Slim Pickings: Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395

by Pearlyn Quan

There’s no such thing as too thin in the horological world of extra-plat tourbillon – and the latest Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 is one of its finest examples.

Even with today’s modern watchmaking methods, the ultra-thin tourbillon is a famously difficult-to-achieve feat of precision manufacturing, which is why it remains a relative rarity – let alone one with an automatic skeletonised movement.

The new exclusive Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 is an exquisite third iteration of this innovative design, first introduced in 2014. Continuing the fine legacy of the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Thin Automatic 5377 and the ultra-traditional enamel version, the 5367, the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 goes a step further by revealing its movement with an entirely skeletonised design, and absolutely stunning finishing.

See Through You

Having entirely redesigned its original tourbillon movement for this edition of the design, the House of Breguet is pushing the envelope once again with the creation of a wholly unique architecture.

The extreme finesse of its 581 caliber is achieved by the removal of almost 50 per cent of the material from this movement, without compromising the build. With a thickness of three millimeters, it is one of the finest self-winding tourbillon movements in the world. 

This feat of technical craftsmanship requires a series of often complex adjustments. For instance, the rotor was placed on the periphery of the plate, saving on thickness while at the same time preserving a clear view of the mechanism – allowing for a sexy glimpse of skin through the openwork.

A Technical Legacy

Breguet is one of the earliest and strongest contenders in the ultra-thin tourbillon game. It comes as no surprise, for the simple reason that the very invention of the game-changing tourbillon movement originates from Breguet’s founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, more than 220 years ago. When he invented the tourbillon, A-L Breguet not only improved the accuracy of pocket-chronometers, he also gave the watchmaking world one of its finest horological devices.

Patented in 1801, it continues to be used extensively in the world of watchmaking, and still generates as much fascination as it did two centuries ago.

With the extra-thin tourbillon device, Breguet introduces an ultra-lightweight carriage weighing no more than 0.290 grams in total, and equipped with an outstanding power reserve of 80 hours – featuring in the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Thin series.

Here, for the first time, it has been incorporated in a fully skeletonised design, a contemporary interpretation of this ancestral technique. The gold plate and bridges have been hollowed out so as to display the mechanical anatomy of the movement. 

Hand-crafted Finishing

To the trained eye, the true beauty of the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 lies in the play of moving parts within its exquisitely complex openwork, as well as the extremely high level of hand decoration.

Clous de Paris hobnailing is created using a diamond-tipped guilloche tool, featuring sharp edges which are painstakingly chamfered by hand, using a file until a perfectly smooth and even 45-degree bevel is created – a first at Breguet. Significant engraving work is then carried out by hand for different inscriptions, as well as borders to frame the holes.

This masterpiece sits in a fluted case topped with a domed glass-box revealing the movement, with a sapphire dial featuring applied hour markers in blued gold. It is worn on an alligator strap with a folding buckle, and is available in both pink gold and platinum.

We get upclose and personal with this stunning creation:

Related links:

Breguet: A Seafaring Tradition

Tick Talk: Anatomy of a Watch


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