To non-aficionados, Breguet’s latest Classique 7637 may look like a straightforward time-only model, but under the hood lies horology’s most elite mechanism: a minute repeater. The very embodiment of quiet luxury (ringing aside), the piece is a masterwork of complex construction and expert finishing in an utterly classic package—a specialty of the Swiss house that goes back almost 250 years. Founder Abraham-Louis Breguet also devised the use of a spring blade instead of a bell-type gong for minute repeaters, which eventually led to today’s use of coiled gongs; here, they’re fixed to the middle of the case rather than the plate, for better transmission of sound.
The final composition is thanks to not only the in-house team but also an acoustician, who fine-tunes each gong for both harmony and melody. The process is so rigorous that it required the construction of an anechoic chamber (a room designed to stop echoes and reverberations) to ascertain the resonant frequency of each gong, then find the melody most closely resembling Breguet’s signature sound. But because each piece is handcrafted, no two examples will ever be exactly alike.
The party continues on the caseback with a full view of the Caliber 567.2. Befitting traditional watchmaking at its finest, hand engraving covers nearly every surface.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen this 42 mm reference—it debuted last year with a blue-enamel dial and an 18-karat-white-gold case—but the new black-enamel grand feu dial and 18-karat-pink-gold case may be the most striking (no pun intended). And, as leather-strapped dress watches begin to make a resurgence among certain savvy collectors, the 7637 would be a particularly timely addition to the vault. $248,800