Just when we thought the onslaught of dragon-themed watches was abating comes a surprising pair of watches from Breguet. Ahead of the Lunar New Year 2024, Breguet unleashes two models bearing dragons who, according to the Chinese Zodiac, will rule the roost until 2025. Deploying its big guns, the Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon situates the legendary beast on an extraordinary mechanical stage animated by two tourbillons. Somewhat more contained with an elegant slim profile, the Classique Dragon is an ode to the brand’s dominion of artistic crafts.
Classique Double Tourbillon Dragon 5345PT
Invented and patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801 to counter the effects of gravity on a pocket watch’s movement, the tourbillon complication has become the brand’s ambassador at large. In 2006, Breguet went one step further and unveiled a fascinating double tourbillon known as ref. 5347. Showcasing the brand’s impressive mechanical virtuosity, the Classique Double Tourbillon features two regulating organs mounted on a rotating mainplate that indicates the hours. Coupled by differential gears to determine the mean rate and drive the rotation of the mechanism, the two tourbillons are independent, performing one turn a minute using their own gear train and barrel.
Adding to the complexity, the coiling figure of the hand-engraved gold dragon is placed between the two tourbillons, secured to the two barrel bridges. The impressive details of the gold dragon’s body animate the dial further, and the mother-of-pearl ball he clutches in his talons represents the pursuit of wisdom and power.
Guilloché is another trait closely associated with Abraham-Louis Breguet and is still practised by the brand today in its workshops in the Vallée de Joux, where Breguet has 30 historical guilloche lathes and a team of experienced engravers. The gold, rhodium-plated rotating plate is decorated with an elegant fan pattern executed with hand-guilloché. In contrast, the gold bridge below the mainplate has an anthracite galvanic treatment and classic Clous de Paris guilloché. The Roman numerals and the minutes track are laser-engraved on the sapphire hour ring and then coated with black varnish. Signature open-tipped Breguet hands in black indicate the time.
The platinum case has a diameter of 46mm and a thickness of 16.8mm, and the sapphire crystal caseback affords a view of the complex 749-component calibre 588N1, a manual-winding movement with a 2.5Hz frequency and a 60-hour power reserve. The plate is decorated with hand-engraved motifs and guilloché reminiscent of features found in traditional Chinese landscape paintings.
The Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Dragon 5345PT is a special edition and retails for EUR 817,000. Breguet offers clients a host of bespoke options to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Quick facts: 46mm x 16.8mm – 950 platinum, polished – openworked dial with hand-engraved gold dragon and double tourbillons – rotating mainplate to indicate hours – black Breguet open-tipped hands – hand-guilloché decorations dial and caseback – calibre 588N1, in-house, manual-winding – 749 components – 2.5Hz – 60h power reserve – double independent tourbillons coupled via a differential – ref. 5345PT/1S/9XU 05 – special edition – EUR 817,000
Classique Dragon 7145BR
An elegant canvas attesting to the talent of Breguet’s artisans, the crimson red dial is created using the notoriously exacting art of Grand Feu enamel. However, to complicate the task, there are two different shades of red on the dial with a lighter tone used to emphasise the chapter ring bearing the hours.
Celebrating the advent of the Year of the Dragon, the fantastical creature is hand-engraved in rose gold and applied to the dial. Poised on the chapter ring, the dragon is intent on capturing the mother-of-pearl disc. Oriental-looking clouds appear on the periphery and, like the Roman numerals on the chapter ring and the railway minutes track, are crafted using golden powder. Twelve round gold hour markers are applied on the interior of the chapter ring, and the time is indicated by Breguet’s open-tipped hands.
The Classique Dragon comes in a 40mm rose gold case with an ultra-thin height of just 6.9mm. The elegant, lean silhouette of the watch is possible thanks to the automatic calibre powering the time. Breguet’s calibre 502.3 is one of the brand’s thinnest movements and has a thickness of just 2.40mm. Equipped with a silicon balance spring and pallet lever, the movement is more resistant to magnetic fields and corrosion. The gold rotor is decorated by hand using guilloché to create a circular barleycorn motif. The Breguet Classique Dragon 7145BR is a limited edition of eight numbered pieces and retails for EUR 82,800.
Quick facts: 40mm x 6.9mm – 18k pink gold, polished – dial with two tones of red Grand Feu enamel and hand-engraved gold applique dragon – open-tipped Breguet hands – ultra-thin calibre 502.3 – 2.40mm thick – 162 components – silicon balance spring and pallet lever – 3Hz – 45h power reserve – gold rotor with hand-guilloché barleycorn motif – brown alligator strap – ref. 7145BR/25/9WU 05 – limited edition of 8 numbered pieces – EUR 82,800
For more information, please consult Breguet.com.