Culture / Galleries

The Million-Dollar Pocket Watch

525-Piece Marvel is a Timepiece to Covet

BY // 11.19.15
I present the Classique Complications 1907.
I present the Classique Complications 1907.

I once had a pocket watch that was made in Russia; the case was stainless steel, and Lenin’s likeness was engraved on the front of it. I loved it, but it was not made well, and I parted ways with it many years ago. I’ve not had another one since, but if I was in the market for a pocket watch, and if I had about $1,000,000 to spend on it, Breguet’s magnificent Classique Complications 1907 would be on the short list.

Abraham-Louis Breguet, the company’s namesake, was enamored of pocket watches, and this model clearly embodies Breguet’s legacy. It boasts a 525-piece movement — yes, 525 individual components in the yellow-gold case, many of which are visible through the watch’s large sapphire crystal. A chiming complication, a tourbillon, and “moon” tip hands are but three of the wonders this piece possesses.

The silver dial is itself a work of art, and features guilloche patterns (thanks to a hand-operated rose engine) and a wonderful checked pattern near the hour hand. The hands I mention above are blue, a blue that speaks of confidence and grace. And fortunate owners can see the hammers in action through the dial when their watch chimes its two tones. And speaking of the case, it is nothing if not substantial: 56.5mm wide and nearly 22mm thick. And beautiful. Textures, etching, polished surfaces … holding this watch would make one feel wealthy, indeed.

Not in the market for the 1907, but curious about its beauty and the company that created it? Get yourself to San Francisco before January 10 for Breguet: Art and Innovation in Watchmaking.

For those readers who appreciate technical specifications:

Classique “Grande Complication” pocket watch in 18-carat yellow gold

  • Petit Sonnarie and Grande Sonnarie
  • Tourbillon
  • Manually engraved hand-wound movement with 2-way rotating crown
  • Off-centered chapter ring
  • Center minute hand
  • Silvered gold dial, hand-engraved on a rose engine
  • Sapphire caseback
  • 65 hours power reserve
  • Caliber 508GS
  • 525 components
  • 56.50 mm Diameter

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