the more widely utilized fine, level self-winding developments in the world – indeed, it was utilized by brands as assorted as Urban Jurgensen (one of these sold for more than $40,000 at Christie’s Geneva in 2011 ) IWC (which utilized it, accept or not, in a finely made skeletonized dress watch) and Blancpain (to name just three of many.) It’s one of those magnificent bits of generally ongoing watchmaking history whose character and history have been somewhat lost, particularly to newcomers to horology, yet it has a quirky delight all its own that makes it, it appears to me, an ideal fit for the reference 7337.
Price is high as you would expect – $39,400 as shown, however you get an example of exceptionally old-school craftsmanship that is becoming more uncommon and uncommon nowadays, and something that addresses, yet really is in its development, a piece of watchmaking history in its own right. See all the minor departure from Breguet.com here . Return to HODINKEE originator Ben Clymer’s visit to the Breguet Museum in Paris here, and check out four things for Breguet darlings to find in Paris that don’t read a clock (counting the f inal resting spot of you-know-who.)
We have available quite possibly the main books on Breguet at any point written, by likely one of the best, if not the best – discover about it and add one to your library here.