Can a classic be contemporary? Maybe not in the strict sense of the word, but with its reference 3797 Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon, is Breguet most certainly making a case that you can indeed come close. It utilizes traditional craftsmanship yet brings it together in such a way that this classic watch has a contemporary edge.
With a case of 41mm in diameter is this Breguet modest in terms of size. The bezel is rather slim leaving the vast majority dedicated to the dial. Here, Breguet presents us with a pleasant twist on the traditional layout of the perpetual calendar. The lower part of the dial houses the tourbillon, the device invented by the founder of the brand. Day, month and leap-year are presented through subdials, while the date is indicated by a retrograde hand at twelve o’clock. Right below we find the Roman numerals printed on a slightly frosted sapphire circle which is placed above the dial itself, an on which two blued Breguet hands tell the time.
It is seemingly small design details like this that make it that the 3797 Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon has a different feel to it. In many other ways, it is as classic as possible. Its 18-carat rose gold case features a finely fluted case band, with its lugs welded onto it. The alligator strap is secured by screws, and the dial is engine-turned in four different patterns. This is a hallmark of Breguet, in which they engrave the decorations by hand on the dial through a vintage rose-engine. A very delicate procedure which takes years to master.
To stay true to its tradition this Breguet is also manually wound. While the watch is fitted with a sapphire caseback, it shows mainly the main plate which covers the majority of the movement. Refined engravings add another dimension to this aspect of the watch as well. These are the details that make this Breguet almost in a league of its own; in many ways, a watch that is crafted with great respect for tradition, yet to be enjoyed in the here and now.