A real jewel within the prestige brands of the Swatch Group, Breguet stands out for numerous reasons. The brand embraces horological brilliance, traditions and craftsmanship that are unmatched, but they also deliver the timepieces with modern production and technology aspects that combine to create a masterpiece like the Classique 5140 Watch with Enamel Dial Hands-On. This timepiece captures the essence of traditional and couples it with modern to present on the wrist an exquisite yet sensible watch that is exactly what the brand stands for.
The brand history dates back to the 18th century, and to Abraham-Louis Berget’s efforts to craft timepieces that were beautiful and practical. As the inventor who developed the tourbillon mechanism and what he is most known for, the founder strived for simplicity as he felt a timepiece was meant for wear. The most expensive of the brand timepieces are equipped with many of the tourbillon styles, but this clean time-only dial and the in-house automatic movement are what the heart of the brand believes in.
The Classique 5140 is 40mm wide, and produced in 18k yellow gold, and features an authentic oven-baked enamel dial with flame-blued steel hands. The techniques that are used in the production of these parts dates back to the beginning when similar processes were first used. The first word that would be used for this timepiece is elegance, and while it has the antique feel, that is the modern retro-inspired aspect that draws attention. Unlike some of the other traditional designs that watchmakers use to create that antique feel, Breguet has used modern construction and materials to create a timepiece with traditional foundation. The careful finishing of the gold case, the dial and hands that show the tiniest of imperfections, each detail that brings to life a personality for this timepiece unlike any other you have seen.
The brand produces other similar designs that are a little more contemporary, while the 5140 is that traditional look and reliability you want on your wrist. A solid caseback, the brand caliber 502.3 SD automatic movement and a simple 3Hz movement with 45 hours of power reserve. The crafting of the silicon balance spring touches on a more modern use, and certainly while it was not available in the 18th century it would have been used over metal if it had been. You can always look for better ways to maintain perfection, and Breguet certainly does that with this timepiece.
The enamel dial offers legibility and gives that more elegant look to the Classique 5140, and the process of baking the dial, then painting them with enamel and then baking again, is a process that sets the colors permanently and adds that historic craftsmanship to this beauty. The durability and permanence of the color is a hidden gem for this timepiece dial as well as a few others in the brand collections, and certainly a signature that other watchmakers cannot claim. Many think of this mark as a secondary logo for Breguet, but this enamel dial has two levels, a subsidiary seconds dial that is slightly recessed and asymmetric, which really is part of the personality of this timepiece. The hour markers themselves are just traditional Arabic numerals matched with brand pomme-style hands. The detailing of the blued color against the white face enamel face is really striking.
Taking inspiration from traditional pocket watches, Breguet created a beautiful and exquisite timepiece, which finished with a brown-toned alligator leather strap and matching yellow gold buckle provides high end construction, quality, and a solid wearing experience. The Classique 5140 is not inexpensive, but it is worth every cent.