A blue wave continues to roll over the luxury watch industry, as more and more brands strive to put forward their own distinct shades of the popular color. One of the latest to do so, and in a rather interesting way, is Breguet, whose new Classique 5517 is fronted by a dazzling grand feu enamel dial in so-called Breguet blue — a hue achieved by painstakingly re-creating the color of the watchmaker’s emblematic blued steel hands.
Breguet Classique 5177 (Ref. 5177BB/2Y/9V6
The Breguet Classique, among the most elegantly simple in the manufacture’s portfolio, is inspired by 18th-century pocketwatches created by brand founder and namesake Abraham-Louis Breguet, which stood out amongst the “baroque exuberance” (to use Breguet’s words) of other timepieces of that era. This is the first in the collection to feature a blue dial in grand feu enamel — a material characterized by the kiln-firing of its pigments at temperatures exceeding 800 degrees Celsius (hence, “grand feu,” or “big fire”). This particular shade of blue, arrived at after extensive research to ensure its stability during firing, mimics that of Breguet’s classically shaped hands, which is also wrought by a delicately controlled firing process. The open-tipped hands on this model, however, are made of rhodium-plated steel for legibility against the deep blue face, while the Arabic numerals, stars, diamonds, and fleur-de-lis on the chapter ring silvered, and larger in size than those of previous Classique models, also in the service of greater readability. The numerals in the trapezoidal date aperture at 3 o’clock are executed in the same process as the hour numerals (both use calligraphy used by Abraham-Louis Breguet himself on the No. 15 pocketwatch from 1787) and the Breguet “secret signature” appears in enamel relief at 6 o’clock.