Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial

The Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial, a new timepiece for 2016, harnesses traditional artisanal craftsmanship with state of the art know-how, all presented within one slender, prepossessing form.

This detailed review of the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Image for watch review of Breguet Classique 7147 - Baselworld 2016 novelty

My son is 17 years of age and continues to endure his father’s unsolicited pearls of wisdom. I have counselled great caution when selecting a lifelong partner; it is very easy to succumb to the charms of a pretty face.

I was 18 when I met my son’s mother and we continue to be together some 30 years later. I have always thought my wife to be attractive and I can still vividly recall seeing her chocolate-brown eyes for the very first time on a Portuguese dance floor. I was immediately smitten and my affection has not waned with the passage of time.

However, a veneer of beauty is unlikely to sustain a marriage long-term. Indeed, looks can fade and the longevity of any relationship is conferred with other attributes, not always gleaned with a cursory glance.

Making the acquaintance of the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial

Image for watch review of Breguet Classique 7147 - Baselworld 2016 novelty

Making acquaintance with the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial for the first time, I could not help feeling a profound sense of attraction. While I adore complicated wristwatches, the seemingly simple dial design of this watch arrested my attention and lured me close to its pulchritudinous face. However, beyond its alluring mien, there are many aspects to this noble paragon of fine watchmaking which promise a lifelong association no man can put asunder.

The dial

The Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial may be a comparatively new timepiece, launched earlier this year at Baselworld 2016, but it subscribes to the traditional design codes which have led to the brand’s esteemed reputation. There is no question about the parentage of this glorious exemplar of haute horlogerie; it is undeniably Breguet.

Image for watch review of Breguet Classique 7147 - Baselworld 2016 novelty

Blued-steel Breguet hour and minute hands provide a reassuring sense of familiarity, eloquently expressing the prevailing time. The elevated standing of Breguet has led to its name entering horological parlance. The aforementioned hour and minute hands are ‘Breguet hands’, featuring two eyes near their tips, surpassing their mere functional role with a delicious dose of style.

The central dial area is adorned with clou de Paris hobnailing, expertly brought to life with the deft use of a rose-engine lathe. There is a wonderful authenticity to this guilloché motif which transcends the inferior stamped dials, popularised by some lesser marques.

The intricate pattern is performed on said rose-engine lathe, manually controlled by a skilled craftsman. The rose-engine lathe necessitates years to master. These machines are no longer manufactured and the guillocher is responsible for maintaining their own lathe, learning of its idiosyncrasies and coaxing it to produce the finest work.

Contrast is delivered with an asymmetrically positioned small seconds display, tastefully adorned with a basketwork pattern.

The hours eschew ‘Breguet numerals’, often found on the maison’s enamel dials, in favour of Roman numerals depicted on a silvered 18-carat gold dial. The Roman numerals are presented on a seemly hour circular, sumptuously adorned with satiné circulaire, delivering admirable readability. This is a dial to be slowly savoured and appreciated with a discerning eye.

A sauté piqué pattern provides crisp delineation between the hour circle and the minute track. Everything is beautifully defined.

Such was the innovative prowess of Abraham-Louis Breguet that he conceived the ‘secret signature’ back in 1795, keen to prevent counterfeit watches undermining his revered name. On the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial, the legendary ‘secret signature’ nestles discreetly either side of the number ‘XII’, doffing its hat to tradition while according a degree of reassurance to the would-be buyer that this is a genuine Breguet.

The apparent simplicity of the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial aids interpretation but belies the colossal challenges overcome in bringing it to magnificent fruition.

The case

The Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial is available in a choice of 18-carat white gold or 18-carat rose gold. I made the acquaintance of the latter variant and soon fell under its seductive spell. This timepiece does not flirt, it avoids showy behaviour, choosing to gently charm with its decorous demeanour. The case measures 40mm in width, judiciously sidestepping excessive proportions.

Image for watch review of Breguet Classique 7147 - Baselworld 2016 novelty

Breguet has been unduly modest, failing to specify the height of this shallow case in its press literature, however, the watch clearly exhibits a slender profile, neatly residing beneath a shirt cuff. A key reason for the lithe quality of the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial relates to its movement, the ‘extra-thin’ self-winding Calibre 502.3SD, measuring a diminutive 2.4mm in depth.

The lugs are seamlessly welded to the case. They are slender, elongated and evince a graceful bearing. Once again, they subscribe to the Breguet design language which has found favour with the cognoscenti for many years.

Image for watch review of Breguet Classique 7147 - Baselworld 2016 novelty

The caseband fluting, another charming aspect of Breguet ownership, transcends the perfunctory, granting a sublime facade of vertical pillars. Each upstanding vertical line takes its turns to shine, while its neighbours deferentially wait in the shadows. This masterful interaction with light heightens the sense of luxury and denotes this timepiece as extraordinary.

Much watchmaking expertise is manifest with the aforementioned automatic movement. It is, therefore, reassuring to see that Breguet has equipped the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial with an exhibition caseback, allowing sight of the self-winding Calibre 502.3SD within.

The movement

Breguet never lets the wearer forget its artisanal prowess. The oscillating mass is adorned with grain d’orge circulaire and is off-centre, biased away from the crown.

Image for watch review of Breguet Classique 7147 - Baselworld 2016 novelty

The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and gold engraved text. I especially like the sight of the spring barrel sans cover, revealing the naked mainspring within. This declaration of mechanical intent is delightful and will no doubt appeal to fellow purists. The sole spring barrel delivers 45 hours autonomy.

The frequency of the balance is 21,600 vph (3Hz), subscribing to a cadence befitting a traditional watch. However, it must be remembered that ‘innovation’ has always been part of the Breguet paradigm since the 18th century, exampled with the inventions of the ‘Breguet Overcoil’ and ‘Tourbillon’. In this instance, the Calibre 502.3SD features a silicon hairspring and pallets. Silicon is non-magnetic and immune to the perils of corrosion, both admirable traits in the sphere of watchmaking.

Closing remarks

While admiring the alluring complexion of the Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial and looking into the beguiling eyes of the thermally blued hour and minute hands, it would be very understandable to swear undying love for this majestic timepiece. However, as I have repeatedly counselled my son, it is wise to look beyond the veneer of beauty and seek indications of inner virtue.

The Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial is blessed with an impressive assemblage of attributes. Time is proclaimed with a perfectly legible tone. The dial canvas is charmingly executed, imbued with a flurry of details, tastefully arranged and conveyed with artistic proficiency. The slender case solicits tactile encounters with its splendiferous contours.

The Calibre 502.3SD harnesses exalted traditional Swiss watchmaking craft, ingeniously fused with cutting-edge innovation, resulting in a beautiful horological mind.

Such an array of qualities, together with the lasting looks of the dial presented, proffer a lifetime of ownership delight and provide just reason for watch and wearer to unite in blissful marriage.

Technical specification

  • Model: Breguet Classique 7147 guilloche dial
  • Reference: 7147BR/12/9WU
  • Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 40.00 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds.
  • Movement: Calibre 502.3SD, hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3 Hz); 35 jewels; power reserve 45 hours.
  • Strap: Brown leather strap, presented on an 18-carat rose gold pin buckle.
  • Price: £14,000 (RRP as at 4.8.2016)

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