Breguet’s signature shade of blue is an integral part of the visual identity of the brand and it is hard to think of Breguet in association with any other color. Blue is one of the colors that is most connected to nature, whether we think of the different shades of blue in the world’s seas and oceans or the changing tones of blue in the sky above us. It is believed to have a calming influence on our mood and statistically, blue is the color most preferred by men, making it the perfect color for a luxury watch brand like Breguet.
This spring, Breguet is introducing two exciting new editions in its iconic blue color — the Breguet Classique 5177 with a Grand Feu blue enamel dial, and a new limited-edition timepiece produced in collaboration with Bucherer, which will form part of the latter’s highly acclaimed Blue Editions.
The Breguet Classique 5177
The new Breguet Classique 5177 with its Grand Feu enamel dial is emblematic of what makes a Breguet timepiece special in every way, in terms of design, craftsmanship and technology. During the 18th century, baroque exuberance was all the rage, but Abraham-Louis Breguet preferred the simplicity of refined aesthetics. His designs seduced the elite of the day who much preferred the unembellished neoclassical lines. Today, Bregeut pays homage to this classic style in its aptly named Classique collection.
Looking at the Breguet Classique 5177, it is difficult not to be mesmerized by its deep blue dial that has been crafted using the ancestral art of Grand Feu enamel. Previously available in white enamel with blued hands, this new Breguet Classique version has taken the blue color of the hands and transposed it onto the dial, offering a totally new timepiece in a deep blue color that contrasts beautifully with its rhodium-coated steel hands and indexes.
The Alchemy of Enamel
The art of crafting enamel watch dials has hardly changed since it was first used on pocket watches in the 1600s, however, today’s standards are far more stringent as it is important to find a color that will be perfectly uniform across the dial’s surface when it is fired in the kiln at 800 degrees Celsius. The particular challenge of creating the perfect blue dial on the Breguet Classique 5177 started right at the beginning of the process with the development of the pigments, which called for extensive research to get the color and texture exactly right.
This perfectly uniform blue enamel dial also features Abraham-Louis Breguet’s secret signature at six o’clock. The idea to include a signature on the dial goes right back to Breguet’s time as copies were a common problem even back then.
Tradition meets technology in the 777Q Caliber
The Breguet Classique 5177 is powered by the self-winding 777Q caliber, crafted at the brand’s state-of-the-art manufacture in the small village of L’Orient in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux. The movement has a central second hand and a date in an aperture at three o’clock, providing simple but useful functions to the watch’s owner.
The movement includes some of Breguet’s most technological advances including a silicon lever and silicon escape wheel which optimize the watch’s chronometric reliability. The design of the movement, although highly modern in its construction, uses a shape of wheel that is reminiscent of Breguet’s creations from the late 18th century, making this reference a bridge between the past and the present.
The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal case back with its 18 karat white gold rotor that has been meticulously decorated with a guilloché design handcrafted by the brand’s guilloche artisans at the manufacture. Each and every component is finished to the same high standards with techniques such as chamfering, circular graining, brushing, Côtes de Genève etc., whether it is going to be on show or not.
Visiting the movement workshop where the 777Q is assembled, it is striking how the brand combines the expertise of the traditional watchmaker’s craft with the latest technology, always searching for the very best quality and chronometric reliability to provide its clients with the most precise timekeepers.
Bucherer Blue Editions
Continuing the blue theme, Breguet is also unveiling a brand new timepiece this spring in collaboration with the Lucerne-based retailer Bucherer. For two years now, Bucherer has been working closely with luxury watch brands to create limited editions for their boutiques with a blue theme. Each watch is developed jointly with each brand to offer an outstanding limited edition.
This is the first time Breguet is working with Bucherer on a special Bucherer Blue edition and together they are presenting a new Marine 5517 sports watch in deep blue tones with exclusive design elements. This new Marine timepiece features a redesigned fluted 40mm case in titanium with a central lug and a crown with a wave-shaped embellishment and a distinctive “B” for Breguet.
The decision to use titanium is a first for the brand, but a great choice as the material is both resistant to salty air and corrosion, making it perfect for a timepiece inspired by the sea and destined for the sportsman. This Marine 5517 has been paired with an intense deep blue dial that complements the icy tones of the titanium case, enhancing the watch’s sporty nature. The dial features a unique wave pattern that is crafted by Breguet’s expert guilloché artisans. Other unique features include a silvered chapter ring with Roman numerals and classic Breguet hands that have been crafted out of white gold and have also been redesigned to include a coating of Super-LumiNova for maximum visibility.
Turn the watch over and the rotor is on full display through the exhibition caseback. The rotor has been designed in the shape of a ship’s wheel, while the bridges have been decorated with a striped Côtes de Genève pattern like a ship’s deck, further reinforcing the connection to the sea.
The watch is powered by a mechanical automatic movement with a 55-hour power reserve and is water-resistant to 100 meters.
Into the Blue
Blue is a color that never goes out of style. On one hand, it can be elegant, stylish and traditional, yet on the other, it can be highly contemporary and modern. As Breguet loves to combine the best of traditional mechanical watchmaking with ultra-modern technology, ancient crafts with modern techniques, blue is a color that suits the brand and its clients to perfection.
The full version of this article will be published in the March issue of Revolution Swiss edition.