Owning a tourbillon from Breguet always feels a little bit more special than one from any other brand. It’s like buying an electric car from Tesla, or an iPhone from Apple, you’re buying it from the company that originated a groundbreaking innovation that has seen others use it as well.
Out of all the watches with a tourbillon, the variants carrying the calibre 581 have to be the purest expression of the “complication” from Breguet. Sized just right and ultra thin as well, it is the dress watch par excellence.
Perhaps the most extroverted variation of the three that are now available, is the one that was introduced last year for “A Time to Move” in 2019, the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395, a watch that departs from the earlier variations of those carrying the same movement, by utilising skeletonization, a the traditional art that exposes the intricacies of the mechanism for all to see.
We’ve seen the earlier ones before of course, the decidedly traditional looking 5377 – with a silvered gold dial adorned with four different engine-turned patterns executed by hand : clou de Paris hobnail, barleycorn, straight chevrons and cross hatching, looking every bit like a mini masterclass in guilloché, a Breguet signature.
Then there was the 5367, which had a dial in “Grand Feu” enamel, a watch which turned down the volume of the symphony of the former and instead resonated one note of purity.The newest variation, the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395, essentially takes the good parts of the previous two, the 41mm wide and 7.7mm ultra thin case, along with the Calibre 581, with 80 hour power reserve, a 0.290 gram tourbillon carriage, a balance spring and escape wheel in silicon, and gives it the skeletonized treatment to showcase every part of the movement.It is a contemporary style of skeletonisation that has been done to the calibre, with its bridges and plates in gold. It definitely feels modern and architectural, with an hour track with Roman numerals printed on sapphire help legibility, since it is easy to get lost in the visual splendour of what has been done to the movement.
One final thing to note about this watch that is not particularly obvious as well can be seen from the picture above. You see, this watch and the other variations before it have the same automatic movement. But then you say – but I can see everything from the case-back! Well then, it’s the peripheral winding rotor that is the reason. As it sits on the edge of the movement, it doesn’t block the view at all.
Now think about it – as this wasn’t a fact that was as obvious before in the previous watches with this movement – the fact that it had this feature is precisely the reason why the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 could be skeletonized like this, and lose none of its transparency and beauty!
Extra bonus – in this version, you get to see the way that the peripheral winding rotor connects to the mainspring – (see picture above). Now that’s wonderful!