This is my favorite line of watches from Breguet at this moment, and such as sister brand Blancpain in The Swatch Group, I continue to urge that both of these manufacturers market their excellent sport watches separately from their more classic manner of timepieces that they’re frequently more known for.Premium-priced but exceptional in style and mechanics, the Breguet Type XXI is one of the sexiest methods for demonstrating that you’re a watch nerd. For me, this is among the finest pilot-style chronograph watches currently available. From what I could tell, Breguet’s household was first involved in really making a airplane, and then only afterwards, around the 1960s based on Breguet, did they create their initial aviation wristwatch (after creating a couple of cockpit instrument clocks). That said, it wasn’t until the 1950s, I believe, that Breguet introduced the original Type XX watches which were in service from the French army until the 1980s. Yes, the Breguet Type XXI 3817 is a cosmetic update to the existing collection, but it’s a collection that, in my view, deserves more options – as a whole lot of watch fans will really love these timepieces. It makes sense for a brand to supply an aesthetic array because of its best models, also while Breguet does have more than one Type XXI, the more the merrier, in my estimation. At a 42mm-wide steel case (water resistant to 100 meters), the Breguet Type XXI 3817 has a slate gray-colored dial together with Arabic numerals and hands painted with a tan-colored luminant. This can be attached to a matching calf leather strap. The Breguet Type XXI does look good on a strap, but for me personally, it also looks killer on a bracelet – therefore I expect that’s an option as well, today or later on.
Rarely are exceedingly simple watches striking to the point of being obvious but the Breguet Classique 5175 “Ginza Anniversary” certainly is. Its styling also speaks of consumer taste in Japan, which is traditional and proper.
The most unusual quality of the Classique 5175 is the blue grand feu enamel dial. Such dials are almost always white, inevitably beautiful but sometimes too common. Blue is decidedly unusual, and it is a first for Breguet.
The italicised Breguet-style numerals are made of powdered platinum while the hands are rhodium-plated, Breguet-style naturally. And the minute track is comprised of stars and symbols, a detail taken from vintage Breguet pocket watches. Like all other Breguet watches, this has the “secret signature” faintly engraved on the dial at six o’clock.
The watch is a variant of the Classique 5177BB/29/9V6, but what separates the two is that the limited edition has a blue enamel dial sans date display – an crucial improvement for traditionalists (and rendering the movement a separate calibre).
The case is white gold and 38mm in diameter, constructed in the typical Breguet style with narrow welded lugs, a fluted case back and narrow, domed bezel. Inside is the cal. 777J (the suffix is for “Japan”), an automatic movement with a 55-hour power reserve. Like many other Breguet movements, it has a silicon escape wheel, pallet fork and hairspring.
A limited edition of just 10 watches, the Classique 5175 was conceived to mark the 10th year of the Breguet boutique in Ginza, the poshest shopping district in Tokyo. It’s located on the third floor of the grand Nicolas G. Hayek Center, a 14-floor glass edifice with one Swatch Group brand boutique per floor and a restaurant. Designed by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the building probably made parent company Swatch Group more money via appreciating real estate values than watch sales.
Price and availability
The Classique 5175 “Ginza Anniversary” is limited to 10 pieces, available only at the Breguet boutique in Ginza, Tokyo. It is priced at ¥3.132m, local tax included, which is equivalent to US$27,800.