Exactly three years after the original Twin Rotating Tourbillon’s launch, the legendary watchmaking house Breguet has offered a follow-up to the highly (considering the hefty price stick that it comes with) sought-after model. Still featuring a pair of tourbillons on its silvered, hand-guilloched dial, this time the watch comes in a massive case made of rose gold instead of platinum. Although considerably less expensive than the version in Pt950, it still retails at a price of a Bentley limousine, but that’s something to be expected from a brand that is usually associated with conspicuous consumption.
Just like the original model, the Breguet Classique Grande Complication 5347 Twin Rotating Tourbillon watch features a hand-wound mechanical movement with a pair of tourbillons traveling gracefully around its dial like a couple of mechanical swans.
Coupled by a differential gear and placed on a rotating center plate, the little mechanical whirlpools work independently, but they sort of balance each other, doubling the timekeeper’s impressive (for such an archaic thing as a mechanical wristwatch) accuracy.
The tourbillons rotate at a speed of one revolution per 12 hours so that their connecting bridge can act as an hour hand, which is, too, quite unusual and attracts attention even from those whom watch snobs usually refer to as ‘uninitiated’. I mean, it’s kind of difficult to impress anyone these days by a ‘normal’ tourbillon: even Asian watchmakers have finally learned how to make these little contraptions.
Yet, a watch with an actually working double-tourbillon design is something on a completely different order of magnitude when it comes to technical sophistication and engineering prowess. You can’t just steal the design, you need to know exactly what you are doing when creating the piece.
Still, using the same principle to drive the minute hand would probably make the watch even more complex. They’d probably be pushing it into the territory where the cost of developing the necessary mechanism, while, what’s even more impressive, keeping it reliable enough for what is essentially a “highly-complicated daily driver for extremely wealthy clientele,” would be close to prohibitive despite the gadget’s sky-high price.
So, the minute hand here is a standard centrally-mounted piece, which is, to my taste, not that bad: from where I stand, it’s actually nice that at least part of the display looks more or less standard.
Both hands are crafted from rose gold that looks especially contrast on the background of silvered hand-decorated dial that features a very impressive “fish scale” guilloche pattern. Requiring a lot of skilled labor, this is not your basic “Geneva stripes” pattern that, thanks to dirt-cheap automated tools, can now be seen even on sub-$500 watches from second-tier watchmaking brands.
Usually, classic dress are expected to measure something between 36 and 39 millimeters in diameter, yet, like many high complication watches issued during the recent couple of decades, the Breguet Classique Grande Complication 5347 Twin Rotating Tourbillon is by no means a small watch.
Whole 44 millimeters in diameter, it is more than 17 millimeters thick, which makes it almost as massive as some divers.
This model, however, is only 30 meters water resistant, so the main credit for the impressive thickness of the watch goes to the Caliber 588 hand-wound movement and its pair of tourbillons.
It’s been exactly a decade since Swatch Group acquired the Breguet brand from a Bahrainese investment company.
During these ten years, Breguet is gradually returning to its roots, forgetting the era of constant financial troubles and slowly replacing sporty but tasteless chronographs with grand complication models.
After all, it was Abraham-Louis Breguet who designed and crafted the first tourbillon watch.
Breguet Classique Grande Complication 5347 Twin Rotating Tourbillon watch’s specification
Price range: About €300,000
Movement: Caliber 588, Breguet overcoil, 16 1/2 lines, 69 jewels, 2.5 Hz, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Complications: Twin tourbillon design
Power reserve: 50 hours
Case material: Rose gold, 18kt, transparent caseback
Case dimensions: 44.00 mm
Case height: 17.05 mm
Dial: Silvered, engine-turned, hand decorated
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Dark Brown natural leather