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Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395

Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 Hands-On

The most elaborate new Breguet watch released for 2019 is this skeletonized version of the brand’s ultra-thin tourbillon known as the Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 (originally debuted on aBlogtoWatch here). Today, I got hands-on with the 18k rose gold version (5395BR/1S/9WU) of the watch (which is accompanied by a platinum-cased version (5395PT/RS//9WU) that happens to have a rose gold color for the movement bridges.

The novelty here is in Breguet’s skilled ability to design and decorate an attractive and still sturdy skeletonized version of the in-house-made caliber 581 automatic tourbillon movement. In the 5395 watch, the movement is known as the caliber 581SQ (“SQ” for squelette”) and is a lovely mechanism to see in action. I was actually lucky enough to be present at the Breguet manufacture in Switzerland while watchmakers were busy hand-decorating the bridges of the 5395 movements. The bridges are first cut by machine, then completed by hand. The movement place features not only hand-done angling and polishing, but also some guilloché engraving. It is really about Breguet being able to show off multiple crafts in a single product.

Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 Hands-On

Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 Hands-On

The core appeal of the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat is its technical complexity, as well as its wearability (not to mention aesthetic benefits). The 41mm-wide Classique-style case is only 7.7mm-thick. Yes, the straight lugs do jut out a bit on smaller wrists, but the overall appeal of this masterwork on your wrist is intensive. The skeletonized version complements more discreet models, such as the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat with the white enamel dial (which I also enjoy wearing). Legibility on this skeletonized model is assured, thanks to Breguet’s use of blued-steel hands, matching applied hour markers, and a full hour track printed on a transparent ring-style bridge included just above the movement. This is important to mention because many skeletonized watches focus on mere looks to the detriment of legibility.

Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 Hands-On

Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 Hands-On

The 581SQ movement is simple but very satisfying, in my opinion. The larger diameter (16 lignes) of the movement allows for the modest, roughly 3mm, thickness. This includes placing the automatic rotor on the periphery of the movement, as opposed to over it. This would not normally be practical with smaller-diameter movements, so the width of the 581SQ is crucial for its ability to be thin. The automatic rotor spins on ball-bearing mountings and is just one of the features that tell people this isn’t their standard high-effort traditional Swiss timepiece. The 581 movement family includes a sophisticated 4Hz frequency regulation system tourbillon that uses a silicon escapement as hairspring. The spinning tourbillon cage doubles as the seconds indicator window and the main dial displays just the hours and minutes.

Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 Hands-On

Hands-On: Breguet Classique Extra-Plat Tourbillon Squelette 5395 Hands-On

A timepiece like the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squellete should be considered an exotic watch for everyday wear. It features much more hand-attention and effort than most other classic watches, but it also doesn’t have a look that narrows its fashionability. Skeletonized watch dials are a fashion statement unto themselves, and this is among the most decadent ways of enjoying this type of artistry, while still being able to pair it with most suits or other formal or semi-formal attire. While I don’t necessarily want to stare at my wrist hair each time I gaze at the beautiful skeletonization and decoration work, Breguet wins me over here with its sheer dedication to first making a good timepiece, and second, making an attractive one. Price for the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 (reference 5395BR/1S/9WU as seen here in 18k rose gold) is $225,200 USD (a bit more in platinum). Learn more at the Breguet website here.

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  • James Honour

    So you spend all that money, yet when viewing the watch, your eye-line is ambushed by the charm of a hairy arm.

    • Ariel Adams

      I’m starting to think it might be worse is the wearer has tattoos in that region. But it is a real aesthetic consideration to make. I”m thinking someone needs to produce a small piece of plastic which acts like a two-way mirror that you could just lay over the caseback. Something temporary that nevertheless blocks the view to your wrist when you don’t want to see it.

      • SuperStrapper

        I think if a special caseback sticker needs to be developed in order to actually appreciate a type of watch, it’s really the type of watch that’s the problem.

        • hatster

          That’s a lot of money to magnify arm hair….

      • Sheez Gagoo

        I can’t wait for the sponsored post offering exactly that piece of plastic for $400. And the founder of this horological revolution will complain about all the negative comments of us non-enterpreneur savages.

      • Jared

        or better

        especially if someone gets a tattoo specifically in that area after they get a watch with that in mind.

      • cluedog12

        Arnold and Son added a mirror back to their Time Pyramid, which I thought was a great modification.

        Alternatively, perhaps it’s a matter of choosing the right skeleton watch to match your arm hair:

        1 – dark brown / black hair – white metal case, monochronomatic dial with black gold hands and mirror polished accents, charcoal strap

        2 – medium – light brown hair – this watch

        3 – blond arm hair – yellow gold case, tan strap, blue steel hands

        4 – red arm hair – forget it, go for a Time Pyramid

      • SuperStrapper

        Im sure your right on the note about tattoos as well: I helped convert one of my artists to near-WIS:

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1bff3fae80fc5e38d4908153449717bfa769f9c2ab6c35b5b564b202f3a4d7a6.jpg

        I certainly won’t be recommending any squelette watch for him!

  • IanE

    Beautiful through a loupe of course, but how much would one see by eye, I wonder (not much by my naked eye alas). Not very legible either. Still, if it were pocket money for me, I would!

    • Spangles

      I’ve tried this watch on and it’s very nice, the engraved guilloché can be seen and you can see the internal angles enough to remind you of what the loupe showed you. Legibility is good for a skeleton, which means adequate. Overall, it’s a very nice watch. Fits my 7.25″ flat wrist easily. I’m not in the market for it and it’s not the top Breguet on my list. The blue new enamel 5177 is Stunningly Magnificent in real life, date window and all, beating out everything else. It was a surprise. I also like the Réveil du Tsar with its multiple guilloché patterns. Both the latter two watch are available on strap or gold bracelet.

  • Swiss_Cheese

    As much as I like Breguet, the straight lugs don’t do it for me. It almost always makes the watch look too big unless you either have very flat wrists or strap it down so tight it’d probably void some kind of warranty.

    As far as this watch goes, the peripheral rotor is a nice touch, never going to be a fan of skeletonized dials though.

  • SuperStrapper

    They should have called it the Extra Wrist View. Regardless, I give it an extra no thank you.

  • Steve Loader

    That hair-revealing gap feels a little like looking into an exotic car’s engine bay and seeing an engine which – even though exquisite in its design and performance – looks smaller than convention and the available space leads you to expect.

  • Jon Heinz

    Can’t even think about ever affording it, but I just wanna stare at it for a while. It’s watching pieces like this do their thing that got me into watches to begin with, and it keeps me there. The only thing I’d pick at here…there is an awful lot going on to look at here, isn’t there? I guess that’s part of the point and can’t be avoided. That and the wrist view, which also can’t be avoided. Still; it’s beautiful.

  • Independent_George

    A vault queen. As mentioned, gorgeous through a loupe, ugly on a man’s wrist. Shrink this to 34mm and you might have wearable women’s watch.

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    If you’re going to design such a very expensive frame you need to ensure the picture isn’t all hair.

  • Sam Soul

    My house costs the same and -thank god- you guys won’t see my hairy wrists through it.

  • all74

    There’s skeleton dials and then there’s skeleton dials. Although not even close in terms of price bracket, finishing, movement, etc., something like the Orient Star Skeleton shows how the space can be much better utilized.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d1f947c5102eace0fc4026992c1e199ea8d1526cf71db1e03e23b133bd10c32.jpg

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Very attractive. I like the layout of the movement; the balance, spring, name plate bar, blued hands, and the empty space.
    The 41mm size is fine with it being so thin.

    I wouldn’t restrict wearing it to only formal, semi-formal clothes. I have a very dress style watch which has a white dial, blued hand, and polished black alligator strap. I love wearing it with trainers, jeans and a t-shirt. (CW Jump hour).

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