Swiss Breguet has always had a solid handle on the design of ladies’ watches. They are feminine, yet not silly, and never condescending: like the men’s watches, they have great movements, great finishing and classic design elements that are signature to the brand. The new Breguet Valentine’s Day Classique Phase de Lune Dame is yet another great example of this simple formula. Don’t be discouraged by the “Valentine’s Day” moniker. The VD Classique Phase de Lune Dame is not one of those kitschy watches with hearts blasted across the dial or leaping off a chain attached to the crown, or clumsily positioned as a counterpoint on the minute hand – I have seen all of these things, and I will never be able to unsee them. This watch is a step above the typical Valentine’s Day watch, with its glaring iconography of romantic love, ostensibly celebrated on a single, special day of the year. The VD Classique Phase de Lune Dame can be worn on any day of the year. It is a classic Classique.

The romantic theme is represented, but in an understated way, with a mere dusting of pink in a shade far more subtle than the aggressive ruby red often used to embellish other Valentine’s Day watches. On the VD Phase de Lune, it has the effect of making the watch quietly feminine, rather than racy red. The soft pink, satin-finish alligator strap is echoed in the pink reflective tones of the mother-of-pearl dial. The moon phase indicator is a slightly darker shade of pink, and the whole thing is surrounded by diamonds and pink sapphires in graded tones, set into the bezel and horns. The gems never reach the highest color saturation that is possible for pink sapphires, and this is obviously intentional; the shade is perfectly calibrated to be understated.

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These subtle infusions of pink serve to accent, rather than overwhelm the signature classic elements of the Classique collection, which by the way are the same as those on the men’s Classique models. They have the same classic Roman numerals, Breguet open-tipped hands in blue, fluted coin-edge case band, and the watch’s individual production number. The fact that these details are the same as those on the men’s Classique models is not an indication of any lack of imagination or inability to differentiate between men’s and ladies’ watches. On the contrary, it is a recognition that these are simply great qualities, worthy of incorporating into women’s watches as well as men’s. Okay, there is one heart on this watch, but it is so subtle that I missed it at first glance. The stationary part of the moon phase indicator is shaped like a heart, but if you look at any traditional moon phase watch (men’s or ladies’) you will notice that this element is quite often heart-shaped, just as a function of its purpose – sort of like the heart-shaped cam on some chronograph movements.

The Breguet Phase de Lune Dame, without the pink highlights, was introduced in 2016 as a part of the Classique collection. Its 30mm diameter is female-wrist appropriate, compared to the typical 33.5mm, 41mm, and 43mm (for the Hora Mundi) size of the men’s Classique models. It contains the automatic Caliber 537L, with a silicon balance spring, moon phase indicator and small seconds hand, and has a 45-hour power reserve. The movement is hand finished, with Côtes de Genève engraving on the bridges and a barleycorn pattern guilloché on the rotor, which can be seen through a sapphire crystal caseback. It is water-resistant to 30m, and set with 53 pink sapphires totaling 0.99 carat, and 13 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 0.143 carat. The Breguet Valentine’s Day Classique Phase de Lune Dame Ref. 9085 is a numbered limited edition of 14 pieces in 18k white gold, and priced at $31,300.

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