breguet - Tourbillon Messidor
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
breguet - Tourbillon Messidor

Tourbillon Messidor

breguet

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

The tourbillon regulator ranks high among Breguet’s most significant inventions. Having determined that gravity interfered with the regularity of watch movements, Breguet got the idea of fitting the escapement in a cage or carriage effecting a complete rotation on itself in exactly one minute. This way, whatever the position in which the watch may find itself, its rate variations cancel themselves out by recurring at regular intervals. The Breguet Classique Tourbillon Messidor design salutes the master’s ingenious invention which he patented, according to the French Revolutionary calendar, on 7 Messidor Year IX (June 26, 1801). Driven by a handwound movement and lodged in a spacious -looking carriage, this uncluttered tourbillon design adds its distinctive character to the watch’s already fascinating personality. Its trim, horologically elegant design features curving, swirling bridges and bars that add an unexpected look to the composition. Its discreet sapphire crystal stresses the entire design’s airy construction, providing a transparent background for the steady pace of the blued Breguet hands. The overall effect is one of grace and harmony, of floating serenely through space in step with the tourbillon’s circular dance, an array of meticulously finished parts lovingly polished, chamfered, chased and scored with parallel decorative strokes by the most versatile of all instruments, the human hand.

Technical specifications

Case
  • Platinum 40mm
Caliber
  • Breguet Calibre 558 SQ2 mechanical manual
Functions
  • Hours, Minutes, small second, Tourbillon
Dial
  • Skeleton with pink gold ornaments set into a sapphire crystal.
Bracelet
  • Black alligator
Special
  • The openworked movement and the Tourbillon shaft is held by two sapphire crystals

Who's who

It’s a rare occasion: when asked “Why have Breguet at Chronopassion?” Laurent Picciotto is visibly stuck for a quick answer. But the asker scarcely has time to savour his narrow victory before Laurent quickly recovers: “It goes without saying. We can’t do without Breguet. Breguet invented everything – or nearly,” before evening the score with one of his characteristic aphorisms: “beauty is eternal.” The relationship between Chronopassion and Breguet is now firmly established and very promising – but things were not always so. After having been at 271 Rue Saint Honoré for almost a quarter of a century, Breguet suddenly became the focus of special attention a few years ago when a very particular event occurred – the sale of the brand to the Swatch Group. “I stepped back a bit in order to observe what was happening: initially, it seemed to me that the image of the Group and that of the grand old lady of watchmaking were not really compatible,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. Within a few months, however, he was reassured: “Hayek senior adopted Breguet as his baby. He immediately grasped the magnitude and weight of its history. Within two or three years, he clearly stated his desire to develop it, whilst remaining committed to its great tradition. Breguet is not just any old brand. It constitutes a whole swathe of the history of watchmaking in its own right.” The developments undertaken by the Swatch Group were completely consistent with Chronopassion’s approach: preserving capital whilst constantly adding something new, in keeping with the founder’s original wishes. In the end, over the years, Breguet has successfully presented historic yet contemporary watches, at amazingly attractive prices. “Breguet continues to be a benchmark. Its timepieces are quite simply of perfect design. Every register is covered, from ladies’ watches through to military chronographs, raised to new heights by the brand in its approach to the Type 20,” concludes Laurent Picciotto. “Here in the twenty-first century, Breguet is still very much a force to be reckoned with.” Journalist : Olivier Mûller

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