The 2011 Breguet Reveil du Tsar Boutique Edition (ref. 5707ER/29/9V6) with its grand feu-enameled face and a mechanical alarm feature offers a perfect balance of legibility and eternal elegance. Originally introduced during the Baselworld 2003 trade show, the Breguet Reveil du Tsar has been updated with a gorgeous white Grand Feu enamel dial.
While I am not the greatest fan of Breguet’s 2010 model range, this one simply takes my breath away.
The milky white dial, heat-blued hands, painstakingly finished mechanism, as well as meticulously painted numerals on the enameled face never fail to produce a stunning effect on yours truly.
Also, the watch offers an outstanding level of legibility, when a mighty torrent of information (an alarm clock sub-dial at 3 o’clock; a subsidiary second and small date aperture at 6 o’clock; a 24-hour GMT sub-dial at 9 o’clock; an alarm clock’s power reserve indicator between 10 and 11 o’clock; and, finally, an alarm on/off indicator at 12 o’clock) doesn’t drown you but refreshes your mind.
The alarm complication is also an example of great ergonomics.
As one may easily guess, it is operated with its own winding crown at 4 o’clock and a small pusher at 8 o’clock. Its own sub-dial is marked-up in Roman numerals and in a different typeface, which makes it even easier to separate it from the main dial.
The rest is more or less the same.
The Boutique Edition is supplied in the same 39 mm case and is powered by the same Breguet caliber 519F automatic movement. Built on 34 jewels and offering up to 45 hours of power reserve, the movement is beautifully decorated with Geneva stripes on its bridges and a spiral Barleycorn guilloche pattern on its 18-karat rose gold oscillating weight.
What’s interesting about the movement is that it has a history that goes back further in time than one might have imagined. Designed by Longines to overcome the aftermath of the dreaded “Quartz Crisis” (although some prefer to call it “Quartz Revolution”) and first introduced to public in late 1970s as Caliber L990, the mechanism was almost revolutionary packing such features a dual mainspring design and hacking seconds, as well as balance wheel a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillation per hour: something that was considered “high-speed” at the time.
Alas, the mechanism didn’t save Longines from losing its independence and in the process of the brand’s restructuring, it was sold to Lemania that fine-tuned it and offered as Caliber 881x. Then Lemania itself was bought by the same Swatch Group as Longines a decade and a half ago and finally, the mechanism ended in the full possession of Breguet. As you may have already guessed, Breguet uses the mechanism as a base for its numerous grand complication watches offering it as Caliber 519x. So, although purists may argue that the mechanism is not as ‘in-house’ as Breguet claims it to be, I think that broadly speaking, one still would be right to call it a high-quality Manufacture-grade movement.
As the name implies, the Boutique Edition will be sold exclusively at Breguet’s boutiques throughout the world.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Breguet Reveil du Tsar Enamel Boutique Edition (ref. 5707ER/29/9V6) specification
Price: $40,199 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Breguet caliber 519F, 34 jewels, 28,800 vph, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, second time zone, alarm, date
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case: 18-karat rose gold
Size: 39.00 mm
Dial: White, Grand Feu enameled
Numerals: Arabic on the main display, Roman on the alarm sub-dial
Hands: Steel, heat-blued
Water resistance: 30 meters
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective treatment on both sides