The strikingly gorgeous Breguet Classique 5717 Hora Mundi World Timer automatic wristwatch with programmable multiple time zones indicator was officially presented last month during the Baselworld 2011 trade show. But don’t hold your breath just yet: as it is customary for the Swiss-based ultra-luxury brand, the watch -which is supposed to be delivered both in 18-carat rose gold (ref. 5717BR/AS/9ZU, pictured,) as well as a lot more expensive platinum (ref. 5717PT/US/9ZU)- will go on sale to select stores no earlier than the end of the year.
At the latest industry trade show in Basel, Switzerland Breguet -one of the oldest Swiss watch Manufactures out there- has presented a great number of timepieces of different styles and functions and designed for different types of customers, including the vintage-styled Reveil du Tsar Enamel Boutique Edition model that featured a finely crafted enameled dial and a mechanical alarm module.
However, the most impressive and, perhaps, the most innovative in the whole 2011 model range was the new Breguet Classique 5717 Hora Mundi automatic watch, which is briefly reviewed in this article.
Presented in a finely crafted 44 millimeter case, which is going to be available both in “modest” 18-carat rose gold and in much more expensive, albeit less conspicuous thanks to its steel-like color, 950 platinum, the 5717 Hora Mundi features a new approach to a so called “world timer” watch (usually an ordinary GMT timekeeper with names of all time-zones printed or painted on its dial or bezel or, sometimes, rotating or fixed “city disk”.)
As you can see on the official photos that accompanied the Swiss brand’s press release, the watch lacks the customary “auxiliary” hour hand, which is usually employed to tell time in the second time zone.
Instead, the Classique 5717 Hora Mundi comes equipped with a special, mechanically programmable GMT module that allows you to set your “home” time zone and a second time zone and then simply jump between the two with a push of a button (located at 8 o’clock) when needed. The module works in such a fashion so that the push-piece activates not only the open-tipped hour hand, which is made of blued steel, but also changes readings of the day/night and date indicators, if necessary.
Compared to more common design with a secondary hour hand, this kind of display is a lot more ergonomic not only terms of time representation, but also with regards ease of use: something that you usually expect from a watch that costs like a luxury SUV, but rarely get when a well-advertised brand sells you an expensive timekeeper with a precious-metal case housing nothing more than an ordinary ETA three-hander with an add-on module.
The self-winding Caliber 77F0 movement is based on the relatively new Caliber 777 that was presented five years ago at Baselworld 2006 and is exclusive for Breguet: something that you rarely see when it comes to the usual “keep it in the family, but share among siblings” policy of the Swatch Group. While not really revolutionary and featuring a seemingly archaic layout, the mechanism actually sports a number of high-tech features including a non-magnetic silicon escapement and flat balance wheel made of the same material. Besides being resistant to magnetic fields that greatly increases the mechanism’s accuracy, this material is also lighter putting less strain on the bearings, doesn’t need lubrication and is in general less prone to wear.
Of course, the novel technical approach comes at a price: both figuratively (the mechanism is complex and may prove difficult to service) and literally: according to the corporate press release, the Swiss watchmaker plans to sell the watch at CHF 77,000 and CHF 92,000 for a rose gold and platinum version respectively. On the other hand, there are lots of timekeepers of lesser pedigree and inferior technical specs that would set you back at an even bigger pile of cash.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
See also: Breguet Classique 7337 in Rose Gold
Breguet Classique 5717 Hora Mundi automatic GMT watch specification
Price: Rose gold: CHF 77,000 (MSRP, ref. 5717BR/US/9ZU) / Platinum: CHF 92,000
Movement: Automatic, 77F0, based on Caliber 777, 43 jewels, 28,800 vph, escapement and balance wheel in non-magnetic silicon, adjusted in 6 positions, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Winding rotor in rose gold, engine turned
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, Instant time-zone jump with synchronized date, day/night and city indications
Power reserve: 55 hours
Case material: 18-carat Rose gold or 950 Platinum
Bezel material: 18-carat Rose gold or 950 Platinum
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 13.55 mm
Dial: Silvered and hand-engraved day/night indication in 18-carat gold
Numerals: Roman, applied chapter ring
Hands: Open-tipped Breguet hands in blued steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator leather strap
Case back: Sapphire, engine-turned