Pre-Baselworld 2018: Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367
The inventor of the tourbillon stays classy.
Of course, it has to be a tourbillon. Breguet, whose namesake founder Abraham-Louis Breguet, wrote the rulebook back in 1801, decides to start its Baselworld 2018 campaign with the gravity-defying complication that has enamoured collectors for centuries. And not just any tourbillon wristwatch, mind you, but one that is loaded with class and advanced engineering to tell the world that Breguet is still the first and last word on tourbillons.
We won't dwell on the inner workings of the tourbillon mechanism, but if you want to know more, please feel free to check out our primer here. What we will do instead is take stock of how far Breguet has come with the tourbillon. Since its invention in 1801, the tourbillon has evolved from a source of practical undertaking for pocket watches, to an elevated form of horological expression. For its part, Breguet has always pushed the envelope, marching out the likes of double tourbillons, to modern versions bolstered by state-of-the-art silicon components.
For its first Baselworld 2018 offering, Breguet turns back the clock with the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367, a watch that harkens back to the days when ultra-thin timepieces were technical feats in themselves. This watch is, in fact, a successor to the Ref. 5377 from 2013 (below), driven by the same super-svelte automatic tourbillon movement that measures just 3mm in height.
Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5377 from 2013
But where the Ref. 5377 brimmed with drama with a dial that featuring a combination of four different engine-turned patterns, the Ref. 5367 takes a more pared-down - but no less awesome - artistic approach with a grand feu enamel dial. And for all of the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatic 5367's old-world refinement, the Calibre 581 that drives the watch is a state-of-the-art micro-machine. It features an escapement with silicon balance spring and a 'high-energy' barrel that offers up to 80 hours of power reserve despite the movement's svelteness.
Many brands have taken Abraham-Louis Breguet's tourbillon and reinterpreted the complication over the years. But it is safe to say that Breguet as a brand today remains the standard-bearer of the mechanism, and that eyes are always on the name that started it all.