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Breguet

Classique Tourbillon in Yellow Gold on a Bracelet CHF 55 000

DETAILS

Abraham-Louis Breguet, the founder of the brand, is one of the most prolific watch designers and inventors in the history of watchmaking. He is credited with the invention of the tourbillon, a complication mechanism in which the balance wheel, hairspring and escapement parts are built into a rotating carriage. The tourbillon was invented in 1795 and A.-L. Breguet received a French patent in 1801. The aim of this invention was to improve the accuracy of the pocket watch by compensating for the positional error in the rotation of the tourbillon. In the modern era, the tourbillon has achieved legendary status in the art of fine watchmaking and is one of the most beautiful mechanical complications.

Breguet was one of the first brands to develop tourbillon wristwatches in series; this work was initiated by the watchmaker Daniel Roth, who worked for the brand in the 1970s and 1980s and under whose direction the construction of the caliber 558 (Nouvelle Lémania 397) was carried out in the movement manufacture Nouvelle Lémania. The hand-wound caliber has a one-minute tourbillon and a characteristic design with upwardly offset hour and minute hands. Another Daniel Roth design feature that has been retained in Breguet's tourbillon watches up to the current collection is the three-bladed small seconds hand, which is mounted on the tourbillon arbor to indicate the seconds on the sector scale.

REASONS TO BUY

The Breguet Classique Tourbillon 3357 ‘Yellow Gold, Bracelet’ is an attractive purchase for a collector looking for a beautiful and rare tourbillon watch from a world-famous traditional brand known for the invention of the tourbillon. One of the longest-running designs in the industry, this watch features a recognizable look with a tourbillon opened on the dial side and upwardly offset hour and minute hands, a hand-guilloched dial and a hand-engraved second-generation caliber with equidistant spokes of the tourbillon cage. In addition, the discerning collector will welcome this extremely rare version with a soldered bracelet with seven rows of double oval profiled links, which undoubtedly enhances the appeal of this watch.

ABOUT THIS WATCH

Breguet has been producing the Ref. 3357 with tourbillon in 18k yellow, rose and white gold for many years, since the early 1990s. The Ref. 3357 is the successor to the Ref. 3350, the first tourbillon wristwatch from the renowned brand, which was launched in 1988. Both models are based on the same hand-wound 558 caliber and have an almost identical design, albeit with a number of variations that make both references exciting to explore and collect.

According to our estimates, the transition from reference number 3350 to 3357 took place in the early 1990s. This transition was most likely caused by a change to the original caliber 558 (unfortunately there is no official information on this). The most noticeable design change is the new shape of the tourbillon cage and the placement of some movement parts – the new caliber version is referred to as 558.1, although Breguet currently also defines this movement as 558T. The distinctive feature of the tourbillon cage is the transition from an escapement with a regulator index, as used in the original design, to a free-sprung balance scheme in which the regulator index is not required. The new shape of the tourbillon cage is a three-beam equidistant shape. Interestingly, the same design was used for the pocket tourbillon No. 3357, which the watchmaker Fritz-André Robert-Charrue, who became known as the master of the world's smallest tourbillon, produced for Breguet in the 1940s.

References 3350 and 3357 are currently the longest-running wrist tourbillon models in production without any significant changes to the design or caliber, which is a credit to the brand that invented the tourbillon. Interestingly, the 3350 and 3357 models were produced simultaneously for a while. Over the years, there were many versions of the 3350 and 3357 with some variations in design and movement, making these models incredibly attractive collector's items. Unfortunately, there is very little information available from the brand to understand the development of the 3350 and 3357 models from an official perspective, so there is still room for independent research.

This watch dates from the earliest period of the production series of reference 3357 and has the 35 mm case of the original design, a winding crown with the B logo and the hand-guilloché solid gold and silver-plated dial typical of Breguet. The dial bears the inscription “Swiss guilloché main” (“Guilloché by hand in Switzerland”), one of the hallmarks of reference 3357. The back of the movement deserves special attention – it is exquisitely and intricately engraved by hand, and there are also at least five basic types of engraving, including the type now seen on the website, although it is possible that such examples have not yet been sold. The caliber of this watch is marked 558, although it is actually 558.1, but the "1" was obviously missed in the process of the engraving. The serial number is 296, and the movement belongs to the second generation of the five existing caliber 558 generations (again, the caliber version now seen on the website was probably not used in production). The present watch has the Type 2 engraved decoration. Remember that the engraving is done by hand and although it follows one of the four (probably five) basic patterns, it differs in minute details each time. Therefore, each watch is basically a unique piece.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this example, which distinguishes it most from other versions of reference 3357, is the soldered solid gold bracelet consisting of seven rows of double oval profiled links. Breguet watches of the classic genre are very rarely delivered with bracelets, and in our experience, this particular bracelet is extremely rare on the reference 3357. To be honest, this is the only example of this type that has appeared on the market in recent years.

SPECIFICATION

Silver
Ref3357
D=36mm
GlassSapfire glass
FunctionsTourbillon
Dial
Case materialYellow gold
MovementManual winding

CONDITION REPORT

Box:Yes
Papers:Yes

DELIVERY & RETURNS

We offer worldwide delivery on all of our watches.

If ordering from Switzerland or Europe, your watch will be sent the same working week. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working week.

If ordering from outside Europe, delivery will depend on the choice of courier and destination.

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.

WARRANTY

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards.

Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new.

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information.

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