There’s no denying the fact that tourbillons, often found in high-end luxury mechanical watches, are marvels of engineering. However, their practical impact on the accuracy of modern watches is debatable. Advances in watchmaking technology and materials have significantly reduced the effects of gravity on timekeeping, making the tourbillon more of a testament to the watchmaker's skill and artistry rather than a critical advancement in timekeeping precision. The latest Classique Tourbillons from Breguet include the 18 ct white gold (Ref. 3358BB/VD/986D0) and 18 ct rose gold (Ref. 3358BR/8D/986D0) versions.
Such pieces continue to remain highly sought-after due to their historical significance and the craftsmanship involved in their creation. The rotating cage of a tourbillon adds a captivating visual element to a watch dial. The escapement and the balance wheel are often placed inside a rotating cage, which typically rotates once every minute, averaging out the positional errors caused by gravity, as much as possible.
Crafted in 18 ct white gold, this 35 mm Breguet Classique Tourbillon features a bezel and lugs, set with 69 diamonds, and a crown at 3 o’clock with a rose-cut diamond. The midnight blue mother-of-pearl dial of the watch has 21 gold sandblasted and polished stars, set with six diamonds.
There is an off-centred chapter ring at 12 o’clock that displays Breguet’s signature Arabic hour markers, with a serial number written at 4 o’clock, and rhodium-plated gold Breguet hands. A balance wheel sits at 6 o’clock, incorporated into a tourbillon bridge, studded with 45 diamonds, and a blue spinel pivoting stone can be spotted at the centre.
This Breguet Classique Tourbillon model comes in a 35 mm 18 ct rose gold case. The fully bejewelled version features 69 diamonds on the bezel and the lugs, and a rose-cut diamond on the crown at 3 o’clock. This variant features a dial, set with 281 diamonds; the gems outside the white mother-of-pearl chapter ring, which is located at 12 o’clock, form curves while the ones that are found inside are snow-set.
At the base of the dial is a curved and polished oval-shaped aperture, incorporated into a balance wheel, on top of which is a rounded gold bar, set with 14 diamonds, complete with a tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock.
The two new Breguet Classique Tourbillon timepieces are equipped with the 187 D movement, whose balance oscillates at a frequency of 2.5 Hz. This hand-wound movement offers a 50-hour power reserve. Finishing each watch is a midnight blue or a crimson red alligator leather strap with a triple blade folding clasp in gold, set with 42 diamonds.