Founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet, one of the greatest watchmakers of all time, the Breguet brand has a history that dates back to 1775. A-L Breguet is responsible for an incredible assortment of horology inventions including the tourbillon mechanism to offset the effects of gravity on timekeeping, the balance spring with a Breguet overcoil for improved precision, and the pare-chute system for shock resistance. Over two centuries later, all of these innovations are still used by many of the world’s leading luxury watch brands in modern mechanical watches. His work also greatly contributed to the advancement of automatic winding movements, minute repeating watches, chronographs, and perpetual calendars.
Today, Breguet remains at the top of fine Swiss watchmaking, renowned for its collection of complicated watches and classic styles. As such, we will be highlighting the extraordinary Breguet Classique Perpetual Calendar 3310 with a perpetual calendar, power reserve indicator, and moon phase display.
Breguet Classique Perpetual Calendar 3310
Introduced in the 1990s, the Breguet Perpetual Calendar reference 3310 is a tastefully sized watch that is wonderfully slim despite its numerous complications. The 18k yellow gold case measures 36mm in diameter and features a delicate fluting detail around the case band, typical of Breguet dress watches. The fluted pattern is first cold-rolled into the case band then finished by hand. Framing the dial is a discreetly slender bezel while the four lugs soldered on to the case have screw-pins that serve to hold the elegant brown alligator strap securely in place. The winding crown on the right-hand side of the case is topped with a blue sapphire.
The dial of the Classique Perpetual Calendar 3310 is characteristically Breguet, featuring an aesthetic established by A-L Breguet over 200 years ago. At the center of the dial are the famed blued “Breguet style hands,” designed in 1783, with hollow moon accents near the tips. Traditional Roman numerals are used as hour markers and like all Breguet timepieces, the watch features its unique production number prominently on the dial. One of the unmistakable hallmarks of a Breguet timepiece is the myriad of patterns of the engine-turned dials. If you look closely at the solid gold silvered dial, you will see different textures and finishes, such as hobnail, waves, sunburst, cross wave, and so on, decorating different sections. Even until today, Breguet artisans use century-old engine-turning lathes operated by hand to execute this brilliant guilloché work, which speaks to the commitment to quality, tradition, and craftsmanship the brand is celebrated for.
A complicated wristwatch, the Classique Perpetual Calendar 3310 includes no less than seven indications on the dial. There is, of course, the time, displayed via the hour and minute hands at the center of the dial. Between one and two o’clock is the moon phase display, depicted with clouds, stars, and a moon. The bottom portion of the dial is dedicated to the perpetual calendar complication, with indicators for day, date, month, and leap year. Mechanical perpetual calendars are a highly sought after complication amongst fine watches due to their ability to automatically adjust to display the correct time and date until the year 2100—when the Gregorian calendar will skip the leap year. Finally, sitting at the 10:30 position is the power reserve display to signal if and when the automatic watch needs winding.
An exceptional example of high horology, this Breguet Classique Perpetual Calendar ref. 3310BA/13/296 seamlessly translates the design language and technical innovations established by A-L Breguet hundreds of years ago into a timepiece worthy of today’s watch connoisseur.