Breguet Classiques: Romancing History

by Susanah Cheok

Meet a pair of Classiques, the 7137 and 7337 that are eternally modern in their legacy guillochage or engine-turning code, and in their stately yet contemporary aesthetics.

In haute horology, there is a deep romance with stalwart technology and resilient complications, the time-tested functionalities that never fail, as well as beloved looks that endure.

Breguet’s love story is with its proprietary code, the guillochage, or engine turning forte, which goes to the heart of the brand, and that is once again encapsulated by two new and now evergreen timepieces – Classiques 7137 and 7337.

Engine turning action may seem reminiscent of automobiles, but is it? Well, in Breguet, it does ‘drive’ the beautiful mechanics of the watches. It is the centre, soul and powerhouse that make the magic happen on a Breguet timepiece, for every Breguet wearer to experience. You will see how Breguet’s engine-turning specialty facilitates each of the highlighted timepiece’s features.

From Pocket to Wrist

Breguet N°5 Face [pocket watch] and the Breguet Classique 7137 watch

The charming aesthetics of historic pocket watches created under the direction of Abraham-Louis Breguet and his son are the inspiration of the new classic stars 7137 and 7337, right down to the historic pocket watches’ readability – thanks to the addition of the art of engine turning introduced in 1786. And so, the Perpetualle Pocket watch is the inspiration of the Classique 7137, which features engine-turning patterns, as well as an hours chapter with Roman numerals.

Breguet 3833 [pocket watch] and the Breguet Classique 7337

It was in 1812 that radical stylistic innovation, off-center dials were pioneered in certain pocket watches, one of which was the Quarter-repeating watch No. 3833, sold in 1823 and exhibited at the Breguet Museum in Paris, which showcased an hours chapter at 6 o’clock, crowned by a moon-phase indicator at 12 o’clock, an arrangement that has been embraced by the Breguet Classique 7337.

Breguet Classique 7137

  • Breguet Classique 7137

While the engine turning craft was traditional created by hand, in 7137, it is happily in full bloom. Two centuries ago, the artisan used an engine-turning lathe for circular decorations or a “straight-line machine” for linear designs on the timepiece. In the Classique 7137, there are a panier maillé basket weave pattern for the power reserve display, a damier checkerboard pattern for the date display and a clous de Paris hobnailing pattern for the main part of the dial. Variations on the theme include a dial in Breguet blue in the white gold version, and in the rose gold version, the dial color is created using silver powder and a soft brush.

Breguet Classique 7337

  • Breguet Classique 7337

Delicate in appearance is the dial of the Classique 7337, which features circular grain d’orge barley grain for the edges of the hours chapter, damier checkerboard for the small seconds and Clous de Paris hobnailing in the center. Charming engraved clouds outlining the lacquered sky of the moon-phase indicator, sprinkled with scintillantes, suggest the iconic Milky Way. In this new Classique, which has stark suggestions of the pocket watch No. 3833, especially in terms of two apertures at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, which show the day and date, Breguet has remodeled the golden disc illustrating the moon in bright relief yet subtle brushed grooves.

Pure Classics Go Forward

  • The Breguet Classique 7137 in rose gold

Everyone loves authenticity, and if you are passionate about eternal looks that last, you’ll appreciate the open-tipped Breguet hands and Roman numerals that also ensure easy readability on the two Breguet Classiques. True to the marque’s traditions dating back to the end of the 18th century, Breguet adds the individual number of the watch to the dial, and engraves a secret signature there too. The Classique models have a trim case with pleated sides. The leather bracelet is held together by lugs, which are soldered for strength and shaped for the comfort of your wrist. These 39 mm models are powered by an extra-thin 502.3 caliber with an engine-turned gold rotor. This movement has a reduced thickness with its open barrel and an offset rotor and the unique design makes the otherwise concealed barrel spring visible.

All these details are strong indications of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s pursuit for horological evolution and modernity, and they compound the beauty of both the Classique 7137 and the Classique 7337 timepieces, making them treasured evergreens for our time and for all time.


Images courtesy of Breguet, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.


Related links:

Slim Pickings: Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395

Breguet: A Seafaring Tradition 

Tick Talk: Anatomy of a Watch

The Breguet House of Heritage

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