Watches: Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpetuel 3797 (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on April 9, 2014

When one hears the name Breguet, one immediately thinks of a refined pink gold case with finely fluted case bands and welded lugs. The beauty of silvered gold dials expertly engine-turned in various and complimentary ways also comes to mind. Breguet-style hands in traditional flame-blued steel and the presence of a secret signature are additional characteristics one expects to find on a Breguet timepiece. The use of sapphire for anything else than the front and back crystals, though, is surely not a feature one would instantly associate with Breguet’s classicism.

And yet, it is an opaque sapphire chapter ring that intrigues us the most on the new Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpetuel 3797 unveiled at Baselworld this year. Needless to say, the brand’s watchmakers are familiar with the perpetual calendar complication and the “Classique” line already includes some outstanding interpretations of this useful complication.

The starting point for the new model is simply the observation that perpetual calendar watches often have obstructed dials (due to the amount of indications) that are difficult to read. The brand’s watchmakers thus decided to bring out the most essential information, namely the hours and minutes by putting them on the foreground thanks to the lifted offset sapphire disc at 12 o’clock. Slightly opaque with metallic Roman numerals, it clearly stands out and makes the reading of time with Breguet-type hands absolutely effortless.

The rest of the calendar indications are nicely positioned on the dial with an obvious search for symmetry. The date is indicated by a retrograde hand on a semi-circular scale that overhangs the time display. Two counters facing one another at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively indicate the day of the week and the month and leap year by hands.

A one-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock nicely complements the sapphire chapter ring and puts the finishing touch to the overall symmetry. It also brings an extraordinary sense of depth due to the size of the aperture around the tourbillon cage and serves as a seconds indicator thanks to a triple hand.

Much to the delight of the brand’s aficionados, the silvered gold dial features no less than four different engine-turned motifs: a hobnail pattern behind the sapphire disc, herringbone for the dial at 9 o’clock and a shimmering sunburst pattern at 3 o’clock, and lastly the waves of the outer ring of the dial.

The exhibition case back reveals the beauty of the 558QP2 calibre that animates this watch. With 50 hours of power reserve, this manually-wound movement is finished to the highest standards of Haute Horology and features a lateral lever escapement and balance with adjustment screws on a Breguet spring. The watch measures 41 mm in diameter. Available in pink gold or platinum, it is mounted on a brown or black alligator strap secured by a matching folding buckle.

It is an impressive piece of fine watchmaking that looks absolutely stunning on the wrist, partly due to its not-so-small size. Breguet at its best!

Here are some live pictures of the platinum version:

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: