Breguet Classique 7147 Grand Feu Enamel
The Breguet Classique 7147 Grand Feu Enamel employs some design elements used by the prestigious maison since the 18th century but also embraces modernity with the use of state of the art silicon components.
This detailed review of the Breguet Classique 7147 Grand Feu Enamel includes live images, specification details and pricing.
It is always pleasurable to travel to new places and discover new things, however, there is something wonderfully reassuring about revisiting familiar locations.
Walking the streets of a holiday resort that you have previously visited and knowing the best places to eat, drink and relax makes a compelling case for returning again and again to the same location. Quite simply, there is much merit in ‘familiarity’.
Breguet, purveyors of fine Swiss watches, has unveiled a new timepiece, the Breguet Classique 7147 Grand Feu Enamel. While this model is new, it is imbued with a welcome sense of familiarity and is instantly recognisable as a Breguet.
I freely admit I have a penchant for Breguet timepieces and, having recently made the acquaintance of this glorious watch at Baselworld 2017, I felt compelled to write about its many virtues.
The dial is a glorious canvas of pure white grand feu enamel, the surface of which possesses a magnificent lustre whose allure will not diminish with the onset of years.
To create the grand feu enamel dial, a powder composed of several substances is sprinkled onto a metal disc, fired in a kiln heated to approximately 800°C and then allowed to cool. This process is repeated to make-up layers which form a radiant white hue and confer a ‘glowing texture’. The nature of the process inevitably results in the surface of some discs cracking and being resigned to the waste bin. Those discs which survive are highly prized and form the basis of a dial like no other.
The dial surface is adorned with ‘Breguet numerals’. The numerals have become a byword for elegance and can now be found on the dials of other brands of watches. The time is beautifully enunciated with a clear tone using ‘Breguet hands’. The hands are blued and feature slender, pointed tips. Both the hour and minute hands are embellished with a circular eyelet along their form. The very term ‘Breguet hands’ has now become part of horological parlance and the style is now often emulated by other, lesser marques.
Positioned between 5 and 6 o’clock is a small seconds display. The hand on this display is fabulously svelte and features a charmingly elaborate counterweight.
Framing the extremities of the dial is a chapter ring, marked with dots, diamonds and fascinating characters every 5 minute integer.
The dial is seemingly simple and easy to interpret. However, look closely and its complexity is truly amazing and worthy of close attention.
Measuring 40mm in diameter, the proportions of the case doff their hat to modernity, sidestepping the smaller case sizes found on Breguet models of yesteryear.
The slender lugs are straight and project a significant distance from the case. The case-band subscribes to the Breguet DNA courtesy of the fluted design detail running north to south.
Breguet offers the case in a choice of 18-carat white gold or 18-carat rose gold. Personally, I prefer the latter variant which evinces both warmth and appears very traditional.
The case back is adorned with a pane of sapphire crystal facilitating sight of the self-winding movement within.
The Calibre 502.3SD has an unusual appearance courtesy of its oscillating mass being biased to one side. This asymmetrical design sees the rotor floating above much of the movement, including the open-worked spring barrel and gear train. Neighbouring the rotor is a large crescent shaped bridge which occupies the remaining area of the case-back.
The bridges are exquisitely adorned with Côtes de Genève motif, while the oscillating mass is adorned with Clous de Paris hobnailing.
I especially appreciate sight of the freely disclosed crown wheel and the open-worked spring barrel with the mainspring readily shown.
Breguet has not merely looked to the past when making this movement but also embraced the future by equipping the balance with a state of the art silicon hairspring. Moreover, the ‘inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns’ is another illustration of the non-magnetic material being used.
The balance oscillates to a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and the movement contains 35 jewels. The movement is capable of delivering 45 hours of autonomous operation.
The Breguet Classique 7147 Grand Feu Enamel is a wonderfully elegant timepiece which, despite being new, has a welcome sense of familiarity. Moreover, its creation is without compromise, crafted to an exalted level many lesser marques I’m sure would like to emulate.
Beyond the allure of the simple to read dial, the lustre of the grand feu dial vista, graceful case design and impressive movement, is a timeless quality which will see this watch accrue years of ownership without ageing.
The Breguet Classique 7147 Grand Feu Enamel is not avant-garde but rather the antithesis of neoteric design and undoubtedly its appearance will elicit words of approval for upholding the aesthetic codes of a horological brand which has seduced purists for over 200 years.
- Model: Breguet Classique 7147 Grand Feu Enamel
- Reference: 7147BR/29/9WU
- Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 40mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds.
- Movement: Cal. 502.3SD, self-winding movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3 Hz); 35 jewels; power reserve 45 hours.
- Strap: Alligator leather strap, presented on a gold pin buckle.