Launched by Breguet in 2007, the CLASSIQUE 5447 Grande Complication houses a minute repeater mechanism that has been optimised on several levels. Research on resonance conditions dealt in particular with the materials liable to produce and transmit an harmonious sound, as well as to preserve its purity in terms of intensity, richness and tone. This work has had a favourable impact on several parts: the gong spring, the gong holder, the striking mechanism barrel and the hammers, of which the energy is now significantly increased.
Moreover, the harmony between the two gongs has been enhanced using psycho -acoustic tests and analyses that served to fine-tune clarity, sound resolution and auditory compatibility. Finally, the positioning of the gong holders has been modified so as to achieve the most crystal -clear sound possible within the case, which serves as a resonance chamber.
Alongside these technical and functional improvements, it is worth recalling that the minute repeater mechanism, originally devised to provide an audible indication of the time, especially in the dark, calls for a particularly delicate process of adjusting the sound that is exclusively entrusted to a very rare breed of skilled craftsmen. The slenderness of the gong is determined by the excellent musical ear and extreme dexterity of t he master-watchmaker, since even the smallest adjustment error can irrevocably destroy the result of long hours of work. Abraham-Louis Breguet’s invention of the gong spring (a strip of metal wrapped around a movement) in 1783 made a decisive contribution to this field by enabling watchmakers to reduce the size of watch cases and to perfect the quality of the sound.
The CLASSIQUE 5447 houses an entirely hand -engraved movement driving a complex retrograde jumping-month mechanism, located at 10:30. At the end of the year, the hand moving across the arc of a circle month indicator makes an almost instantaneous jump to return to the month of January and to resume its trajectory. The date is displayed at 6 o’clock on a dial adorned with a sunburst guilloché motif, in which each of the rays corresponds to a date. The day of the week and leap-year indications appear opposite each other at 3:.30 and 8:30 respectively.
Finally, the phases and age of the moon are displayed at 1:30. Enhanced by the innate elegance and equilibrium of this model, the readability of the silvered dial honours the work of the in-house designers. The regular texture of the hand-guilloché Clous de Paris motif absorbs rather than reflects the light, thereby facilitating at -a-glance read-off of the time and of the perpetual calendar -indications.
- Case: round in 18-carat rose gold with finely fluted caseband. Rounded horns welded to the case, with screwpins to secure the strap. Diameter 40mm. Sapphire-crystal caseback.
- Dial: in silvered 18-carat gold, hand-engraved on a rose-engine. Individually numbered and signed BREGUET. Chapter-ring with Roman numerals. Open-tipped BREGUET hands in blued-steel. Age and phase of the moon at 01:30. Day indicator at 4 o’clock. Date at 6 o’clock in a subdial, engine-turned in a sun pattern. Leap-year indicator in a subdial at 8 o’clock. Retrograde month indicator at 10:30.
- Movement: hand-wound, with minute -repeater and perpetual calendar. Entirely engraved by hand. Numbered and signed BREGUET. 12½ lines. 31 jewels. Cal. 567RMP1. 40 hours power-reserve. Straight-line lever escapement. 2.5Hz balance-wheel with load-screws. BREGUET overcoil. Adjusted in 6 positions.
- Also available in 18-carat white gold.