Everyone knows that Switzerland is home to watch making and therefore no surprise that Breguet was born in that country, but it might be a surprise that he was in France most of his life, and his workshops were in Paris, located at Quai D’Horloge. The buildings are in a very central location, in the heart of Paris, and on a island of the Seine, where a palace sits from the Merovingian Dynasty.
Named from an actual clock, the Conciergerie Clock, sits on the corner of a building at an intersection of Qua d’Horloge and Boulevard du Palais. The clock that inspired the name was installed in 1371 and is quite a site to see where the company’s former home was, as today it is headquartered of course in Switzerland, in the Vallee de Joux. Maybe not significant but since we are discussing the unveil of the Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Qual De L’Horloge watch, it only seemed fitting to know the classic history and inspiration for the timepiece and a mainstay for the brand since 2006.
Heart of a Champion
With every beautiful timepiece this brand creates it is always wonderful to see what is at the heart of these champion designs. The Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Qual De L’Horloge is an orbital tourbillon, there are two tourbillon cages mounted on the movement plate and that plate rotates in the case every 12 hours, as well the upper tourbillon bridge is blued along half the length as it functions as the hour hand. Being the first open dial version of this timepiece it is very impressive. Also on the movement plate are two mainspring barrels that are sporting a very elaborately finished “B”. The speed of rotation is determined by how the output of the two tourbillons is averaged and quite the statement. The brand is recognized for the elegance and exquisite workmanship but this is quite a admirable timepiece and one that has gained attention as well as has some surprises for everyone.
The back of this magnificent timepiece which is solid gold is also engraved with a very detailed scene carved from the 19th century, and is that historical building at 39 Qua d’Horloge as it appeared back in the founders time. To say the engraving is detailed is really down playing the amount of exquisitely fine details that are placed on this Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Qual De L’Horloge. As you look at the engraving on the timepiece you can see the texture of the bricks and even the faint haze hanging in the sky. Breguet says the gold color of the wheels that are visible through the many cut-outs provides an effect of candlelight at dusk, and what a spectacular effect. To add to that intricate detailing, there is even a seated figure that looks out of one of the lower windows. While the movement rotates, the back plate does not, so the visible wheels do not move. When you understand this detail, it means that these have to be part of the keyless works used for winding and setting and indeed that is the case for these parts. The engraving is breathtaking, and while this is not a limited edition watch, it is very limited in production. If you are a horological enthusiast you will want to acquire this timepiece, if you are a historical architecture lover, you might want to consider this expensive but impressive timepiece. Few brands have captured the beauty and heritage this watch represents, but Breguet has truly done so in remarkable fashion, as well as shown innovation for this special timepiece.