It’s not every day that we receive a review watch that makes our entire team line up to give it a try. Breguet delivered the Classique Répétition Minutes (French for minute repeater) ref. 7637 and graciously allowed us to go hands-on with it for a while. I won’t say it was the best time of my life, but wearing this watch certainly made me smile a lot.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minute 7637

My appreciation for Breguet

It’s no secret that I am an admirer of Breguet. Not only did this brand and its founder play such a crucial role in many horological inventions and designs, but the craftsmanship of Breguet’s watches today is also incredibly impressive. My appreciation increased when I visited the Breguet manufacture in Le Chenit, Switzerland, several years ago.

I love to visit brands where you can see the entire process of manufacturing the movements, from storing big brass beams to the hand-finishing parts and assembly of calibers. Not all brands that claim to produce their movements in-house can show you all these steps under one roof.

Image: Breguet

I bought my first Breguet timepiece earlier this year (the Tradition 7027BA) after instantly falling in love with the 7027 at a get-together organized by the hosts of the Dutch watch podcast Mannen van de Tijd. I always thought I’d end up with a Classique (5157), but the Tradition swept me off my feet. The craving for a Classique is still there, and receiving one of Breguet’s Classique Grande Complication models doesn’t help stop it.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minute 7637 on wrist

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes ref. 7637

Anyhow, let’s move on to the Breguet watch we had here for review. Very silently, Breguet introduced a new addition to its Classique Grande Complication Répétition Minutes watches. This reference 7637 is now available in 18K rose gold, featuring a minute repeater complication in a 42mm case with a black Grand Feu enamel dial.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 diagonal

The Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 is not an entirely new watch. There was already a version with a hand-guilloché dial and another with a Grand Feu dial in blue. But the new black Grand Feu enamel dial with Breguet numerals gives the watch a new sense of vitality. Its 18K rose gold case measures 42mm in diameter and 12.35mm thick. It wears larger because the Classique cases from Breguet have these thin, long (49mm) lugs.

The magic is on the reverse side of the Breguet ref. 7637. The beautiful hand-engraved and hand-finished movement is truly an eyecatcher and ranks Breguet undoubtedly in the higher echelons of watchmaking. Pull the lever on the left side of the case, and the hammers will start hitting the gongs. To get the most out of it, I set the time to 12:59, and enjoy the music. The hammers hit the hours, quarters, and minutes; you can hear their song in the video we recorded and published (we activated the minute repeater at 1:05 in the video).

The movement is Breguet’s 567/2, which is completely manufactured in-house in Le Chenit, Switzerland. This is not a new movement, but it is impressive nevertheless. With beautiful hand-engraved bridges, a hand-engraved Breguet logo, a unique number, hand-polished and beveled hammers, a gold gong spring, and more, the Breguet caliber 567/2 is a work of art with 358 parts. It ticks at an 18,000vph frequency and has a power reserve of 40 hours.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 dial close-up

Grand Feu enameling

As you can see in the pictures our photographer took, the Grand Feu enameled black dial is special as well. The Breguet Arabic numerals, minute markers, and Breguet logo are applied in a powdered silver color, providing a nice contrast to the dial’s deep black hue.

According to Breguet, the production process of this type of dial is complex, and it can take weeks before each one is finished. It’s all about the right mix of ingredients (silica, ground oxides, and colored powders), the number of layers of melted enamel, and the timing and temperature of each added layer. It’s a special craft that only a few people master today.

The secret Breguet signature

The result is striking, and it immediately shows that this is not your ordinary black lacquered dial. Between the center pinion and the silver “6” numeral, there’s the famous Breguet signature. This signature has been used as a method to prevent counterfeiting but is now more of a recognizable “feature” of Breguet. You will also find this signature engraved on the hand-guilloché dials in other Breguet watches.

Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637

On the large dial, you will only find two gold hands (more than enough) in the typical Breguet style with open tips. For me, these long, sleek hands have one of the most beautiful designs ever.

The Breguet 7637 on the wrist

It has been a joy to wear this Breguet Classique Répétition Minutes 7637 on the wrist and to listen to the hammers striking the gold gongs. Furthermore, I enjoyed the signature Breguet design elements, such as the gold case’s coin-like edge and polished upper and lower portions. These elements are strongly embedded in Breguet’s neoclassical design style, and although it took me a while to appreciate them, I now wholeheartedly do. I always find myself coming back to the Breguet Classique models whenever I am searching for that perfect dress watch.

This reference 7637 carries one of the nicest Grande Complications that Breguet offers. I am not a fan of tourbillons and prefer the striking mechanism on any given day. The tourbillon (another Breguet invention) is much appreciated in Haute Horlogerie. Still, somehow, I got a bit bored with it and think it belongs in pocket watches instead of wristwatches.

Making me constantly aware of the dangers

Now, although I am against the popular (and constant) debate regarding watch sizes since I think it heavily depends on the (type of) watch and the wearer’s wrist size and shape, I do feel that the Breguet 7637 is a bit on the large side to be a comfortable daily wearer. Although 42mm is a size that I can work with, the long lugs do require a large wrist size to wear this comfortably.

The Breguet 7637 comes on a black leather strap with 18K rose gold folding clasp

The price of €266,700 / US$277,480 made me constantly aware that I should not bump this large watch into a doorpost or desk. The same watch with more modest dimensions would also be expensive, but the likelihood of unwanted collisions would be lower.

If you adore the style of this watch but the price of a minute repeater stops you from purchasing it, have a look at Breguet’s ref. 5177. For approximately 10% of the price of the ref. 7637, you can add a 38mm Breguet Classique with a Grand Feu enamel dial to your collection. Do you prefer a slightly larger, say, 40mm case? If so, have a look at Breguet’s 7147 with a Grand Feu enamel dial.

Breguet Classique 5177 (€26,800) — Image: Breguet

Admittedly, wearing this masterpiece did not make me want to sell several of my best watches to fund a Classique Répétition Minutes 7637. However, it most certainly made my desire to own a Breguet Classique even stronger. I suppose it is only a matter of time…

Visit Breguet’s official website for more information. Also, make sure to read our interview with Breguet’s CEO Lionel a Marca.

Watch specifications

Classique Répétition Minutes
Black Grand Feu enamel with Breguet Arabic numerals in silver powder
Case Material
18K rose gold
Case Dimensions
42mm (diameter) × 49mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.35mm (thickness)
Case Back
18K rose gold and sapphire
Breguet 567/2 — manual winding, 18,000vph frequency, 40-hour power reserve, 31 jewels, gold gongs, hand-engraved bridges
Black alligator with 18K rose gold folding clasp
Time (hours, minutes) and minute repeater
€266,700 / US$277,480