This technical complex and sophisticated Breguet did not impress me as it should have. Of course, as a whole the watch is impressive, but as a higher-end Breguet watch the new design direction taken here is a step in the wrong direction in my opinion. Part of me thinks that the “smoothing over” of the design of the watch and the movement decoration is too modern for this timepiece. What is wrong with the “old way” Breguet? Really I don’t want Breguet to be a “youthful” brand anymore than I want octogenarians listening to gangster rap (‘heard that!’). While the watch is clearly a Breguet and highly appealing technically, it just looks too much like it borrowed lessons from Maurice Lacroix rather than Abraham-Louis. Two things that the watch has that I like are the tourbillon and a fusee and chain style power transfer from the mainspring to the watch. Then you have the sandpaper black like texture on the brides, the unsophisticated way the domed crystal attaches to the case, and the ‘too plain to be showcased’ movement that takes center stage next to the watch dial.
The watch is in 950 platinum and sized at 41mm wide – a bit up from the 37mm that the similar Ref. 7027 watch came in. I like the larger size better, but I am hungry for more movement decoration or that “prestige” look. It feels too modern (and wanna be edgy), a quality I respect, but other brands have that covered. Breguet is all about tradition, and I see this is an unwise departure. This is of course just an initial opinion. I only spent a few minutes with the watch, but that was the impression I walked away with after I thought about it for a while. The movement plates that make up the dial are done in gray anthracite coated steel. The design of the bridges and movement is meant to be traditional, it is the finishing thereof that I am not super happy with.
While the case of the 7047 watch is classic Breguet in style with a coined edge on the side and traditional style lugs – that all seems to change on the dial. Save for the actual watch face, we have a lot of modern looks and materials. Even the extra-large tourbillon bridge is done in titanium. The popular metal is finding places in all parts of the watch world, but right here for Breguet? In a platinum watch? I just ask why? One interpretation is that the watch is a statement about Breguet in the modern era. In addition to titanium, you have the high-tech silicon balance spring. The face has this traditional looking small and off centered watch face with the classic case. However, while everything looks all turn of the century, you have this modern looking movement. Like a watch cyborg on the inside if there was such a thing. Though this modern look seems oddly contrasted with the complications of a tourbillon and fusee and chain transmission that are highlight of complications of the old world.
The watch is covered in a chambered sapphire crystal that lifts off the dial a bit. The view into the watch is grand as it looks like the movement is elevated out a bit. Though, there is too much white where the crystal connects with the case. Just not elegant enough for a watch of this stature in my opinion. Again, while I like the view in style, I just feel as though I want to see more classic style finishing, polish, and decoration on the movement. It is entirely possible that I am missing the point, but this is my gut reaction. Most of you are already well acquainted with tourbillon escapements so I won’t get into that here, but the Breguet caliber 569 movement also has a fusee and chain transmission. This is a tiny bicycle style chain that ensures constant force from the mainspring barrel to the watch. It is super hard to make and really cool looking. This is also the main principle behind the Cabestan “winch style” watch. These two complications are the real “old school” greats that are hard to make, and impressive being invented in the early 18th century.
There is also a power reserve indicator on the dial for the 50 hours of power reserve as well as a silicon over coil spring (just another sign of modern watch making times). A bit hard to notice the power reserve indicator until you see where it is. In a nutshell you have your basic high quality and complex Breguet movement with a “do just the basics” dial. The watch does offer the unusual combination of having a tourbillon as well as a fusee and chain together in the same watch – though I don’t think that this is the first time that Breguet has done it. It is a lot of cool machinery at work, I just wishes the dial was more Breguet heritage in fashion. Maybe it is just me getting more mature in my appreciation for watches, but a “naked” style of decoration on a Breguet watch movement seems like a waste. I am betting on a price between $100,000 – $200,000.
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