Pre-Owned Spotlight: Buy A Breguet Before It’s Too Late
Last week, I visited a watch get-together organized by the team from a Dutch watch podcast (Mannen van de Tijd). It was at a private location with a poker table, on which the guests put their watches (some even brought their entire collections). One of the watches that caught my eye was a beautiful 37mm Breguet Tradition 7027 in rose gold.
All the guests present agreed that it was quite an impressive piece, and despite all the other interesting watches that were there that day, the rose gold Breguet Tradition was the one that I couldn’t let go of. Lo and behold, I found myself on Chrono24 the next few evenings, searching for a similar-looking model. It showed once more that Breguet is a heavily underrated brand. The prices for pre-owned Breguet watches are incredibly attractive. Heck, compared to some of the market prices today for certain Haute Horlogerie pieces, the retail prices of some Breguet models still make sense. But this is a Pre-Owned Spotlight article, after all, so I will stick to secondhand offerings.
In the last few days, I’ve been looking around for Breguet watches, and I found a few interesting ones to share.
Breguet Regulator 1747
Here’s a 36mm Breguet Regulator ref. 1747. That reference number is far from random, as it refers to the birth year of Abraham-Louis Breguet. In 1997, Breguet introduced this watch as a limited edition of 300 pieces to commemorate the 250th birthday of the brand’s founder. You could say that 250 pieces would be more fitting, but it is what it is. This watch is a regulator, which has central minutes and a sub-dial for hours. Regulator dials come from clocks, which were used to set every other clock or watch. With a separate dial for the minutes and hours, it was easier — or perhaps safer — to read the time without making mistakes. If I am not mistaken, the Chronoswiss Régulateur was the first wristwatch to have a regulator dial layout in the late 1980s. Anyway, this Breguet dates back to 1997 and is made of yellow gold.
The hand-guilloché dial displays the hours and minutes as well as a date aperture at 3 o’clock. And a Breguet watch, of course, has Breguet hands in blue. Inside this watch is the Breguet caliber 561, a beautifully finished movement with a guilloché-decorated rotor. The movement isn’t visible through the solid gold case back, but you will know that it’s there. This watch is currently on offer through Bulang & Sons, one of the vintage watch specialists in Europe. I don’t know what the original price was in 1997, but the price of the watch today is €12,900 (~US$13,500). Although the original guarantee papers are included, the original box is not. You can find this offer here.
Breguet Classique 5140
Are you looking for something bigger? More contemporary, perhaps? If so, here’s a Breguet Classique with an enamel dial. I am more in favor of the hand-guilloché dials from Breguet, but this white enamel dial with its Breguet numerals is also very attractive. As for the case, this ref. 5140 in 18K yellow gold measures 40.5mm in diameter. Inside is the self-winding caliber 502.3SD, a movement with a decentralized rotor with guilloché decoration. Just like the ref. 1747, the movement isn’t visible through the solid-gold case back.
My favorite Breguet Classique is still the 5157, but this 5140 is a pretty one. The recessed sub-dial has a beautiful small blue hand for the running seconds in true Breguet style. The gold mid-case features coin-edge knurling, and a smooth bezel sits on top. Although the Breguet movements are a feast for the eyes, it’s also hard to resist a nice solid-gold case back. This gold Breguet dates to 2010 and comes without a box or papers. The price of €7,850 (~US$8,250) makes up for that, though. You can find this offer here.
Breguet Tradition 7027
And this is the watch that instigated my search for gold Breguet watches — the Tradition ref. 7027, a 37mm Breguet with the manual-winding 507DR movement. I tried on the rose gold version, but it’s also stunning in yellow gold, as seen here. This version has a silvery-white Breguet dial for the minute and hours, whereas the rose gold version has a black dial. What I like about the Tradition collection is that it shows the movement in the way that Abraham-Louis Breguet developed calibers for his pocket watches.
Although the current Tradition watches — ref. 7057, for example — have a 40mm diameter, this 2005 ref. 7027BA/11/9V6 measures 37mm. This watch is on offer in the UK at £12,950 (~US€16,500) and comes with boxes and papers. You can find it here.
My apologies for going a bit overboard with Breguet this week, but I can’t hide my enthusiasm for these watches, especially the 37mm Tradition. As you can see, Breguet watches are underrated or undervalued, though I realize that pointing this out is a double-edged sword. On one hand, many would like to keep this a secret because it’s so nice to be able to buy watches like this at attractive prices. On the other hand, it’s also our role to point these things out to those who are not even aware of these beauties. Well, if I meant to play the hype game, I would have bought some already and written about them later on.
What do you think about Breguet watches? Do you agree these are good value for money on the pre-owned market? Let us know in the comments.
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