Breguet Classique Complications 3797 - Feeling like an Emperor for a day
Before you start reading this post, there are a few small facts that you need to know about the Breguet Classique Complications 3797; it is a model from the year 2014 and it is the second model from that specific year that I have reviewed on here in the last few weeks. You might be wondering why am I writing about a timepiece that was released last year and that most magazines have reviewed already and you will be even more puzzled when I tell you that I have recently had the opportunity to take tons of pictures of the main Breguet's 2015 novelties (although I was not allowed to officially release them until 22nd October 2015 due to an embargo imposed by the company's press office).
I decided to choose the Breguet Classique Complications 3797 for my second post about this brand for a specific reason; this timepiece features two of the complications that most watch enthusiasts (me included) are crazy about, namely a perpetual calendar and a Breguet-patented-tourbillon. I find that this combination of characteristics is kind of difficult to find in today's watches and, even if you find it, it rarely blends so perfectly well together into one single movement and into such an illustrious brand.
The dial features overlapping registers in its upper part and a very intricate mixture of four different types of guillochè. Are you also wondering why the designers chose this type of decoration for this timepiece? I reckon that it has something to do with the brand’s history; at the end of the 18th century, Breguet applied the “guillochage” technique to wristwatches and mixed it together with his mechanical inventions. The “Clous de Paris" guillochè motif fully dominates the silvered gold dial (another one of Breguet's patents), while a "vague guillochè” decoration has been applied to the day-indication subdial placed at 9 o' clock, another counter marking the month and leap year indication is featured at 3 o' clock. The unmistakable blue hands and Roman numerals pattern has been applied to a thin sapphire crystal ring and it marks the central hour and the minutes, behind the ring lays an arch connecting the two main discs and that is used to view the retrograde calendar.
Such an intricate dial deserves a few more words of evaluation: it is sumptuously finished, rich of historical details that are all hand made using the same tools used by watchmakers in the past. This special approach is clearly visible on the main plate decoration of the case back, where the wording “Breguet” seems to have been just freshly hand-engraved. The attemp to imitate the motifs and decorations of Breguet's old watches (keep in mind that the majority of his timepieces used to be commissioned by kings and emperors) results in a style that is sometimes too busy and a bit baroque. Sometimes you even end up losing sight of the main design clues and that’s probably the reason why you need a bit of time to fully appreciate the unique style of a Breguet watch.
This timepiece features a manual wind caliber 558QP2 (I think that “QP: stands for Quantièmè Perpetuelle) that adopts a 1-minute-Tourbillon featuring a blue three-spron seconds hand. This makes the Breguet Classique Complications 3797 a true tourbillon with a twist of innovation, namely the silicon balance spring. Could you ever guess that this sort of technology could equip this watch?
Among those watches geared towards a rich audience, Breguet's timepieces are the richest ones in terms of decoration rather than complications and they are firmly anchored to their past. It is said that in 1795 Breguet's watches became the first timpieces in the history of watchmaking to be counterfeited and that is the reason why he decided to place his surname as a signature and mark of guarantee on all of them. Every single detail of this watch has its own history and that is what makes the Breguet Classique Complications 3797 the quintessential luxury watch.
Are there any negative features in the Breguet Classique Complications 3797 and, generally speaking, in a classic Breguet watch? If you’re looking for an understated luxury watch, you should probably opt for something different, because this watch will immediately attract people’s attention and curiosity. Until a few years ago I only knew this brand for its Rheine de Naples (that is actually my mother’s grail watch) but today, if I were asked what Breguet watch I would buy, I would most probably opt for a Breguet Tradition. If you are looking into adding a Breguet watch to your collection, however, I would definitely recommend the Breguet Classique Complications 3797, the quintessential Breguet watch and the best example of the brand’s legacy.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)