In Chinese culture, the dragon is revered as a majestic entity embodying strength, bravery, high status, determination, and prosperity. To pay homage to this extraordinary being, the Maison has invested its complete expertise in crafting two remarkable watches.
To mitigate the impact of gravity on the precision of watch movements, Abraham-Louis Breguet introduced the tourbillon on June 26, 1801. This innovation in watchmaking has continuously captivated enthusiasts since its inception. As years passed, the brand expanded its collection with various transformations, reaching a pinnacle with the launch of the first double tourbillon in 2006. This innovation features two tourbillons connected by a differential, playing a crucial role in time indication. The rotating plate that holds the two tourbillons drives the hour hand, acting as the upper bridge for one tourbillon and its extension serving as the bridge for the other. Although the two tourbillons operate independently, each completing a rotation every minute through its respective gear train and barrel, they are synchronized through differential gears. These gears average their speeds and facilitate the movement of the entire assembly, showcasing a masterful blend of precision engineering and aesthetic design.
The captivating functionality of this device is powered by the 749-component Calibre 588N1, a manually operated movement boasting a 60-hour energy reserve and a frequency of 2.5 Hz. The breadth of Breguet’s craftsmanship is also visible through the sapphire crystal on the back of the case. The symbolic artwork, a fusion of guilloché patterns and engraving, showcases the exceptional skill of the manufacturer’s artisans. These traditional techniques have been kept alive at the Manufacture Horlogère in the serene Vallée de Joux. The facility houses over 30 guilloché machines, including some centuries old, embodying the essence of this intricate art. Under the careful guidance of seasoned artisans, these instruments create various designs entirely by hand.
Next to this, experienced engravers employ many methods to produce the diverse designs seen on the watches. Despite the modern addition of binocular microscopes, the tools and methods remain unchanged from those used hundreds of years ago, preserving the heritage and precision of the craft.
Today, the brand showcases a variant featuring a dragon that gracefully encircles the twin tourbillons. This meticulously hand-carved gold dragon, affixed to both barrel bridges, is illustrated by gripping a pearl crafted from mother-of-pearl in its claws. According to myth, this pearl harbours a divine essence that bestows upon the dragon its formidable powers and symbolizes wisdom. This mythical creature is symbolic of the emperor, portraying him as a sage ruler of his realm.
The rotating plate of rhodium-plated gold is adorned with a hand-crafted fan pattern. Beneath the main plate, the gold bridge undergoes an anthracite galvanic treatment and is decorated with guilloché detailing featuring the Clous de Paris hobnail pattern.
The essence of luxury is captured in the meticulous attention to detail: the sapphire hour-circle features Roman numerals and a minutes track, which are initially engraved with precision by a laser before being filled in with black varnish. Similarly, the flange boasts 12 Roman numeral hour markers, engraved and subsequently inlaid with black varnish, creating an effect miming the numerals’ shadows on the chapter ring.
Additionally, Breguet presents the unique opportunity for each client to own a genuinely bespoke watch, with the option to customize the dragon’s form and hue according to personal preference. Choices extend to the colour of the Roman numerals, the watch hands, and the strap, offering a selection from Breguet’s sophisticated design palette.
Learn more about the Breguet Double Tourbillon Dragon.