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Finest horological deviceBASELWORLD 2013: The Breguet Classique Tourbillon extra-thin automatic 5377

When he invented the tourbillon, A-L Breguet not only improved the accuracy of pocket-chronometers, he also gave the watchmaking world one of its finest horological devices. Since then, the Breguet company has made it a point of honour to pay tribute to this invention with timepieces each more elegant than the next.

The manufacturing company has designed the reference 5377 Classique Tourbillon extra thin automatic for admirers of this complication who wish to wear as thinner watch. This 42mm watch has all its identifying attributes as a Breguet product, including its engine-turned dial and open-tipped Breguet hands, welded lugs, fine fluting on the caseband, unique number and secret signature.

Yet once again it is the combination of elegance and efficiency that makes it a thoroughbred Breguet. This complicated watch is distinguished by its off-centre tourbillon, which is protected by several patents. The tourbillon carriage and the balance are in titanium, the balance-spring is made of silicon and the escapement is in silicon and anti-magnetic steel. The new calibre 581DR fitted into this timepiece beats at 4Hz — a high frequency for a tourbillon — without sacrificing power reserve. The patented “high-energy” barrel provides 90 hours of running time. To keep the height of the movement down to 3mm in a 7mm thick case, Breguet’s watchmakers have placed the bi-directional platinum winding rotor on the edge of the movement. This new movement, protected by two patents, has been made into a work of art; the fine engraving and superb workmanship can be admired through the sapphire-crystal caseback.

So far as its looks are concerned, the dial juxtaposes the symmetry of lines with the non-symmetrical features. Four engine-turned patterns demonstrate fine workmanship with a hobnail pattern for the hours and minutes chapter, a barleycorn surround, a straight chevron pattern for the power-reserve indicator at 8 o'clock and cross-hatching to outline each feature. A blue sapphire crowns the centre of the tourbillon bridge to draw the eye down from the hands. The case, on a leather strap, is water resistant to 3 bar (30m).