Breguet: 2019 novelties
Forewords: the prices below are available in France with VAT.
2018 was an extremely important year for Breguet considering the launch of the new Marine collection. 2019 seems to be quieter and can be considered as a year of consolidation for the brand that brings small changes to its collections. I'm not going to blame Breguet for introducing a limited number of novelties: on the contrary, I think it's the right strategy, especially in this segment. The novelties are evenly distributed between the Classique, Marine and Reine de Naples collections, as well as between men's and ladies' watches, which recalls the contribution of each collection to Breguet's performance. This is perhaps today its greatest strength: the evolution of the turnover doesn't depend on a single model or a single customer segment. It should be noted, however, that no novelty is found in the Type XXI / XXII collection. Let's go through these novelties.
The Classique 5177 in white gold with blue enamel "grand feu" dial is superb. The rendering of the dial is subtle and magic because it offers superb shades and even the secret signature contributes to this visual effect. The watch is balanced thanks to its ideal size for an elegant piece (38mm) and the thinness of the bezel makes it a little bigger. The central second hand nicely animates the dial and I really like the contrast between the hands and the dial. Unsurprisingly, the movement is the automatic caliber 777Q which has a power reserve of 55 hours for a frequency of 4hz. Its decoration is sober and although I appreciate the decoration pattern of the winding mass, I would have liked to see Breguet more ambitious at this level. In any case, the watch is very pleasant to wear and attractive. But I have a regret: the date window. What a shame to have dedicated the dateless version, the famous 5175 Ginza Anniversary, to the Japanese market with only 10 pieces. A decision that I don't understand personally. When we know the version without the window (which is more consistent with such an enamel dial), it is difficult to consider the same way the Classique 5177.
The Classique 5177 is available in this configuration at a price of 23,100 euros.Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395
The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette (Ultra-thin Skeleton Tourbillon) 5395 is the star of the year at Breguet. This is undoubtedly a spectacular watch that is in line with the Classique Tourbillon Automatic. It finally allows to discover the manufacture from another angle thanks to a technical and in some aspects, more contemporary rendering. However, I have not been under the charm of this watch while I am an absolute fan of the classique 5377 (guilloche dial with power reserve display) or 5367 (enamel dial).
There are two reasons for this without denying the quality of the piece and its finishes. First of all the aesthetic approach doesn't seem to me to correspond to a Breguet watch and I have the impression to see two different worlds meet without a real consistency. Then, the removal of the mechanism of the power reserve display leaves a gap in the left part and I am not seduced by this imbalance.
The fact remains that the watch is solid from the technical point of view thanks to its movement 581SQ which allows to propose an automatic Tourbillon with a 4hz frequency and a generous power reserve of 80 hours. The ratio diameter (41mm) / thickness (7.7mm) finally gives a very slender style. An impacting watch that didn't totally convince me.
The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395 is sold at a price of 219,500 euros in rose gold and 234,500 euros in platinum.
The Classique 9068 is a beautiful women's watch with a diameter of 33.5mm now available with mother-of-pearl dials. The whole is very attractive. The date window is delicately delimited, the setting remains discreet and the movement 591A is sober and nicely decorated. The only complaint I could make is the power reserve that I find a bit too short (38 hours).
The Classique 9068 is available in white gold or rose gold at a price of 25,900 euros.
The Reine de Naples collection offers two novelties. One is a variation of the reference 8967 with a blue lacquered dial and a denim strap. The other is a declination of the reference 8918 with a beautiful mother-of-pearl dial. Note, as always, that it is the steel watch that has the largest size and I find that more reasonable dimensions better match the Reine de Naples case given its special shape.
The reference in steel is available at a price of 20,500 euros while that the white gold version is sold at a price of 35,200 euros.
The Marine Dame 9517 and 9518 are ladies' watches with a diameter of 33.8mm, with set bezel or not and available with white mother-of-pearl or blue lacquered dials and leather or rubber straps. The case of the 9517 is made of steel only while that of the 9518 is also available in white or rose gold. I find again the movement 591A whose winding mass is decorated differently than the Classique 9068. Without hesitation, it is the blue lacquered dial that I prefer. This blue lacquered dial doesn't look the same according to the case material. In the steel configuration, it offers a deep blue with reflections that are reminiscent of flames. The gold versions, however, offer a lighter blue dial with wave-shaped patterns. It is also very successful.
The prices of the Marine 9517 and 9518 in steel vary between 16.500 euros and 20.200 euros depending on the configurations. The versions of the 9518 in gold have a price of 34,000 euros.
The common point between these 3 references (3 hands, chronograph and Alarme Musicale) is to be available now in their titanium case and sunray slate dial configuration with a titanium bracelet which reinforces the versatile dimension of the Marine collection. I found the bracelet successful, both comfortable and well integrated aesthetically speaking. It even brings character to a collection that I tend to find too quiet. The presentation of this bracelet is therefore excellent news.
The 5517 is sold at a price of 19,400 euros, the 5527 at a price of 23,500 euros and the 5547 at a price of 30,400 euros in this titanium bracelet configuration.
The 2019 Breguet collection is certainly not as striking as it was last year. However, it offers some interesting evolutions (which can be even considered as relevant) as well as a spectacular "talking piece". I particularly appreciated the ladies' watches in this collection. They are refined, well executed and distinguished by their subtle dials. However, I must admit that I'm expecting more from the brand. More in terms of content and especially within the Classique collection. The potential of the brand is huge. But now it needs to find a dynamic similar to that which the release of the Tradition had created several years ago.