Monday, December 13, 2010



Words/Store Images Judith Ecochard

A new era for a much admired luxury watch brand heralded the opening of the modern, luxurious Breguet boutique (711 Fifth Avenue)---conveniently located a stone’s throw from that other magnet for cutting edge items---the always packed, 24 hours Apple store.

We recently took in a media preview of this emporium to keeping time ---and found the clean, understated elegance of the bright and open...and an oasis of calm on Manhattan's bustling Fifth Avenue.

Moving away from the traditional wood paneled atmosphere of many high-end brands, Breguet wanted to update the way watches are sold...

The brand and its innovative store----welcome customers with lined glass showcased walls displaying timepieces and placards depicting the brand's history.

Reflective of the new marketing direction Breguet has taken---while staying true (and consistent) to the splendor of the watches---- that has been ticking since 1775…

...are striking blue architectural panels--- adorning the space.

The tone reminded us of Yves Klein’s palette---a marine shade. Here the color appears on rubbery substances, textured to resemble the Parisian cobblestones (“guilloches”)---all done by hand, FYI---a theme taken from the watchbands of the popular Marine Royale series.

Masculine in feel--- but we can think of many women (us) that would wear, the traditional and new addition to the Marine Royale line---all pay homage to the timepieces designed for the French Air and Navy.

Here we admired the Breguet Marine Royale ($42,000) and the Type XXs Anniversary Edition ($9200)

 There are other modern classic designs that highlight Breuget’s innovative ‘complications’ (in fact Breguet invented the tourbillion in 1796!!!!!--- (a mechanism that came into being to insure time accuracy---by countering the effects of gravity-and now only prevalent on expensive timepieces).

Conversation stoppers also include watches for the ladies---the absolute stunning Queen of Naples (Reine de Naples) series of egg shaped timepieces ----

Particularly this head turner with “exploding” numbers…(and matching jewelry selections)…the Breguet Queen of Naples Cammea ($58,800)

 Another knockout---the highly patented 7047 PT watch made of platinum with a silver toned 18k gold Dial---- that is so fantastically conjured up---it takes several years to make each watch---and is priced accordingly. Honestly, swoon inducing!!!!!

AND…it’s TSA compliant---meaning, it won’t set off the alarms.

CODA: We had a nice chat with John, a steady handed Breguet master of watches---who advised us to have the timepieces serviced every 3-5 years---because the oils of these luxury items, dry out. For him, a single watch can take 8 hours per tune-up!

COOL FEATURE:  In the 3500 sq. ft boutique---an interactive virtual tour of the Swiss watchmaker’s facility’s in Switzerland…

…And a preview of the Breguet Classique 5157 watch, scheduled to be auctioned off to benefit the New York Philharmonic’s School Partnership Program.

AUCTION INFO:, Giving Work Site, and on the Avery Fisher Hall Grand Promenade during NY Philharmonic Concerts between December 30th and January 15th where two iPads will be stationed with pictures of the watch...and facilitate actual bidding.

...A sound machine---that amplifies a watches' chimes.