The invention of the oscillating weight by Abraham-Louis Breguet changed the world of watches forever from that point forward. During the 1780s, Abraham-Louis Breguet’s innovation was equipped into his so-called perpétuelle watches and, as we know, powered the timepiece through the wearer’s body movements. As the name suggests, the perpétuelle watches came with a calendar mechanism. Another stroke of genius by Abraham-Louis Breguet was the invention of the guilloché silvered dials. These dials were first applied to the perpétuelle watches.
This year, Breguet is paying tribute to this original timepiece. By revisiting the old, the brand is unveiling two new models in two gold colours, placed within the brand’s Classique collection. This latest release, the Quantième Perpétuel 7327, reflects the very essence that makes Breguet what it is; a simple-to-use timepiece full of complexity underneath. This Breguet Classique Quantieme Perpetual 7327 carries the same fascinating functions born out of 19th-century watchmaking, such as displaying the exact date, which considers the variable length of months and leap-year cycle.
This new reference 7327 is an upgrade from reference 5327, released in 2004. Compared to the older reference 5327, this model is more pleasing to the eye and breaks up the dial showcasing more of the beautiful guilloche dial. The reference 5327 model had a lot of functions displayed on the dial, which can lead to the dial being too cluttered. Breguet was, however, able to make this reference work well by minimising the size of the sub-dials and having enough space between them. So yes, while the dial may seem busy, readability wasn’t completely taken away.
The new reference 7327 has taken the essence of what referred 5327 great, and offer’s a more open space/less cluttered dial. Keeping the same case size of 39mm as reference 5327, Breguet is offering the Quantième Perpétuel 7327 in either 18-carat white gold or 18-carat rose gold case materials. To match the cases, the watches are offered in blue alligator leather (white gold case) or brown alligator leather strap (rose gold case).
So what are the main differences between the 2004 reference 5327 to the new reference 7327?
At first glance, the first thing on the dial you will notice is the significantly larger date display indicator compared to the previous version. Upon closer inspection, one will see the ‘1st’ of the month indicator is smaller in font size than the rest of the date fonts; on the previous version (5327), the font remains the same size.
Another notable change is inside the date display circle. On the older version (5327), there is a different guilloche pattern compared to the rest of the dial, whereas, in the new version (7327), the guilloche pattern remains the same as the rest of the dial.
The moon phase gets a refined update; the significant change is that the moon phase is displayed in a semi-circle in the new version compared to the full-circle display in the older version.
In the new version, the moon disk is covered with a blue lacquer containing glittering dust made of aluminium and silicon oxides, giving the aspect of a starry sky. The moon is made of a white gold dot. Its surface is finely hammered to provide a natural part. This is a sophisticated update from the previous version, where the moon disk is made of a hollowed gold wheel. The hollows are covered with a blue lacquer, letting the moon and stars appear on the upper surface.
Another notable change is the placement of the “Breguet” logo. In the older version, the logo was somewhat hidden in the top right of the moon phase display, and now, in the new version, the logo sits off-centred and is visible.
The power reserve indicator 5327 (old) vs Retrograde month indicator 7327 (new):
The newer version replaces the power reserve indicator with a retrograde month indicator. We can see that the retrograde month indicator protrudes into the hour track, which gives the dial a symmetrical appearance, with the moon phase indicator and date indicator doing the same.
The day of the week indication is now abbreviated to three letters compared to the older version, which was indicated with a single letter. While this may make the indicator seem very compact and cluttered, it also makes reading this sub-dial much easier at first glance. What’s also noticeable is that the inner patterns of the day indicator sub-dial have changed.
The size of the day indicator remains relatively unchanged. However, the ring in which the day indications are displayed is smaller, which leaves more room in the inner part of the sub-dial. Breguet has cleverly used this space to display more of the beautiful guilloché pattern.
Leap year indicator:
The leap year indication gets a refresh too. In the older version, four quarters on the circle were written with “1st,2nd,3rd year” and “leap year”, whereas the new leap year indicator is refined to just numerals and leap year indicated by a letter ‘B”.
The letter “B” stands for “Bissextile Year”, which origins in the sixteenth century, deriving from the Latin term bissextilis meaning ‘having an intercalary day’, is another way to indicate a leap year.
The guilloché pattern on the old 5327 reference was certainly more prominent. This dial pattern was further accentuated by the darker tone of the Silvered gold dial, which is hand-engraved on a rose engine. The larger guilloché pattern makes it more noticeable, but on the 5327 dial, it can be a double-edged sword, as it can aid in the busier dial.
The new 7327 guilloché pattern takes a different approach and is a lot more subtle in its appearance. Named Clous de Paris hobnail pattern, this guilloché pattern is smaller in design. It’s still noticeable but doesn’t get in the way of the watch’s functions.
Breguet has kept the movement of the new model (502.3P) relatively similar to the 5327 model, with the primary functional change being the power reserve indicator changed to the retrograde month indicator. The 502.3p movement operates at a frequency of 3Hz (21, 600 VpH) whilst putting out a decent power reserve of 45 hours.
The 502.3P movement easily remains one of Breguet’s thinnest at this 4.5mm thick. Despite its small stature, the movement provides a high level of performance. One way Breguet has made the movement thin is by pushing the oscillating weight off-centre, which allows more space for the movement’s main components.
While the off-centre oscillating weight provides a functional purpose, it gives an aesthetic purpose too. The incredible beauty of the case back can be thoroughly admired for its beauty. One thing Breguet prides itself in (if it already wasn’t for the beautiful dials and innovations) is the mesmerizing movement decorations. The gold oscillating weight comes with a circular barleycorn motif, while the bridges have Côtes de Genève along with other components having a likewise finish while also being chamfered. These beautifully intricate details are carried out by the artisans in the Manufacture located in the heart of Vallée de Joux.
The movement also allows for the fine adjustments of the various functions displayed in this perpetual timepiece. Two points on the movement/case allow for corrections and adjustments. Firstly, a corrector stylus is used at the 4 o’clock position on the case to adjust the day indicator. The stylus is then used between 4 and 5 o’clock to adjust the moon phase indicator, 6 o’clock to adjust the date indicator, and 9 o’clock to adjust the month and year. The time itself is adjusted as standard per the crown.
Breguet’s Quantième Perpétuel 7327 is the latest model to enter their Classique collection. This collection of watches faithfully illustrates the brand’s design codes that go back to the original designs of the timepieces. The Classique collection all features the neoclassical style of watchmaking. Abraham-Louis Breguet’s “moon” tip watch hands, guilloché pattern on the dial, and off-centre dial are some of the creations found in the Classique collection of watches, with many of these creations appearing in this new Quantième Perpétuel 7327.
Reference: 7327BB/11/9VU, 7327BR/11/9VU
- Case: 39 mm
- Case Material: 18-carat white gold, sapphire crystal case-back or 18-carat rose gold, sapphire-crystal case-back
- Dial: Silvered gold dial, hand-engraved on a rose engine
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal, scratch resistant with anti-reflective coating
- Water resistance: 3 bar (30 m)
- Movement: 502.3.P
- Power Reserve: 45 hours
- Strap: Blue or brown alligator leather with folding clasp.