|Year of production (circa)
18K White gold
Original gold folding clasp
Original box & papers
Breguet Classique Ref. 5157BB
Breguet is arguably one of the most under-appreciated houses in the watch world. The problem is not that it is not highly regarded or respected, it is just not nearly as “top-of-mind” as houses like Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Söhne. And that is a shame, considering the quality of its work and its history dating back to the late 1700s.
We are proud to present a watch that clearly proves that Breguet is one of the very best. Not through a highly complicated model, but rather through one of the brand’s simpler offerings. It is in the base models that artisanship in design and craft are exposed in their bare essence. And this Ref. 5157BB does not disappoint.
The 18k white gold ultra-thin case measures a mere 5,3 millimetres in height. Its slim profile is further enhanced by the rather large diameter of 38,5 millimetres. The case flanks are decorated with Breguet’s characteristic coin-edge patterning.
Breguet is known for its guilloche work and this watch clearly shows it. The silver dial is a piece of art that looks deceptively simple from a distance. Up close, it quickly becomes clear what intricate artistry is going on. The wide open central portion of the dial is fitted with a hobnail pattern. It is surrounded by a circularly brushed ring containing the printed Roman numerals. Surrounding this ring are several decorative tracks cut into the dial.
Above the printed Breguet logo, flanking the ‘XII’ on either side, is a set of ‘secret’ logos. A shallowly engraved ‘Breguet’ times two, as a discreet final confirmation that a master dial maker has been at work.
This Ref. 5157BB is powered by the beautiful Caliber 502.3. Its off-centre architecture and stunning finishing work, including more guilloche work on the rotor, are a joy to behold through the see-through caseback.
This impressive Breguet is now available and comes complete with the original box and papers.
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While the Swiss might spring to mind first, when thinking of high-end watchmaking, the French were rather early to the party. Abraham-Louis Breguet founded Breguet in 1775 in Paris, France. It is one of those old-world houses, with a strong focus on tradition and heritage. No futuristic angular designs in carbon fiber here. Just pure, old school craftsmanship in haute horology.
Breguet pioneered many concepts and technologies we now take for granted. They were, for instance, the very first to create a wrist-worn watch in 1810. A special commissioned project for Caroline Bonaparte, queen of Naples.
Breguet was also the first to create a self-winding pocket watch movement, labeled Perpetuelle as early as 1780. And if you are still not convinced that the French can do some serious watchmaking: Breguet also invented the tourbillon.
Breguet’s reputation is cemented by its impressive clientele. From influential composers such as Rachmaninoff and Rossini to Ettore Bugatti, Napoleon Bonaparte and Winston Churchill. They all chose Breguet to keep them on schedule.
While Breguet was acquired by Swatch Group in 1999, the house maintains a strong focus on traditional watchmaking. You will find classical French designs, highly complicated movements and a rich array of finishing techniques here.
If you love the aesthetics of coin-edge cases, Roman numerals and intricate guilloché work, Breguet will surely speak to you.
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