The 2011 Breguet Classique 7787 Moon Phases collection is finally available in four versions with two sizes of the case and two finishes of the dial. All of them are offered strictly in 18-karat gold alloys of rose and white variety.
Always staying true to traditions of the House, one of the oldest Swiss watchmakers tends to produce modestly-sized timepieces.
Unlike the hordes of upstarts that try to draw the attention of the general public and press with scandalous, often unusable models, Breguet just doesn’t need to churn out extra-large monsters with their 48 mm cases made of some strange alloys used by the aerospace industry.
Their new Breguet Classique 7787 Moon Phases collection, for example, is offered in slime and finely shaped rose gold cases 36 and 39 millimeters in diameter.
Their modest size makes the new timepieces perfect companions for the members of the financial elite that have enough self-confidence to not buy gold-plated Rolls-Royces or diamond-paved table-clocks that are sold as wristwatches.
As usual, the collection sports finely fluted sides and classic-shaped, understated lugs that do not draw too much attention to themselves.
Packed inside the cases are the home-made Calibre 591 DRL automatic movements. Like many of their “affordable” calibers, the mechanism is based on the relatively old Longines L990/Lemania 8815 family of movements (those, by the way, were among the first mass-production movements that featured a “high-speed” balance wheel that worked at a now de facto standard frequency of 28,800 vph,) but is heavily reworked and sports a number of modern gizmos that make it a lot more accurate and reliable than the base model that was first introduced by Lemania in the late 1970s after the Quartz Revolution that upended the industry.
Meticulously decorated, this ultra-slim engine features a double-barrel design (yes, there is an extra spring-barrel over the “base” Caliber 591) and has its escapement and flat balance spring made of non-magnetic and lubricant-free silicon.
Of course, the 7787 Moon Phases‘ main point of attraction is its dial.
Crafted in 18-karat solid gold, it is either engine-turned by hand and then silvered or sports a deceptively simple-looking Grand Feu: a finishing technique that requires a lot of expertise and, as far as I know, still can’t be successfully automated: even when done by a skillful hand of an artisan, there is still a great percentage of bad dials that need to be recycled.
Thanks to the unusual thinness of its hands, both versions of the dial look uncluttered, there is a lot of room to breathe here even despite the extra pair of sub-dials showing the moon phase (12 o’clock) and the power reserve indicator (3 o’clock.)
Breguet plans to sell the watches individually at prices ranging from CHF 29,000 to CHF 33,000 through its own network of boutiques. Yes, the Classique 7787 Moon Phases is expensive, but, all things considered, offers great value with its in-house self-winding movement, impeccable build quality, and overall strength of the brand: a serious factor that comes into play when you try to resell the pre-loved watch to another enthusiast without losing too much cash in the process.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Breguet Classique 7787 Moon Phases (refs. 7787BB/12/9V6, 7787BR/12/9V6 & 7787BR/29/9V6) specification
Price: From CHF 29,000 to CHF 33,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Calibre 591 DRL, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, double barrel, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight in 18-karat gold engine-turned by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, moonphase, power reserve
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: Rose gold / White gold
Sizes: 36.00 mm / 39.00 mm
Case height: 10.20 mm
Dial: Solid gold, Silvered and guilloched (ref. 7787BB/12/9V6 in white gold, ref. 7787BR/12/9V6 in rose gold) or in Grand Feu enamel (ref. 7787BR/29/9V6 in rose gold)
Numerals: Arabic or Roman
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown alligator leather strap