It has been a while ago that we covered Breguet here on Fratello Watches (in this article by Ming Thein on the Breguet La Tradition). There is no specific reason about the non-coverage, except that the brand wasn’t really on my radar. The brand always appeared to me as very classic – with the exception of the Marine and Type XX/XXI collections – and very expensive. Although Breguet didn’t change much, perhaps my taste for watches did.
Just recently, I’ve started to warm up to Breguet’s classic round fluted cases and hand guilloché dials. It is probably because my collection consists – with just a few exceptions – of sporty watches. For formal occasions or ‘just because’ I’ve been looking around to acquire a more classical timepiece that I can wear.
With regards to Breguet, the fear of the price tag is still there though. This Breguet 5447BR has a € 268.000 Euro (including VAT) (~ $329,000.- USD) price tag that definitely rules it out for me and my quest for a classic watch, but an interesting watch to have in front of our lens. Even though I am convinced that most people who are lucky enough to be able to buy a watch like this Breguet 5447BR Grande Complication, will probably not go on-line to read reviews of the watch before they make the purchase. They just go ahead and do it. However, even for the people who are not able to buy a piece like this it is nice to read about these incredible high-end pieces once in a while.
Luckily, Breguet also has watches in their Classique collection that have – all is relative though – a more friendly price tag. But let’s talk about this beautiful Classique Grand Complication Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeater timepiece first.
Breguet 5447BR Classique Grande Complication
One of the first things that I noticed about this Breguet 5447BR is the very modest case size for a Grande Complication watch. These days, it is quite difficult to find a very modest size classic watch that houses a minute repeater and perpetual calendar. Perhaps it has something to do with the minute repeater gong or so, as the acoustics might need a large case for the best results, but I rather prefer a watch that you could actually wear on a daily basis. Aside from the aforementioned price tag, this watch is definitely capable of being worn on a daily basis.
With a diameter of just 40mm and a height of 15.22mm, this watch houses two complex functions: a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar. The hand-wound caliber 567 RMP1 caliber has a power reserve of 40 hours. The perpetual calendar displays – as you can see on the photo – the day, date, month, leap years as well as the phases and age of the Moon.
The minute repeater is activated by the lever on the left side of the case. The wearer has to slide this down to hear the watch strike the hours, quarters and minutes using two different gongs. To get the best out of it, set the watch to 11:59 to hear 11 strokes for the hours on the first gong, 3 double strokes for the quarters on both gongs and 14 strokes for the minutes on the second gong.
Besides the slider for the minute repeater, you will find two correctors for the day of the week indicator and the other one advances the moon phase display. On the right side of the case, you will find – besides the crown for winding and setting the time – two correctors for the year & month (simultaneously in one month steps) and date.
Correcting and setting the watch is very user-friendly on this Breguet 5447BR but should always be done with care and patience.
Even though Breguet was the inventor of the tourbillon, I favour a minute repeater over a tourbillon. So I would pick this minute repeater over a Grande Complication with tourbillon. The chiming of a minute repeater timepiece is so magical, it really brings the watch to life. Even more so than a continuously rotating escapement cage, which also brings a bit of lack of serenity to a dial, in my opinion.
The blue ‘Breguet’ – or pomme – hands are sleek and perfectly keep that beautiful hand-made guilloché dial as clean and readable as possible. The work on the dial is so nicely done, that it will take you some time to discover all its little details.
Above you can see the case back of the Breguet 5447BR. A gold bezel with some engravings (we removed the case number) and a sapphire crystal in the middle so you can admire the beautiful hand-finished caliber 567RMP1.
Stunning hand-engraving on the bridges and main plate, wonderful finish on the gears and the two hammers with high polished beveled edged. A feast for the eyes and just maybe, an indicator why this Breguet 5447BR Grande Complication Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar has such a high price tag.
Of course, the Breguet 5447BR is delivered on a high quality alligator strap and a gold folding clasp.
In the end, this watch isn’t about the price tag for me. It is about haute horlogerie in its most purist form, hand craft and fine watchmaking. Everything has been done in a certain way with a reason and no compromise have been made by Breguet when designing and manufacturing this watch. Whether this piece of art can live up to its price tag of $329K USD is up to the buyer, although my guess is that a buyer of this Breguet 5447BR already owns a couple of watches from this brand.
More information on the Breguet 5447BR can be found here.