Abraham-Louis Breguet is famous for many horological innovations, including his successful perpetual watches of the 1780s that were equipped with an oscillating weight to capture the kinetic energy of a wearer’s wrist movements and wind the mechanism. Often equipped with a calendar mechanism, these models were also the first to be christened with his signature guilloché silvered dials. Although a perpetual (automatic) movement is one thing and a perpetual calendar another, Breguet pays tribute to the founder’s ingenuity with a refreshed interpretation of its quantième perpétuel in 39mm white and rose gold cases, the new Classique Perpetual Calendar 7327 models.
Breguet the designer
During his lifetime (1747-1823), Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the spring-gong for repeater watches, the first shock-absorber device (para-chute), the Breguet balance spring, the sympathique watch, the tact watch, and of course, the tourbillon, patented on 26 June 1801. But Breguet was also famous for his aesthetic approach to watchmaking, creating a sober neoclassical design language that eschewed the ornately decorated baroque watches of the day. Far easier to read, the clean dials relied on “moon” tip watch hands, guilloché decoration to highlight different functions, off-centred displays and a host of other Breguet decorative dictates that are rigorously upheld today referred to by the brand as unmistakable signs.
The new Classique Perpetual Calendar 7327 replaces Breguet’s former QP, the Classique Quantième Perpétuel 5327 introduced in 2004. Although it shares the same base calibre as the older version and features the brand’s unmistakable signs, the face of the watch has been revisited in a slightly simpler, more contemporary key. With fewer counters and a more compact moon phase display, the new Perpetual Calendar looks tidier and is even easier to read.
The silvered gold dial is decorated with a Clous de Paris (hobnail) guilloché pattern in the centre that is more subtle and thinner than its predecessor – a style that has been introduced with the Tourbillon Extra-Plat Anniversaire 5365. Similar to the layout of Breguet’s minute repeater with perpetual calendar – the reference 5447 – instead of the six counters relaying the calendar and moon phase functions, the dial of the new Classique Perpetual Calendar 7327 compresses the information into five counters.
The moon phase aperture is now reduced to an arch and depicted realistically with its silver hand-hammered surface and blue lacquered sky with spangles for stars. The smaller day and leap year indicators are positioned in the lower half of the dial, gently intersecting the larger date ring. A quarter-circle poised between 10 and 11 o’clock indicates the months via a retrograde hand while the hours and minutes rely on traditional eccentric moon tip Breguet hands in blued steel. The secret signature is repeated on both sides of the Roman XII.
Housed in 39mm white or rose gold Classique cases, the thickness of the cases is a slim 9.13mm. To adjust the calendar and moon phase indications, there are four recessed pushers on the caseband that can be manipulated with a corrector stylus. The white gold model is paired with a midnight blue strap, and the rose gold with a brown strap, both with folding clasps.
As a perpetual calendar, the movement takes into account the variable length of the months and the leap year cycle with a four-year mechanical memory. The mechanism is based on a gearing system from the hour wheel and a large central lever that drives the entire movement.
To keep the watch as light, slim and comfortable as possible, Breguet chose its ultra-thin automatic calibre 502 with a height of just 4.5mm as the base with an additional calendar module. Fitted with a gold off-centred rotor to provide space for the 294 components, the movement beats at 3Hz and delivers a 45-hour power reserve. To counter the effect of magnetic fields, the movement is also equipped with a flat silicon balance spring and an inverted straight-line lever with silicon horns.
Another departure from the aesthetics of the previous reference 5327 concerns the decoration of the movement. Unlike the lavishly hand-engraved rotor and bridges of its predecessor, the 7327 presents more restrained (more modern too) decorative flourishes in line with the refreshed spirit of the dial. Still beautiful to behold, the gold off-centred rotor is hand-engraved on a rose engine with a circular barleycorn pattern, while the rhodium-plated bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève.
Availability & Price
The Breguet Classique Quantième Perpétuel or Perpetual Calendar 7327 replaces the former reference 5327. Both references are priced at CHF 78,300 or EUR 85,300. Both references will be available from the permanent collection.
More information at Breguet.com.