Breguet and the Classique

A contemporary example of the Breguet Classique in Rose Gold

A contemporary example of the Breguet Classique in Rose Gold

"Great website! What do you think of the brand Breguet, I love the looks of the Classique. He did invent the tourbillon.
Thank you,

Hi David, 

Thank you for the question and comment!

Yes, Breguet did invent the Tourbillon and actually made some improvements to Perrelet's automatic movement back in the 1770s. These were not commercially viable, but it was Breguet's version that he called perpetuelles that Rolex got the idea to call their automatic watches "perpetual" watches. A clever move by Rolex, because normally the term perpetual is reserved for perpetual calendars, which Rolex has never made and does not know how to make. In other words, they use perpetual as a synonym to automatic, but their perpetual watches are no different than a $50 Seiko 5 (in concept)... but I digress.

The point in all that (as it pertains to Breguet), is to say that as a brand Breguet has serious, serious pedigree. Anyone who says different is fooling themselves. The problem is that after the 70s rolled around and the "quartz crisis" took hold, Breguet was a victim and was sold off to the Swatch Group.

And the problem with this is the fact that Swatch uses all the brands they bought to position themselves across all price points and of course, make money.

Longines for example, was once at the top of the watch world (especially in the40s and 50s), and now they're a mid-tier brand thanks to Swatch.

But, when it comes to Breguet, without a doubt Swatch has them positioned at the top of their pyramid, along with Blancpain and a couple others, and appears as if they've left them to exist as independently as possible.

Breguet still makes many of their movements, and as a company they have really maintained the overall look and feel that is truly Breguet.

Thats not to say something wasn't lost when Swatch acquired them, but at least they did not emasculate them like the aforementioned Longines.

In fact, as you mentioned, Breguet did invent the Tourbillon way back when, and if I could buy any Tourbillon today, a Breguet would top my list.

Regarding the Classique (and lets focus on the simplest time only version of the Classique), of course its a wonderful watch/watch collection. It better be at this price, and therein lies my dilemma.

My preference is to start with my head, then move to my heart when buying a watch. So, step one is what else is out there at the same price (more or less). I then eliminate the obvious crap (Hublot always comes to mind when I do this).

From there, I move to the movement, and in this case there is nothing to discount the Classique, but you will find serious serious competition from other brands such as Jaeger LeCoultre, IWC, etc. You may even get a Royal Oak with the 3120 *close* enough to justify considering it.

After that, I'd bring in the subjective aspects. Personally, I eliminate anything bigger than 42mm, or 39mm if its a dress watch like the Classique, I love thin watches, I kinda prefer leather straps to integrated straps, etc. In other words, now that I know Im no longer in the danger zone of buying crap, I will allow myself to use my heart to start eliminating watches. 

If, after all that, the Classique is still on top of your list, then I'd go for it (if in fact you are asking because you're lucky enough to be in a position to buy such a watch).

Another positive to this watch is that out in the real world, you don't see that many. I'd have a much much harder time buying a Rolex at this price than any Breguet. Even compared with other worthwhile brands, Breguet is still less common.

One last thing I'd offer, too, although it doesn't apply to the Classique is I don't particularly like spending an extra $10k or so, just because a watch is gold. If a watch is available in Steel and Gold I will always buy Steel and save the money for another watch. Remember, a watch is a machine first, *not* jewelry.

The exception to that rule is if I really really want something that isn't silver in tone (for what ever reason). For example, I love Rose Gold watches with grey or slate colored dials. The mix is impossible to beat.

Thanks again for your question and good luck!