Breguet has unveiled its latest design, which will be on display at Basel 2014. The timepiece titled “Classique Grande Complication Tourbillon Extra Thin Automatic” is a masterful creation, which combines the essence of this watchmaking giant and the spirit of innovation. Breguet is responsible for the release of many of the world’s most complicated creations, and its founder Abraham Louis Breguet is the inventor of the most exclusive complication – the Tourbillon.
Naturally, for a watch of this caliber Breguet outfits it with a Tourbillon which resides slightly off center at the 5 position. Tourbillons are used to negate the effects of gravity on the escapement which can cause variations on the precision of timepieces. The complication achieves this by rotating once every 60 seconds about itself which pushes the escapement to its limit in all directions. This causes errors to occur which cancel each other out. This tourbillon which translates to ‘whirlwind’ was invented in 1801.
It is unclear to me as to why Breguet has labeled this watch a Grande Complication, as typical Grande Complications are defined as having a function from the major complication groups i.e., timing complication (chronograph), a repeater (grande sonnerie, minute repeaters, or petite sonnerie), calendar (perpetual, or otherwise), and an astronomical complication (moon phase). A tourbillon is used to regulate the accuracy of a watch and thus is not included in the prerequisites necessary for the title of Grande Complication. This watch does, however, carry a retrograde power reserve at the 8:30 position which is beautifully decorated with a guilloche design that is different from the guilloche pattern found on the rest of the watch.
The hands are classic Breguet styled and are fashioned from blued steel, which contrasts wonderfully against the silvered dial. This timepieces does earn the title of Extra Thin as the case height is a slim 7mm. The movement used is manual mechanical and is made in house. The movement is just 3mm in thickness.