Breguet 5207, retrograde classique, 18kt gold

a philosophers timepiece

Breguet

Status: sold-out

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At some level, it can be said about every mechanical watch, that through the use of metals, and other materials, fashioned by makers into a tangible machine, they mark the passage of time for the wearer.

Some do it well, others not at all, and some seem to even deceive their intrepid bearer.

It can be “read” through hands orbiting a center point, or changing digital displays that symbolically show us elements we understand as having meaning, or in even wilder designs attempts, contain liquids or perhaps excited gases stimulated by, in some cases, electricity. All of this in order to drive a display of markings that we understand to be, on some level, representative of the passage of time. Seemingly we mark the march of time in ways limited only by our imaginations.

This broad description doesn’t take into consideration those philosophical pieces that make us think about time. So much cleverness and concern is put into this task by makers it can, and does, fill volumes. With the Breguet 5207, behind a very stately looking arrangement of hands and pointers, we have one subtle example hiding in plain sight.

 

My first reaction to the dial was that it was unremarkable, maybe even boring, until I considered it a bit more carefully. Its blue-steeled “Breguet hands, highly crafted, and revolve quite traditionally around in a circle. That is true.

However, that circle is slightly ajar and lower then the larger circular opening in the case, ensconced in sapphire crystal. This design cue, leads our eyes from the buoyant impression of a suspended  bubble of time, into its triangular depression, displaying a retrograde second hand right below at 6  o’clock.

Quite unusual! Not only that the passage of time happens from left to right in an fanning arch followed by a curt return to the beginning of its journey again, but also that it reflects a 65 hour power reserve directly above it.

Through contemplation, one starts to realize as the second hand makes its repeating journey in linear directional beat, much less visible is the winding down of the hours of reserve wind…in fact I was unable to perceive it at all.

This reserve indicator is floating above the focal point in some sense, but never detached in our minds. It moves from right to left, reversing our energies from the second indicator, as its wind-potential withers.

I started to ponder this unmistakable hourglass graphic co-ordination for quite some time myself! Was that the makers intent, to reference one of the earliest measurements of time ?

Do the heavy grains of time then effervesce or fall and what of the circular passage of the minute and hour hands in a circle suggest? Is it the ying and yang celebrated by Asian cultures? Why does this at a gut level seem to me to be defying gravity, but then tickles my neurons with the thought that not only is this expression of transferred energy not grains of sand -or other material- but in fact, it is completely just a concept…time is just an idea!

Nothing is lighter then time…and yet nothing is heavier then the thought that all that perky  travel second-by-second is counted until the crown is not turned again to recharge the indicator moored above. While the second hand happily resets each minute anew, the other hands tell a more rich story of time which has passed while we barely even noticed it.

 

Regardless if you wax poetic upon reading the data from this fine time piece, or simply know it is time to get coffee and take a break without a conscious thought, you will undoubtedly be treated by all the fine workmanship of every Breguet timepiece.

 

The coin edge and  polished lugs, gives way to a solid gold rotor on the rear, long curved lugs, and a well fitting crocodile strap and gold buckle. There is no area spared detailed finishing and no part of the watch unconsidered.

The roman numerals of the dial circle are expertly (and again subtly) contrasted with arabic numerals on the other gauges. All of this is packed into a slender and comfortable case that wears as well for formal occasions as with a more casual look.

Certainly, the balance of the asymmetric graphic design reminds us to count the time, but to spice that with just a bit of thought we might not have enjoyed otherwise.

 

Case: 39mm 18kt yellow gold

Crystal: sapphire crystal, display back

Dial: silver, machine turned and brushed.

Hands: blued “Breguet” steel hands, with two retrograde indicators top and bottom

Power reserve: 65 hours

Includes: watch, buckle, crocodile strap and box/papers.

SKU: Cp03057

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