Before starting this I’d like to share a bit about myself. I do not like gold watches. In fact, I do not like flash in any form or fashion. I wear an Oysterquartz on a day to day basis, a 36 mm watch which most people would not even recognise for a Rolex in the first place.
So how does a guy like me come to have a crush on a 42 mm rose gold tourbillon chronograph on a rubber strap? The answer is so simple that I was surprised I did not think of it before: Breguet.
The Breguet Marine tourbillon has managed to make me love a watch which goes against all my usual beliefs, and today I would like to share how they did it.
First comes the movement. It is impossible not to love for a watch nut like myself. The tourbillon stands as the hallmark of high horology, and is the complication everyone has on their bucket list. And no one does tourbillons better than Breguet, after all, they invented it. The tourbillon cage is made out of titanium, and held by a stunning bridge which melts into the dial.
The balance spring, lever, and escape wheel are crafted from silicon. Silicon has the benefit of not being magnetic which for centuries was one of the biggest weaknesses of a watch. Next to that silicon is both lighter and harder than steel, and most importantly for watchmaking it can be machined to finer levels. This reduces friction within a movement which helps raise the durability and decrease the dependance on lubrication.
Then there is the dial. On first sight it seems like a grey slightly shiny base with a brushed steel ring on which golden hour markers rest. Looking closer you can see beautiful waves. These where engraved by hand on the rhodium dial, and unlike anything I have seen before in the intricacy of this at core relatively simple design.
Finally we come to what I was most skeptical about, and learned to love the most: the case. The wave element already seen on the dial has been carried further to details like the chronograph pushers, the buckle, and the free loop. The Breguet famous coin edge has been elegantly integrated along the sides of the case.
Most impressive for me are the lugs, a part of the watch that is often overlooked, yet I have found to be the decisive element to either makes or break a watch. Long, sharp edges and big nuts make for a bold appearance, yet this is required to help meld the mass of the solid gold case onto your wrist.
Skeptical of the rubber strap at first, the matte black works in a way which makes me think there could not have been a better choice. The balance in terms of weight and shine helps make it comfortable even for a slender guy like me. My common fear of a rubber strap being too boring has been eradicated by an appealing pyramid pattern.
I was surprised how hard it was to part with this watch. Ashamed of my initial ignorance to this segment of the market, I will never forget the Breguet Marine tourbillon. For it helped remind me that it is never about the specs of a watch, but how they are carried into the world.