Breguet’s sweet sound of watchmaking prestige

Breguet’s new Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes chiming watch is sensual and sublime equal measure

Less is truly more with the Breguet Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes. To the unsuspecting, the watch appears to be a simple—albeit, highly refined—dress watch. Clad in gleaming rose gold with a stark, glossy black dial that displays just the hours and minutes, there is little that the Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes gives away.

The slider to activate the minute repeater mechanism hints at the watch’s mechanical sophistication. Photo by Breguet

Until, of course, one starts looking closer. A slider on the left of the case is a giveaway to the watch’s technical prowess. A common feature on minute repeater complications, the slider serves to activate the watch’s chiming functions, sounding out the hours, quarters, and minutes in clear and pristine dings.

Breguet’s association with chiming watches dates back to 1783. Then, its eponymous founder, Abraham-Louis, created one of the earliest versions with a pocket watch that sounded the time with a striking spring blade mechanism.

The construction of repeater watches has evolved immensely since, of course. The new Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes features a hammers-and-gong system that is common to modern minute repeater wristwatches. The watch is driven by the Calibre 567.2, a finely decorated, hand-wound movement that features an innovative architecture for the repeater mechanism. Here, the golden gongs and hammers are fixed to the middle of the 42mm case instead of the movement’s base plate. This unique set-up, which Breguet has patented, purportedly enhances the resonance and purity of the chimes.

The watch’s exceptional innerworkings are matched by its elegant façade. The warm sheen of its rose gold case is paired with a gorgeous black dial. A picture of sobriety, the minimalist and flawless black dial is made using the grand feu (‘high fire’) enamelling technique.

The artisan dissolves powdered enamel in water before applying it to the dial. Following which, the dial is fired multiple times with numerous coatings in an oven at over 800°C. The process is delicate and fastidious, requiring years of experience to master. It can take several weeks to produce a single dial in the desired shade. On the Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes, the dial’s raven sheen is contrasted by Arabic numerals, minutes track and Breguet logo in silver enamel.

Breguet has been perpetuating the art of minute repeaters for over 250 years. Photo by Breguet

An exquisite masterpiece that charms with a discreet air of stateliness, the Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes is one to keep an eye on—and an ear for—if you are a fan of chiming watches.