Breguet new watches 2020
Classique, Marine and Reine de Naples
Our recent visit to the Breguet boutique in Milan allowed us to finally see the 2020 first-half new timepieces in the flesh (guess Breguet will possibly introduce additional novelties during the second half). The lockdown forced the brands to postpone any watch-related event. As soon as the pandemic slowed down, the brand hurried up to get the Italian boutique ready and meet the new law enforcement to safely welcome clients and media press representatives.
Maurizio Marino, Brand Director Breguet Italy, was waiting for us on the first floor where he introduced us to the new references 7137 and 7337, the Breguet Marine with matching metal bracelet and a new edition of the brand's flagship timepiece for her, the Breguet Reine de Naples (Breguet Queen of Naples). However, as you should have noticed by reading our posts storyline, we began this journey by reviewing a unique piece, the Breguet Type XXI 3817 Ritorno in Volo. Let me highlight, once again, this is not a 2020 product, but given its collector-ready allure, it deserved a place in the headlines.
Breguet Classique 7137 and 7337: up-scale.
Before diving into the nuts and bolts of the two new references, I'd like to spend a few words to the as-simple-as-effective rule historically adopted by Breguet in classifying wristwatches and collections: they all utilize a short name and are unequivocally identified by a four-digit number. It is so powerful from a communication standpoint that you can quickly recognize any reference among the many, in one go. Next, I think the revamped dial design is the trending topic, especially when paired with the new blue dial.
The hands-on experience lets you appreciate how different the current product is from the one we discovered through the brand's digital pictures. From up-close, the Breguet 7137 and 7337 blue variants look more subtle and matte than the vivid blue we found through social channels earlier this year. The blue palette you see here is also a better match to the Classique collection's pedigree and almost fully renovated engine-turning technique (along with a more refined moon display). The new color and decorations are a closer nod to the 7137's source of inspiration, the Breguet Perpétuelle n° 5 pocket watch.
The brand's artisans introduced a detail showcased on the historical reference: a subtle annular-shaped pattern further amplifies the difference between silver parts and finely engine-turned surfaces. This negligible, at first sight, detail better enhances the "Damier," "Panier Maillé," and "Clous de Paris" decorations on the new 7137 (and Damier on the 7337). Case in point, the various registers, especially on the blue 7137, for instance, stand out as they never did before. The triangular-shaped power reserve register well exemplifies what I'm saying.
The 2020 Breguet Classique 7137 is a more compelling watch, sleeker, and less crowded than its outgoing sibling. It feels like a new timepiece rather than a product restyling, considering how different the new guilloche, which requires much of the total production time, is. Measuring 39mm, across, and 8,65mm in thickness, the Breguet 7137 with a white gold case and blue matching dial (along with its sister reference, the Breguet 7337) also welcomes a renewed moon phase display. Under the loupe, you can fully admire how refined is the craftsmanship with detailed craters floating over a starry sky, whose blue tone is vivid. However, I believe it works better on the pink gold version, in my opinion, since it well contrasts the dial.
Technically speaking, the Breguet 7137 is unchanged; it keeps ensuring a maximum power reserve of 45 hours, has moon phase display, and pointer date display. Here is where I would expect significant upgrades. I'm not looking for pimped-up performance, but for some of the decorations, you would appreciate on such a mechanical caliber, primarily when housed in a case whose dial is this hand-crafted. I refer to those engravings you discover when flipping a top-range Breguet watch over. In the class these Breguet watches are competing, the fiercest competitors belong to Indie watchmaking rather than mainstream, and the former offer calibers whose craftsmanship is boutique.
The Breguet 7337 upgrade was no different; the source of inspiration was yet another historical reference, the Breguet 3833, that the new Breguet 7337 mimics carefully, primarily with rose gold case option.
The blue dial gives that extra wow factor to the entire collection and shows, through the day, date, and moon phase windows, the unrivaled artistry, and the unusual dial's thickness. In summary, I feel the Classique collection is undergoing a renovation process at a fast pace, along with enhanced family feeling across the various product references. I am sure a fully revamped collection is a matter of less than a year.
Breguet Marine: now with the bracelet too
The Marine collection is not breaking news; it first appeared in 2018. Yet, 2020 brings a new metal bracelet that adds up to leather and rubber straps options. The bracelet's design is standard, sporting three links, and a folding integrated clasp.
Available in steel or rose gold, it is, to my surprise, not available in titanium, which is the option I would pick first, given the Marine chronograph, for instance, is 14mm thick and is not the lightest watch you might ever wear. I love its three-register dial's design and wavy pattern; it's a sturdy luxury sports watch where, again, the blue Breguet variant is, hands down, the winning formula. I also hope Breguet would consider releasing a rose gold case with matching blue dial; I'm sure it'll be a great success. The Breguet 5527 chronograph, for example, houses the Breguet caliber 582QA, featuring a column-wheel mechanism and 48 hours of maximum power reserve. It is essentially the same caliber that powers the Breguet Type XXI 3187, Flyback function excluded.
Breguet Reine de Naples: now with Grand Feu dial.
This comprehensive hands-on review could not exclude Breguet for women's collection par excellence, the Queen of Naples. The Breguet Reine de Naples holds a special place in my heart since Naples is my hometown. This Breguet is more than a timepiece, is a piece of history, and the legacy of a town once admired as an European cultural and economic capital. The current Breguet Reine de Naples is the only timepiece once worn by a queen, namely Carolina Murat, sister to Napoleon and Queen of Naples.
This collection needs no introduction, but the reference 8918 does, as it debuts a white enameled dial crafted with the old-school Grand Feu technique, we have described more than once through our articles. One hundred seventeen diamonds decorate the bezel and inner flange while another 28 are set on the folding buckle instead. The signature oval-shaped case comes, of course, in white gold.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®