Breguet Classique Tourbillon - Ref. 3357 - Yellow Gold



In 1793, a profound darkness settled over the 'City of Light'. It was the year that Queen Marie-Antoinette, one of Abraham-Louis Breguet's most notable clients, would meet her untimely fate. The Reign of Terror would take hold of Paris. Understanding the precarity of his position, A. L. Breguet - the father of modern-watchmaking - would flee to Switzerland, the country of his birth and remain there for the following two years. In such a situation, the resolve of many would understandably waver. Yet those who have been blessed with that spark of genius seem to have this incredible trait, no matter the magnitude of adversity they may face, they will not - they cannot - be distracted from their intended path. A. L. Breguet, founder of the House of Breguet, was one such person. Those years spent in Switzerland would become two of the most inventive and creative of his entire career. 

The perpetual calendar, la pendule sympathique, la montre à tact, as well as the most significant and exquisite Breguet creation of all, the eternally mesmerising tourbillon, were all ideated by A. L. Breguet's brilliant mind over the course of those years in exile, 1793 to 1795. 

With the creation of the tourbillon, he challenged and defied the greatest force on this planet - gravity. Nothing, not even gravity, would stand in the way of his quest for perfect time keeping. By creating a protective cage to house the escapement and balance wheel of the movement, he freed these elements from the downward pull of that external force. Liberated, light and free in their motion, the overall accuracy of the pocket watch was markedly improved. 

In 1988, with the Classique model 3350, Breguet incorporated the tourbillon into a wristwatch for the first time in its history. While the tourbillon may no longer have served to improve accuracy, the complication's immense historical importance for the brand - as well as its sheer beauty - meant the model made perfect sense. During the 1970s and 1980s the Chaumet brothers, together with Daniel Roth, spearheaded an astounding revival of the House of Breguet. In order to move forward, sometimes one must take a step back and this is exactly what Mr Roth did when he joined Breguet as master watchmaker. Under his guidance, A. L. Breguet's exceptional pocket watch designs and features would carefully be translated into modern wristwatch form - a formidable task yet one that produced spectacular results, as demonstrated through the undeniable allure of this 3357.

The 3357 was introduced in the early nineties and is the successor to the 3350. With only minor cosmetic differences, the main aspect that separates the two is that the '0' of the 3350 indicates a closed caseback, while the '7' indicates an open caseback. A testament to its appeal.

The watch

A creation that showcases the delicate 360-degree elegance for which Breguet is renowned. An elegance that was instilled by the brand's founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, and exquisitely rejuvenated during master watchmaker Daniel Roth's tenure at the brand from the mid-70s to late-80s.

Glowing, luxurious yellow gold forms the 36 mm coin case of this 3357. Graceful fluting flows around the case band and around the edge of the crown, which is signed with an expressive B. Fine, elegant, downturned scalloped lugs extend from the perfectly round case. The perfectly round case that protects the most intricately beautiful dial. In Breguet's unmistakable style, where possible, every part of the dial is adorned with varied hand-turned guilloché decoration - as confirmed by the 'Swiss Guilloché Main' at the 3. The outer parts of the white dial are covered in the Grain D'orge pattern, while two brushed silver rings are located at the 12 and form the off-centre subdial for the hour and minute functions, the hour and minute are indicated by traditional blued Breguet hands. Painted black Roman numerals radiate over the inner brushed silver ring to mark the hours. Breguet's secret signature is located between the XI and XII, and the XII and I. A brushed silver cartouche carries the dial signature, reference number and is surrounded by a contrasting guilloché pattern that fills the centre of the subdial - Clou de Paris. Yet a further form of guilloché is incorporated into the piece, Sauté Piqué delineates the silver brushed rings and encircles the perimeter of the dial - creating a charming interaction between light and the inner edge of the rich, gold case. 

Every millimetre of this timepiece is replete with diverse and extraordinary texture. Texture that when combined, gives rise to an object of simply stunning human artistry. At the 6, a generous cut out reveals the tourbillon cage over which a three-armed seconds hand has been placed, with each hand neatly covering twenty seconds of a minute. 


The 3357 is powered by the manually-wound Calibre 558. This movement was produced by Nouvelle Lemania, with the close involvement of both Daniel Roth and François Bodet while they were both working for Breguet. Nouvelle Lemania was eventually bought by Breguet in 1992.

The movement contains 21 jewels, a lateral lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to 6 positions and a self-compensating Breguet balance spring. The movement has a frequency of 18,000 A/h and gives the watch a power reserve of 50 hours.

It is not only the dial of this piece to which Breguet's artisans dedicated their extraordinary skill. As it is possible to see through the sapphire glass caseback, the movement has been decorated with the rare technique of ciselage (carving). Ciselage is a technique reserved only for Breguet's most precious timepieces and can therefore often be found on the back plate of a tourbillon. 

How it wears

A watch that wears with a sense of gentle yet majestic elegance. Its modest 36 mm case is composed on the wrist, refined yet assertive in the most graceful manner. The dial is delicately ornate but its composition is strong - the off-centre subdial crowns the tourbillon. A piece that brings both quiet strength and captivating style to the wrist.

The set & condition

This historically and visually powerful piece of Breguet is in very good condition and comes with its complete set. The watch is fitted with a Mr WATCHLEY Saffiano Terracotta strap. 

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium

No stock kept on site

* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *

Reference 3357
Movement Manual
Calibre 558
Dial Cream Guilloché
Size (Case) 36 mm
Material (Case) Yellow Gold
Bracelet Mr Watchley Saffiano Terracotta
Glass Sapphire
Condition Very good
Year 1999
Papers Yes
Box Yes
Warranty 2 years

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