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Breguet Appreciation Megathread

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    Breguet Appreciation Megathread

    Gentlemen, whilst a dedicated Rolex fan there is something so simple an elegant about this brand that draws me like.. a rep collector to stunning watches. I thought I'd do some research and share it with everyone else. One thing to note is that with a lot of the higher end watches with custom movements the chances of happening upon an accurate replica of them decreases. Especially with rep manufacturers aiming for quantity over quality in the broadest sense.

    So first of all I'm going to start with some history of the firm. Most of this will either be 'replicated' from other sources or paraphrased heavily. Breguet is a hugely well respected horological company with a long and illustrious history.

    Official website:

    Official Breguet Videos Page

    [ame=""]YouTube - Breguet[/ame]

    Company History:

    Abraham Louis Breguet

    If Breguet holds a special place in our cultural heritage, it is because its founder, A.-L. Breguet (1747-1823), set the standard by which all fine watchmaking has since been judged. Today, his heirs at Breguet still make each watch as a model of supreme horological art.
    A.-L. Breguet was born in Neuchâtel, but it was in Paris that he spent most of his productive life. No aspect of watchmaking escaped his study, and his inventions were as fundamental to horology as they were varied.

    His career started with a series of breakthroughs: the development of the successful self-winding perpétuelle watches, the introduction of the gongs for repeating watches and the first shock-protection for balance pivots.

    Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie-Antoinette, were early enthusiasts of Breguet’s watchmaking. Each watch from his workshops demonstrated the latest horological improvements in an original movement, mostly fitted with lever or ruby-cylinder escapements that he perfected.
    A.-L. Breguet took refuge in Switzerland from the excesses of the French Revolution. He returned to Paris overflowing with the ideas that produced the Breguet balance-spring, his first carriage clock (sold to Bonaparte), the sympathique clock and its dependent watch, the tact watch, and finally the tourbillon, patented in 1801.

    Breguet became the indispensable watchmaker to the scientific, military, financial and diplomatic elites of the age. His timepieces ruled the courts of Europe. For his most celebrated clients, Breguet designed exceptional timepieces. For Caroline Murat, queen of Naples, he conceived in 1810 the world's very first wristwatch. Honours saluted his enormous contribution to horology. Appointed to the Board of Longitude and as chronometer-maker to the navy, he entered the Academy of Sciences and received the Legion of Honour from the hands of Louis XVIII.

    When he died in 1823, all mourned the architect of the greatest revolution in the science and art of time-keeping.

    Today more than ever, its capacity to innovate reflects a brand’s vitality. Breguet’s own creative powers and ingenuity have certainly not declined over time. Driven by Nicolas G. Hayek, they have indeed been amplified, resulting in Breguet filing in eight short years, a number of patent applications exceeding that of its founder’s own inventions.

    The House of Breguet was privileged to create timepieces for the diplomatic, scientific, military and financial elite.

    Among its clients, Queen Marie-Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte, Talleyrand, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Caroline Murat, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Queen Victoria, Sir Winston Churchill and Arthur Rubinstein who put their confidence in the taste and artistry of Breguet.

    Who owns a Breguet?:

    Because Breguet watches have been around for so long and created masterpiece timekeeper for royal familes and other wealthy folks it's not surprising when you look down the list of owners. I'm just going to pick a few to give you an idea.

    - Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans (1780)
    - Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France (1782)
    - Louis XVI, King of France (1783)
    - Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor (1798)
    - Tsar Alexander I of Russia (1809)
    - Louis XVIII, King of France (1821)
    - George Washington, 1st American President
    - Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (1901)
    - Nicolas Sarkozy, French president
    - Dmitry Medvedev, Russian president
    - Charles, Prince of Wales, English heir to the throne

    You can be safe to say that none of these people pick their timepieces without some serious consideration to what they will be wearing on their wrists! What's also quite interesting is that Breguet watches have also attained quite a high status in literature. In the same way that we have the Bond watches, writers for years have been giving their characters special watches such as these to give them status. Just a few examples;

    - Dr. Lorrain, famous Petersburg doctor, in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace
    - Hadji Murad, in Leo Tolstoy's Hadji Murad
    - Baron Danglars from Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo
    - Viscount Albert de Morcerf from Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo
    - Eugène de Rastignac in Honoré de Balzac's Le Père Goriot. The watch was a gift from Goriot's daughter, Delphine.

    Rarity and Cost:

    Whenever you have a watch that has a history stretching back a length of time such as Breguet there are of course going to be examples of early pieces that will be serious collector pieces fetching extreme amounts of money. Modern horological pieces produced by high end manufacturers such as Patek Philippe, Gruebel Forsey, Hublot, Vacheron Constantin, and so on. There are a vast range of modern swiss watch makers selling watches costing millions of dollars with exquisite hand crafted movements surpassing all imagination of what a mechanical movement can achieve. None of these however can compare to watches such as Breguet No160, also know as 'The Queen'. The full and drawn out story of this watch can be found HERE. I will summarise for those who want a TLDR for the article.

    Friday, April 15 1983, Jerusalem's LA Mayer Museum for Islamic Art is broken into and the jewel of the collection, the Breguet No160, made by Abraham-Louis Breguet for Marie Antoinette, the 106 is known as the 'Mona Lisa of watches' and worth more than $30 million. This crime went unsolved for 25 years and ranks as one of the great mysteries of the art world. Estimated at several hundred million dollars, the value of the entire haul makes this the biggest crime in the history of horology. For decades, speculation persisted that the break-in must have been an inside job involving a museum functionary, or was commissioned by a collector. 'Anyone interested in horology would know at once what it was: Breguet's most complicated and lavishly constructed watch. Breguet called it "a monument to 18th-century horological skills". The average person would not put so much value on it.'

    The Queen is 60mm in diameter, encased in 18-carat gold, its back and front covers of rock crystal, revealing the intricate mechanism. It comprises 823 parts; every working surface is jewelled with sapphire; many inner parts, normally made of brass, are gold. It was commissioned in 1783 as a gift for Marie Antoinette from an unidentified admirer, thought to be her friend and reputed lover Count Axel von Fersen. The order specified that it should be the 'most spectacular watch possible' and contain every function, irrespective of cost. No completion date was set. The French queen was by then already an enthusiastic customer of Breguet's. With her passion for fine jewellery and fashion, she was the first person, in 1782, to order his newest invention, a self-winding watch known as a perpétuelle.

    The masterpiece contains every known complication, a total of 23. These include a self-winding mechanism; a perpetual calendar; the display of solar time versus mean time; the phases of the moon; a repeater that chimes the hour, quarter-hour and minutes; centre seconds that can be stopped and started; a shock-absorbing device; a power reserve indicator - even a thermometer.

    The rest of the story on how this, and the other watches, were recovered is in the rest of the article and I would urge everyone to read it. A very romanticised story of an amazing timepiece.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Marie-Antoinette watch[/ame]

    Development of the Tourbillon:

    [ame=""]Tourbillon - Wikipedia, the free [email protected]@[email protected]@/wiki/File:MIH-film66jpg-b.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src=""@@[email protected]@commons/thumb/6/62/MIH-film66jpg-b.jpg/220px-MIH-film66jpg-b.jpg[/ame]

    In horology, a tourbillon (French: "whirlwind") is an addition to the mechanics of a watch escapement. Developed around 1795 from an earlier idea by the English chronometer maker John Arnold a tourbillon counters the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, ostensibly in order to negate the effect of gravity when the timepiece (and thus the escapement) is rotated. Originally an attempt to improve accuracy, tourbillons are included in some expensive modern watches as a novelty and demonstration of watchmaking virtuosity.

    Gravity has a direct effect on the most delicate parts of the escapement, namely pallet fork, balance wheel and hairspring. Most notably the hairspring, which functions as a regulator for the escapement and is thus the most sensitive part to any exterior effects, such as magnetism, shocks, temperature, and inner effects such as pinning positions (inner collet), terminal curve and heavy points on the balance wheel.

    A tourbillon most often makes one complete revolution per minute, which has no effect in the two horizontal positions, but makes all the difference in the 4 vertical positions, since even if a watch is stationary in a random vertical position, the tourbillon makes the escapement spin around its own axis, effectively cancelling out the effects of gravity of each of the 4 generalized positions. Even today with new materials and improved theories, is it nearly impossible to regulate a watch so it keeps the same time in all positions. A tourbillon allows watchmakers today to obtain results that are better than normal mechanical watches. Although, this is still immensely inferior to quartz, which normally vary 3 seconds per month, where a good mechanical watch keeps 3 seconds per day.

    The tourbillon is considered to be one of the most challenging of watch mechanisms to make [2] (although technically not a complication itself) and is valued for its engineering and design principles. The first production tourbillon mechanism was produced by Breguet for Napoleon in one of his carriage clocks (travel clocks of the time were of considerable weight, typically weighing almost 200 pounds).

    The Watches:

    It would be impossible to list all of the Breguet watches. Simply they have been going for so long, and the replicators are of course only going to make reps of watches they think will sell and are easy enough to construct. I will do my best to list the more accurace versions of their watches but honestly most of them I think we will have to live with their inaccurate state and enjoy them for the reason I like them. They still manage to look like a striking, classic watch.

    Breguet is one of the oldest surviving watch-making establishments and is the pioneer of numerous watch-making technologies, the most notable being the tourbillon, invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet. Breguet has recently introduced a line of writing instruments as a tribute to writers who mention or feature Breguet watches in their works. Breguet watches are often easily recognized for their coin-edge cases, guilloché dials (see next section) and blue pomme hands (often now referred to as 'Breguet hands').


    [ame=""]Guilloché - Wikipedia, the free [email protected]@[email protected]@/wiki/File:Guilloche_without_Enamel.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src=""@@[email protected]@commons/thumb/f/fd/Guilloche_without_Enamel.jpg/180px-Guilloche_without_Enamel.jpg[/ame]

    Guilloché (Guilloche) is a decorative engraving technique in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern or design is mechanically engraved into an underlying material with fine detail. Specifically, it involves a technique of engine turning, called guilloché in French after the French engineer “Guillotâ€, who invented a machine “that could scratch fine patterns and designs on metallic surfacesâ€. The machine improved upon the more time-consuming practice of making similar designs by hand, allowing for greater delicacy, precision, and closeness of the line, as well as greater speed.

    Another account gives the credit of inventing this method to Hans Schwanhardt (- 1621) and the spreading of it, to his son-in-law Jacob Heppner (1645).Yet another account is that it derives from the French word for an engraving tool, not the engine turning machine. A guilloche is a repetitive architectural pattern used in classical Greece and Rome, and neo-classical architecture as well as medieval Cosmatesque stone inlay work, of two ribbons winding around a series of regular central points. These central points are often blank, but may contain a figure, such as a rose. Guilloche is a back-formation from guilloché, so called because the architectural motif resembles the designs produced by Guilloche techniques.

    Lets have a look through the ranges and see what the rep factories have to offer.

    The Classique:

    Inspired by A.-L. Breguet's styling, the Classique wristwatches exemplify the watchmaking ideals of precision, clarity and elegant lines.
    Whether extra-slim models with manually wound or automatic movements or complicated watches, they are all true to the technical principles, the artistry and the traditional values of the Breguet watch. Classique wristwatches capture the essence of Breguet's original features. In some models, the precious materials of former times and fired-enamel dials with Arabic numerals will delight Breguet enthusiasts.

    Reference 5907BA/12/984
    Material : Yellow gold / White gold / Pink gold
    Calibre : 510 DR
    Lines : 11½
    Case thickness (mm) : 7.50
    Case dimension (mm) H : 34.00
    Jewels : 23
    Water (m) : 30
    Powers (hours) : 95

    Asian 17j Manual Handwind movement
    38mm x 8mm

    I'm not going to go completely in depth for every watch that we have available. Remember we are comparing a $13k watch with a $98 one. Superficially it looks 'ok' for the money. I wouldn't be expecting anything else. The movement visible through the display back is actually quite niceley presented with gold detailed bridgework. It's slightly wider and thicker than the original watch but at 38mm x 8mm should wear very elegantly under a shirt cuff. The guilloché on the dial looks a lot coarser and cruder than the gen but this is to be expected. The hands look a lot thicker and a slightly more aquamarine colour than the genuine set. I can also guarantee that the strap will be rubbish. The addition of a good quality leather strap could make this a very elegant piece. What more do you really want for $98!

    Reference 5920BA/15/984
    Material : Yellow gold / White gold / Pink gold
    Calibre : 516/1
    Lines : 11½
    Case thickness (mm) : 7.65
    Case dimension (mm) H : 34.00
    Jewels : 30
    Water (m) : 30
    Powers (hours) : 95

    39mm x 11mm
    Asian 2824-2

    I couldn't find a Classique version with a date function that also had a sub-dial running seconds at 6. In this respect this watch fails at replicating the gen.

    There are umpteen fantasy versions of Breguet watches. Attempting to find actual genuine comparison shots on the internet is proving difficult. Aside from the very cheap hand wound movements there are also a number with 21j ETA 2892 clone automatic movements. Some include date complications. These tend to run between $100 to $200 price range. A lot have display casebacks and engraved rotors.

    The Classique Chronograph:

    Reference 5947BA/12/9V6
    Material : Yellow gold / White gold
    Calibre : 535N
    Lines : 12
    Case thickness (mm) : 12.75
    Case dimension (mm) H : 39.00
    Jewels : 23
    Water (m) : 30
    Powers (hours) : 48

    This is a simply stunning watch. And one of my favourites. It is a slight bit expensive so let's have a look at what our rep makers can offer.

    Lemania Handwind Chronograph
    43mm x 14mm

    This is one that I actually think looks really great. The simple blue hands, guilloché dial and stainless steel case is classically elegant. The dial has a running seconds counter at 9, and 30 minute counter at 3 as per the genuine (assuming the Lemania functions as the dial represents). The rep is slightly bigger both in depth and width purely down to the movement used. The display back shows of the Lemania movement, which while of course not consistent with the gen is very well finished and beautiful to look at. I would happily have this watch on my wrist, I think it's a stunning watch. Be aware though, there are definitely poor copies of this watch out there. Even the ones with Lemania movements but have very poorly made dials.

    Full Gen vs Rep Comparison on RepGeek

    40mm x 13mm
    Lemania Handwind Chronograph
    18K Plated White Gold Case

    This is similar to the above model. It's a Lemania hand wind chronograph movement. This one is slightly more expensive because it's a plated white gold case with a working moonphase. All of the rest of the functions are as the above chrono, and I also think this is a stunning watch. As a note, none of the watches so far, and in the rest of the post manage to get the dial and sub-dial marking correct.

    Classique Complications:

    Art in the superlative:Breguet's Grandes Complications salute the centuries-old meeting of peerless watchmaking and mechanical mastery.
    Even today, watchmakers approach this area of watchmaking with few illusions as to the magnitude of the challenge. Building a Grande Complication wristwatch confronts them with a maze of technical difficulties challenging both their skill and their powers of invention. Thinking and working in four dimensions, generations of Breguet watchmakers have driven their art to new heights turning out minute repeaters, perpetual calendar watches and tourbillon designs. Two patent, for instance, protect Breguet's most recent developments in perpetual calendar design.

    The grand complications are amazing pieces of horology. From tourbillons to calendar complications, moonphases, minute repeaters and all manner of additions to your standard 'oh what's the time?' watch. I love them, the genuine watches are truly stunning. Some are skeletonised, showing the entirety of the movement, some have open sections of dial showing single tourbillons and double tourbillon movements.

    So how do the reps fair against these stunning time pieces. Well, not well. There's absolutely no way to replicate some of the movement so many many shortcuts are taken. In some cases we see what is known as an 'open heart' dial. This is usually a cheaper way of replicating a tourbillon movement where a portion of the dial is removed where the balance wheel sits. There is absolutely no way that anyone would mistake one for the other. However it's quite popular in gen watches, I know my brother in law has a Fossil watch with an open heart, and, well it's kinda cool because you get to see some of the watch movement. So let's have a look at some of the 'open heart' reps that are out there. Please bare in mind that these have absolutely no representation in the gen Breguet world but I thought I'd include them as they are usually pretty cheap and cheerful.

    Open Heart:

    Before anyone mentions it, I have no guarantee that any of the subdials on these cheaper grand complication watches actually works. However, if you have a little visit to Otto Frei's chinese automatic watch section ( CLICK HERE) You can see a vast array of movements including open hearts, skeleton, day/date complications, moonphase etc etc. They are all pretty cheap. Is there a chance that these watches have this sort of movement in them? Not a feckin clue

    42mm x 13mm
    Asian 21j Automatic

    Here we can see a typical fantasy Grand Complication cheapo rep. We have an open heart balance at 6, Days at 9, months at 3, a 1 to 31 date complication and 12 hour GMT complication at 12. I can't see this exact movement replicated on the Ofrei page, I seriously doubt that all of the functions work. There are pushers on the case at 2 o'clock, 5 o'clock and 8 o'clock I can only assume for quick setting the Day, Month and Date functions. It actually doesn't look that bad. Sub-dial spacing is of course completely off but everything actually looks nicely finished. The rotor and movement has had a half arsed attempt to make it look slightly less like an un-decorated 21j movement, but it's nothing special.

    43mm x 12.5mm

    This one chooses a slightly different styling than the first open heart, with chrono pushers as an addition. The listing doesn't have anything under movement other than 'Asian Tourbillon', which it most certantly isn't. So I'm assuming 21j Asian movement again. We see the open heart at 12 this time, with a date monitor at 6, and possibly a GMT 12 hour counter at the 3 position. Hours, minutes and running seconds all in the centre of the face. They've made a decent effort on the dial again, but the movement definitely makes this look like a cheap rep. I reckon it, like a lot of the others could fly under the radar quite easily. After all, how many people do you hang around with know what a Breguet is anyway, let alone what it's supposed to look like or how expensive it is!

    40mm x 11.6mm
    Rose gold plated on bezel and lugs

    I quite like this one. I wasn't sure to include it in this section purely because it doesn't have any grand complications other than an open heart. Of course it is trying to mimic a tourbillon movement with what looks like a slightly offset hour/minute hand set with no running seconds. The detail on the face of the watch gives it a very unique feel. Like a lot of the other Breguets, even the fantasy watches, it still looks damn nice!

    42mm x 13mm
    Asian 21j Automatic

    So here we have what I think is actually quite a handsome watch. It's cheap, very cheap. Rose gold plated upper bezel and lugs along with a very niceley detailed dial. We have the open heart at 6 o'clock, date at 3, day at 9 and the moonphase at 12 o'clock. I actually think this is one of the nicer open heart watches that are about. Good chances on the complications at least working in a rudimentary fashion. It's also a frickin bargain.

    Non-Open Heart Complications:

    40mm x 11mm

    This is another plated rose gold model. However, I have absolutely no confidence in the function of the complications. We have running seconds at 6, which are changing through the pictures so I'm reasonably confident that is working. We have a moonphase and a calendar at 2 o'clock. There is a single pin pusher at 2 o'clock which I can only assume is a quick set for the date. The 45 counter at 10:30 I don't have a clue about, I could possibly be a power reserve indicating hours but may or may not be functional!

    Skeleton Dials:

    Skeleton movements are a fantastic way of showing how your watch really ticks along. It takes a huge amount of work to make a movement worthy of being shown in public. Especially on watches as beautiful as a Breguet. There are a number of options for skeleton dials both with cheaper movements and the more expensive proper chinese tourbillon movements which I havn't touched upon yet. We'll have a look at a few of the cheaper ones and then head into expensive rep territory!

    42mm x 13mm
    Asian 2813 21J automatic movement

    So, it's not amazing. It's a reworked 2813 movement. They have gone to a lot of effort on the face plate to give it some detailing, however it is let down by the utilitarian movement underneath. You have the balance spring at 6 o'clock, running seconds at 9 and hours and minutes in the centre of the face. The rear isn't much better. Some detailing to the rotor makes it slightly nicer to look at, and the addition of blued screws is a nice touch.

    42mm x 12mm
    Asian Skeleton Automatic

    Well, it's not pretty. At all. For the money there's a good chance it's a faux chrono model. The sub-dials in the shots are frozen at 11 seconds and 41 minutes with the sweep seconds hand shown moving. The rotor and detailing to the rear of the movement are not bad. But then for $68 what can you really expect.

    40mm x 11.7mm

    I really wasn't going to include this watch. But it's so terrible that I just had to. The rep factory could not have been any frickin lazier in making this watch. Absolutely zero attempt and making it look decent. Like seriously zero. In the words of Comic Book Guy. Worst, rep, ever.

    42mm x 12mm
    Skeletonised Seagull hand-winding tourbillon movement

    [ame=""]YouTube - Breguet Skeleton Tourbillon Best Replica Watch[/ame]

    Now we are getting into completely the other side of the Breguet rep world. We jump from the poor lower cost reps to the very upper limit of what most people expect would be reasonable to pay for a replica watch. The Seagull hand-winding tourbillon. The open face of this watch, whilst not covered in fancy engraving looks to be finished nicely. All of the movement visible seems nicely polished and the brass touches on the edge of the tourbillon and with the Breguet brand up at the top of the dial stand out well. The hands are tiny. But this isn't a watch you wear to tell the time. You wear it for the simple joy of being able to watch a tourbillon movement completely unrestricted by a dial in any way. The blued screws front and back make nice accents to what is actually quite a plain movement. It's not the prettiest or most intricately detailed movement but it is nice.

    42mm x 13mm
    Asian Flying Tourbillon Manual Handwinding Movement with Calender Complications

    [ame=""]YouTube - OrderNumber3769 1[/ame]

    This is something special. It's almost beautiful to the point where I don't care how close it is to the genuine, this on it's own, is a truly special watch. I really honestly don't know where to begin giving it a review. The work done on the movement itself is exquisite. I really am a little lost for words on this one.

    Grand Complication Tourbillon:

    39.3mm x ??mm
    Asian Tourbillon manual movement

    I think this is a stunningly and classically designed watch. Call it a branded homage, or a fantasy rep, whatever. It's simple and elegant. Running seconds (tourbillon) at 6, minutes in the centre and a vertically offset hour hand towards 12 o'clock. The movement viewable through the exhibition case back is a bit basic, but the visible jewels, blued screws and gold embossed scroll work and lettering make it a bit more interesting. Who cares, from the wrist this thing would be fantastic.

    PIX's review of this watch

    42mm x 12mm
    Seagull tourbillon hand-winding movement with working moon phase function

    This I think, personally is the nicest of the guilloché detailed dials I have seen so far. The wave pattern spreading from the centre point of the dial and up to the edge of the hour markers is just beautiful. This watch, as the above two, has the tourbillon at the 6 o'clock position. The hour and minute hands are centrally placed, perhaps just slightly above centre in the dial. At 3 o'clock we have the working moonphase dial, and a hand indicating 24 hour positions. At 9 o'clock we also have a sub-dial showing markings of 12, 3, 6 and 9 but there is no mention of its function. Movement again visible through the caseback as a Seagull tourbillon with nice detailing, same as the previous watch.

    42mm x 13mm
    Asian Seagull Handwinding tourbillon movement

    This is a stunning watch. The attention to detail the replica makers have given this watch, both front and rear is astonishing for the money. The guillocha dial, open tourbillon, engraving around the bottom of the dial, and the level of detail on the rear plate is absolutely incredible. On the tourbillon is a triple seconds hand. Whereby there are 3 seconds hands on the tourbillon pivot and a dial marking that runs from 0 to 20. I really can't say more about it. For the money it is a stunning watch.

    Heritage Tourbillon:

    (Ref. 5497)

    This watch features the "Pomme" shaped emblematic Breguet blue fire roasted hour hands and a tonneu shaped case. It's available in Rose Gold or Platinum, mirrored in the reps by two versions, one Rose Gold plated and the other Stainless Steel.

    38mm x 53mm x 13mm
    Asian Seagull Handwinding tourbillon movement
    Rose Gold plated

    38mm x 53mm x 13mm
    Asian Seagull Handwinding tourbillon movement

    The rep makers have actually done a reasonable job in replicating this watch. Firstly the dial looks well made. The roman hour markings are raised above the dial as per the gen. The hands look well made and the tourbillon is beautiful. They have even picked up the detail that the roman number 6 (VI) makes up the bridge on the tourbillon itself. It's a simple and classic design, with hours and minutes on the main dial and a small seconds hand situated above the tourbillon.

    Orbital Tourbillon:

    This was a term that I had to do some research on. I'd never heard of an Orbital Tourbillon and the pictures of the watches with these installed really doesn't tell even a small part of the story. What essentially looks like an open tourbillon faced watch has so much more to it. It didn't really make sense until I found a Youtube video showing the beauty of what an Orbital Tourbillon actually does. The simple fact that they have managed (read:attempted) to replicate this is absolutely staggering. Please enjoy what is an amazing video.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Christophe Claret - Jean Dunand -Tourbillon Orbital 3D[/ame]

    And have they achieved it. Well, yes and no. There is only one rep that I have found that states it is an Orbital Tourbillon. However there are some issues with it.

    43mm x 13mm
    Asian orbital tourbillon manual movement

    I can only assume certain things from the pictures available on a few of our TD's sites. Firstly, there is no tourbillon visible on the dial. What we can see is the balance wheel and also the running seconds wheel. Underneath the balance wheel is a very large cog wheel. It looks to circle the entire movement underneath the dial. This, according to the dealers blurb, make the dial orbit over the space of one hour. I actually believe this part. You can see in the dealer shots that the location of the balance wheel is changing position throughout the photos. However, there is NO tourbillon visible. If we look at the rear of the movement we can see no visible tourbillon either. What can we assume from this? Well, there's a good chance it's not actually a tourbillon movement, however it does seem to replicate the functions of an Oribital tourbillon watch. Spending this much money for something that essentially looks like a cheaper open heart watch would personally be really dissapointing. I think it's a case of 'close, but no cigar'.

    Flying Tourbillon:

    Rather than being supported by a bridge, or cock, at both the top and bottom, the flying tourbillon is cantilevered, being only supported from one side. The first flying tourbillon was designed by Alfred Helwig, instructor at the German School of Watchmaking, in 1920.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Macro shot of a flying tourbillon[/ame]

    The flying tourbillons movement watches that we have on offer from the dealers are actually very visually appealing. However they are not necessarily accurate. What we see above is what they call the 'Flying B' tourbillon watch. Where the seconds hand placed on the tourbillon complication is in the shape of the Breguet 'B'. This of course doesn't have the upper bridge.

    41mm x 12mm
    Asian Flying Tourbillon Hand-wind movement

    42mm x 13mm
    Asian Seagull Handwinding tourbillon movement

    All things considered this is actually a very handsome and reasonably well replicated watch. The dial looks beautifully patterned and dial spacing and placement is pretty close. The flying tourbillon movement actually looks somewhat close to the genuine offering with the 'Flying B' as the seconds hand. The hands look slightly thicker than on the gen and of course the movement on the back is completely inaccurate. It is however in the same style as the other Seagull movements with nicely patterned back plate and blued screws plus a few visible rubies. All in all quite nicely done and reasonably priced.

    Type XX:

    Reference 3800ST/92/9W6
    Material : Steel
    Calibre : 582
    Lines : 13½
    Case thickness (mm) : 14.40
    Case dimension (mm) H : 39.00
    Jewels : 25
    Water (m) : 100
    Powers (hours) : 48

    Designed in the 1950s for the French naval air arm, Breguet makes Type XX watches in two versions: the Aéronavale and the Transatlantique, with date indication. Its chronograph, however, retains the fly-back function needed for flying search patterns.The Type XXI design features a fly-back minute totaliser at centre and a 24-hour time display. A flyback chronograph is a complication watch, which uses a single push of the button for stopping, resetting and restarting the chronograph function of the watch.Many chronographs are equipped with the flyback function, especially watches meant for pilots. It is much easier from the point of view of time saving, to instantly restart the chronograph with one push of the button, instead of three.The appearance of the flyback function was catalyzed by the first watch with a separate chronograph button (the stop and reset functions were previously controlled by the winding-crown). This watch appeared in 1923 and was developed by Breitling.
    The chronographs have afterwards gained the form which they retained until today. In 1934 the Breitling chronographs received the second chronograph button with the function of returning the seconds hand to zero. Thus it became possible to measure short intervals of time using the add function. However the patent of the flyback chronograph belongs to Longines with its first flyback chronograph dating back to 1936.

    The rep makers offer a few different versions of the XX and the XXI. Let's have a look at the XX no-date version first.

    Asian 7750 automatic chronograph

    So here we have a fairly standard seconds at 9 Asian 7750 rep watch. Nothing particularily amazing. The single biggest flaw on this watch is the sub-dials being too large. You can see on the 3 o'clock subdial that it cuts into the markers for 2 and 4. The 6 o'clock sub-dial actually looks ok and doesn't cut into the 5 and 7 markers but again at 9 o'clock we have it cutting into the 10 and 8 markings. This really is the only flaw worth noting. The rest of the watch is actually very simple. Add a nice new leather strap and you can mimic the XX on leather very easily. You would of course have to source a Breguet clasp or a rep one somehow.

    The rep makers also do this exact version with a date complication as above. There is no great difference other than the addition of the datewindow in the 6 o'clock sub-dial. It is however noted that they seem to have managed to make the sub-dials slightly smaller and closer to the genuine watch. Out of the two XX watches the version with the date complication is actually more accurate.

    Type XXI:

    Reference 3810BR/92/9ZU
    Material : Pink gold / Steel
    Calibre : 584 Q
    Lines : 13½
    Case thickness (mm) : 15.20
    Case dimension (mm) H : 42.00
    Jewels : 25
    Water (m) : 100
    Powers (hours) : 48

    The only reps of the XXI currently are Quartz versions. They come in all manner of styles, white dial, brown dial, black dial, rose gold case, stainless steel etc etc. They suffer the same sub-dial spacing and sizing issue that most other chronographs suffer from. They also lack a huge amount of detailing on the dial that the genuine watch has. Considering they are $98 to $128 they are not amazing quality. The $128 versions are slightly better quality and actually have some dial detailing. However they are still pretty crude.

    Here you can see how badly the lume on the markers has been applied and how cheap the 5 min markers actually look.

    Unfortunately this is one of those reps that I really wouldn't buy. A quartz movement in a chrono is not the end of the world. In fact for the sake of cost and reliability it's not necessarily a bad thing. However the dial on this rep really lets it down. For a fuller hands on review of this version of the watch please see the link below.

    Full Breguet XXI review thread Vs Gen


    Reference 5827BB/12/9Z8
    Material : Yellow gold / White gold
    Calibre : 583 Q/1
    Lines : 13½
    Case thickness (mm) : 14.10
    Case dimension (mm) H : 42.00
    Jewels : 24
    Water (m) : 100
    Powers (hours) : 48

    Quartz Movement

    The original of this watch is something that I think is quite handsome. It's available with both leather and rubber strap options and is aimed at the sailing enthusiasts in the same way that the Rolex Yachtmaster is. It has a strange configuration in the original. We have an hours/minutes/seconds configuration for the main hand set. We also have two sub-dials at the 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions and the chrono seconds running in the centre. On the rep we have a slightly different set up due to the quartz movement. We have running seconds at 6 o'clock, a chrono seconds hand on main dial and the minutes chrono on the 9 o'clock sub-dial. The chrono pushers on the rep are also much further from the crown than on the gen. It has a reasonably accurate simulation of the rubber strap but all in all this is not an amazing replica, which is a shame as the real watch is quite a looker.

    Reference 5817ST/12/5V8
    Material : Yellow gold / Steel
    Calibre : 517GG
    Lines : 11½
    Case thickness (mm) : 11.85
    Case dimension (mm) H : 39.00
    Jewels : 35
    Water (m) : 100
    Powers (hours) : 65

    Asian 21j Automatic

    I'm really disappointed that this version has a horrible faux-diamond bezel. It could actually be an 'ok' version of the non-chrono Marine. As it is, it's not a complicated watch. Hours, minutes and running seconds as well as a date complication at 6 o'clock. The Guilloche dial looks in ok shape but beyond that it's unfortunately another 'cheapie'. There are a lot of variations on this them but none in the higher end of the rep world. A lot are quartz, at most you get an Asian 21j movement. Unfortunately I've ended the thread on a bit of a low note. For a more pleasing rep sensation please scroll back up to the Tourbillon section It's what I would do!

    Reference Material and Links:

    Chinese Watch Industry Wiki
    Ofrei Chinese Made Mechanical Watch Movements
    Breguet Official Website
    Puretime Watches International
    Perfect Clones (non-TD)
    Watch Eden

    Awesome thread!
    Patek Philippe


      Still a lot more to come!


        wow, awesome. I think I am going to go order "The Classique Chronograph" right now!


          I can't wait, it's gonna be an instant classic. I'm glad I've held off on buying a Breguet until now, as I'll be able to use your thorough analysis.
          Patek Philippe


            great thread bonesey..

            ATTENTION NOOBS: for information regarding where to purchase the best rep available at the best possible price, PLEASE PM member BMW760, he knows all the ins and outs of the dealers current stock.


              This is the most beautiful Watch EVER in my mind. Just too small....

              "Modding = turning a $100 rep with flaws into a $500 rep with a few less flaws"
              "There is only so much I, you or any self-styled "expert" can really "know."" donaldejose
              "frig, wtf?? Really man." sub4me
              "If I were a Pam guy, or if I traveled, or if I had money, I'd be all over this!!" levelmanroger
              "Frig you could have at least posted a LESS hot tranny" JC7
              "The one who dares to tell me that he won't doggystyle "her" is gay or a liar......" NSTNS
              "that one is frigpiggin cool" trksh-bzr


                Like most other dress watches they tend to be quite small compared to modern watch sizes. Anything bigger than 40mm doesn't seem to appear that often. Shame for the lads with big wrists but perfect for 7" lads like me


                  I would move the Type XX up that list, but I guess you want me to keep coming back to check on this thread.


                    Going for the classics first :P


                      You are missing a section for the "Marine" . . . LOVE THIS THREAD. . . . I am trying to get my hands on an XX with a strap, failing miserbaly, same goes for the simple Marine on rubber. . .


                        Great thread, Bonesey. Must have been a lot of work. +rep
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                          Can't wait to see more of them! thank you for this thread, as I am looking for a tourbillon this is inspiring
                          Rep: 1680 red and 1655 Gen: Rolex 16014; Heuer Monza
                          Wishlist: gen JLC reverso art déco RG; 116719 in my dreams


                            Updated some sections, added some videos


                              Gracefully refined and dignified timepieces. Rep deserved here.

                              I concur with bigdeal; The Classique Chronograph would be my first choice.
                              "...MI6 looks for maladjusted young men who give little thought to sacrificing others in order to protect queen and country. You know, former SAS types with their easy smiles and expensive watches... Rolex?"