A Breguet Masterpiece
The Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395
Breguet has once again succeeded in pushing its technical and artistic envelope with the new Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395, placing an emphasis on craftsmanship by opting for an extra-thin three-millimeter skeleton design for its movement. The watchmaker’s latest work is one of those objects whose intrinsic quality is a source of true wonder, with a design sensibility that has been completely rethought, resulting in a truly unique architecture. The House of Breguet has removed roughly 50% of the material from this movement, and has managed to do so without skimping on build quality. The 18-karat gold caliber pushes the limits of possibility, and in so doing highlights the craftsmanship of Breguet watchmakers.
More than 220 years after its inception, the tourbillon remains as fascinating as ever as it continues to be Breguet’s primary prerogative. As it continues to be updated to keep up with the times, its singularly inalienable strength is the historical legacy of Breguet itself. Regardless of whether it’s arrangement, build, or materials used, the tourbillon is more alive than it has ever been, while also being closer than ever to its inventor. It continues to make its presence known in almost every collection, never weighing more than a gram, bearing testament to the unparalleled craftsmanship of the House of Breguet.
The extra-thin 581 caliber is a masterpiece of watchmaking. At three millimeters thick, it is among the finest self-winding tourbillon movements in the world. To achieve this, Breguet has made a series of complex adjustments like moving the rotor to the periphery of the plate to save on thickness while allowing a clear view of the mechanism. The tourbillon design has been completely overhauled.
The carriage weighs just about 0.290 grams in total and features an outstanding power reserve of 80 hours, thanks to a high-energy barrel beating at four hertz. This 581 caliber was previously seen in models 5377 and 5367, but this is the first time it has been placed within a fully skeletonised design – a modern interpretation of a traditional technique. The gold plate bridges have been hollowed out to provide a clear view of the mechanical anatomy of the movement. The already tricky construction was exacerbated by the choice of gold. Once the alloy has hardened, great care is taken to arrive at the final product. Breguet is one of the last watchmakers who can fashion gold to this standard.
What makes this movement truly unique is its aesthetic. Clous de Paris hobnailing is created using a diamond-tipped guilloche tool that leaves no room for imperfections in the watch’s design. The sharp edges are painstakingly chamfered by hand, using a file until a perfectly smooth and even 45-degree bevel is achieved. When finished, a lot of engraving work is done by hand for different inscriptions as well as borders to frame the holes.
The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 sits in a fluted case topped with a domed glass-box revealing the movement. The sapphire dial features applied hour markers in blued gold, while the hours chapter is made with galvanic growth. The timer is laser-engraved and filled with blue varnish. This minimalist design ethos is encapsulated by traditional blued moon-tipped hands and soldered horns in true Breguet fashion. The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 is water-resistant to 30 metres and available with a gray movement in a rose gold case, or with a rose movement in a platinum case.