It is rather exciting to discover that Breguet has released a new iteration of one of its “Grande Complication” wristwatches without blowing its own horn. Perhaps for the latest Breguet 7637, the brand just didn’t need to. This modern-day minute repeater traces its roots back to founder Abraham-Louis Breguet’s invention of the gong-spring in 1783. The Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 most certainly comes with its innate bells and whistles. And it is not just its chimes that are clean and beautiful. This new addition to the lineup also dons a blue Grand Feu enamel dial that is pure and timeless.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637

A modern-day classic

Dark blue is a running theme for many of Breguet’s latest releases. Joining the constellation is this new Classique minute repeater with its midnight-blue dial and matching alligator strap. When we took a serious look through the brand’s new models, something subliminal stopped us in our tracks. And there it was: the Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 literally shone through the lineup with a halo around it.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637

We have covered a number of the Breguet’s Haute Horlogerie pieces this year, such as the Marine Hora Mundi travel watch, the Classique Calendrier, and a favorite of mine, the Tradition Fusée Tourbillon. Yet somehow, a deceptively understated minute repeater had escaped us. It’s almost as if we’re on autopilot to see complex designs when we look at high-complication watches. It is therefore wonderfully refreshing to discover that so much magic is discreetly concealed behind such a minimalist façade.

The Grand Feu glow

At a glance, you could almost confuse the new 7637 with the 5177 that Balazs previously reviewed. The two watches share the same blue Grand Feu (“great fire” in English) enamel dial. To read Balazs’s elaboration of this stunning artisanal dial and what its meticulous crafting process entails, head over to his article on the 5177.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637

The point is, you’d be fooled if you didn’t pay attention. The dial aesthetic for both is extremely simple, featuring Breguet Arabic numerals and the original “moon-tip” hands. Around the edge are minute markers in geometric and asterisk motifs. Apart from the Breguet logo below 12 o’clock, there is another very fine and subtle marking above 6 o’clock which Breguet calls a “secret signature”. But this is where the resemblance ends. The 7637 is even cleaner with two hands and no date.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637

Clean and simple style

Style-wise, the Breguet 7637 comes in a 42mm Classique case crafted in white gold. The signature round case is 12.35mm tall and has a finely fluted band. The Breguet-style lugs with rounded horns are welded to the case flawlessly. To activate the chiming mechanism, the case is constructed with a stylishly svelte slider at 9 o’clock. I really love how snugly both the repeater slide and the crown fit into the case body to enhance the contour. Sealing off the case are sapphire crystals on both sides.

The hidden wonders

And of course, we now know that the Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 is a different animal. Its mind-blowing mechanical marvels reveal themselves when you turn the case over. The hand-wound caliber 567/2 with 368 components has been entirely re-engineered from the original gong-spring. The patented movement was launched in 2009 with new materials and new positions for the gongs, gong rests, and hammers. The gongs are now made with gold instead of steel. And that is not an exercise in vanity.

According to Breguet, gold is chosen because it produces the finest and richest quality of sound. As the circular gongs and the watch case are both in gold with the same intrinsic impedance, the sound travels from the gongs to the exterior of the watch case more efficiently. And this innovation is what has earned Breguet a patent. The result is a spectacularly pure sound that makes the best repeater of all repeaters. If you want to hear the sound, you can sample it in the video here.

More than meets the eye

Not satisfied with just creating the most crystal-clear sound, Breguet ensures that the highly intricate mechanism is also a feast for the eye. The movement is extravagantly decorated and engraved entirely by hand. The hard-metal hammers are polished and beveled while the sweeping bridges and the plates below are covered in ornate filigree work. Breguet really shows off what it is capable of with this kind of top-notch finishing. The repeater movement also features 31 jewels and a Breguet overcoil hairspring. It has a beat rate of 18,000vph (2.5Hz) and a power reserve of 40 hours.

The new Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 is particularly enchanting because is a departure from the traditional aesthetics of the previous iterations. Its blue Grand Feu enamel dial lends a contemporary feel with its discreet and timeless expression.

For more information, visit Breguet’s official website.

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