Breguet Tourbillon Messidor 5335br/42/9w6 Review
Today we get to review one of the greater Breguet watches you'll ever see.
Today we will be taking a close look at the Breguet Tourbillon Mesidor reference # 5335BR/42/9W6. There is much that I need to discuss regarding this watch so let's jump right in.
As the father of the tourbillon complication, Breguet holds a very special place in the hearts of many watch enthusiasts. It is possibly one of the most mesmerizing complications every created and is usually the focal point on the dial of any watch that features one. This is probably why many Breguet watches feature this type of high complication.
However, this particular watch has such an elaborately finished skeleton dial that although the tourbillon does look spectacular, it doesn't cause the rest of the wristwatch to pale in comparison like you will see on other, less impressively finished timepieces with the same complication.
As with most Breguet watches, you will notice the very distinctive case with its fluted sides creating a magnificent combination of light and shadow on the sides of the 40mm polished 18kt rose gold case.
Another slightly less noticeable but equally artistic feature is the use of polished gold dot hour markers on the off-center dial on the upper half of the dial. These dots are found on every hour from 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock and are missing where the tourbillon cage intersects.
Highly polished blued steel hands in the Breguet style stand out nicely over the mostly steel and rose gold skeleton dial but interestingly, the minute hand somehow passes through the tourbillon window in the most unexpected way.
This watch comes on a brown alligator leather strap with an 18ktt solid rose gold deployant buckle. The Breguet 'B' icon is embossed on the buckle in an area using a round speckled textured background. The stitching on the band is a hue of burnt orange to match the lighter than brown veining on the alligator leather.
Another peculiar thing about this watch is how the tourbillon which also happens to have an integrated seconds hand appears to be fastened by nothing at all. The rose gold tourbillon cage is held together by two sapphire crystals. This invisible tourbillon bridge engineered into the construction of this watch has the tourbillon appearing to defy gravity and practically float in the case as can be seen in the video below.
While tourbillons are marvelous mechanical creations that can entertain and enthrall those who observe it, it is the finishing on this watch that really got to me. Oftentimes a high-end watchmaker won't take the time to apply finishing techniques to each and every component in a watch but seeing that this is a skeleton dial and everything is out in the open for everyone to see, Breguet went through the process of finishing every visible component in this movement.
A close look will reveal how this painstaking task finishing provides for an incredibly brilliant appearance. Most of the finishing techniques used were selective combinations of linear and radial brushed finishes. You can see a hint of perlage (a smaller radial brush pattern) near the crown and chamfering or anglage as it's called in its traditional French language. The latter highlighting the shape of each component by providing a smooth high polished beveled edge to many of the steel components and bridges; by hand and up-close-and-personal with a loop and a hand file.
While it looks like there is a lot happening on this watch it is yet devilishly stylish and has a timeless classic look that will work for anyone who appreciated the inner workings of a mechanical watch.
The Breguet Tourbillon Messidor 5335BR reviewed here is powered by the in-house Breguet caliber 558 SQ2. This is a manual wind/hand-wound watch which is made obvious to most watch nerds judging by the lack of a weighted rotor on the back of the movement. The absence of the rotor also allowed for a thin profile at only 9.65mm case thickness.
The 25-jewel Breguet 558SQ2 movement is comprised of 201 components, beats at 2.5 Hz/18,000 VpH and has a 51-hour power reserve.
This is quite an exquisite timepiece, to say the least. As a Grande Complication watch, this amount of elaborate decorating and Haute Horlogerie is expected of the tourbillon watch that was named after 7 Messidor, year IX of the French revolutionary calendar; the very date that the tourbillon complication was patented.