If we are discussing tourbillions, Abraham-Louis Breguet is the name to reckon with. Rightly known as the father of modern horology, this founder of the House of Breguet is undoubtedly one of the greatest horologists across time. His ingenuity led him to create and patent many interesting horological inventions. Most prominent is the Tourbillon, which served at that time, a very practical purpose. Even today, this complication finds creative expression on a wide range of watches.
Whirlwind of fantasy…
2018 marked the 217th anniversary of the patent of the Tourbillon. Today, as we talk about new fascinating watches, we realize that most of them include the tourbillon! This revolutionary mechanism neutralized the effects of gravity providing incredible precision in mechanical timepieces. It is interesting for those who like to know about the history of watchmaking, to understand how exactly Abraham-Louis Breguet applied this mechanism. He created 35 tourbillon watches, but fewer than 10 of them are known to survive!
The Tourbillon precision pocket watch No. 1188 sold to Don Antonio de Bourbon, Infante of Spain, in 1808, is one of the most fascinating pieces in the brand’s heritage. The House of Breguet possesses two other historical Tourbillon pocket watches, No. 1176 sold by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1809 and No. 2567 sold in 1812, along with original records listing every single historical creation.
Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367
The “Grand Feu” enamel dial is the elegant canvas on which the beauty of the tourbillon is expressed. This complication reigns supreme on a minimalist dial. The information has been deliberately pared down to essentials in order to give the mechanism the full attention it deserves. Note the graphic hand-bevelled tourbillon bar, topped by a spinel. It turns the gaze of the viewer to the tourbillon. The chapter ring with Breguet Arabic numerals is off-centered at 11 o’clock and thus directly facing the tourbillon at 5 o’clock.
It also has all the elements that symbolise the ultimate Breguet style. The blue Breguet hands strike a powerful contrast with the immaculate whiteness of the traditional enamel, thereby ensuring perfect legibility of the hours and minutes. This display layout with Breguet Arabic numerals is reminiscent of the watches created by A.-L. Breguet, who revelled in transforming the aesthetic conventions governing the timepieces of his era.
A peripheral rotor allows the wearer an unobstructed view of the engraving work on the movement, entirely crafted by Breguet’s skilled artisans in Switzerland. The richly decorated movement is a sight to behold! The bridges, barrel and oscillating weight are hand-engraved. Crafted in platinum for greater inertia, the latter rotates on the periphery of the calibre, thus providing a clearer view of the movement as well as ensuring its slimness. Also very endearing is the slim case measuring a thickness of only 7.45 mm, housing a 3 mm thick movement wound. Calibre 581 powering this timepiece comprises a balance oscillating at a frequency of 4 Hz while maintaining a comfortable 80-hour power reserve.
The new Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 with its “Grand Feu” enamel dial is available in rose gold or platinum versions, respectively fitted with a mahogany brown or blue alligator strap and both featuring a rhodium-plated movement.
Today, we may not necessarily look at the tourbillon as only an instrument of accuracy. While the functional aspect is indeed present, this complication is also a feat of technical prowess and a representation of mechanical art. And this is exactly what the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 symbolizes!