One of my personal highlights from Baselworld this year was Breguet’s Classique Hora Mundi 5727. While it’s actually a cosmetic update of the original 5717 Hora Mundi from 2011, it’s a significant one that makes the smart twin time feel like a completely new watch.
Before we talk about the looks, let’s look at what the Hora Mundi is. Essentially it’s a dual time or GMT watch, but one unlike any other. The dial is clean and clear, without the second hour hand, 24-hour displays or city rings that are typically part and parcel with this sort of complication. Of course the city ring still exists, it’s just hidden, except for the small aperture at six.
So if there’s only one set of hands and one city displayed on the dial, how is this a dual time watch? Well, therein lies the genius. The calibre 77FO inside the Hora Mundi features an instantaneous time zone jump. Press the button at eight and you’ll see the city disc, time, day/night indicator (in the offset subdial) and, if necessary, the date, all instantly change. Honestly it’s one of the coolest complications I’ve ever used. It’s also an exceptionally clever interpretation of a dual time complication, which uses two special cams that operate as a programmable ‘mechanical memory’. Essentially you set your home city and time, activate the pusher at eight, then set the second time zone. From this point on, the watch will ‘remember’ the current time in both locations. Breguet has four patents tied up in this elegant solution to a typically busy complication.
So that’s the mechanics covered off, which leaves us with the looks. In short, the Hora Mundi 5727 is classic Breguet. With its relatively slim (12.6mm) yet well sized (43mm) white gold case in the traditional style with its fluted caseband and welded lugs, the watch epitomises everything that makes Breguet great. And that’s before we even get to the best bit: the dial. The earlier version of the Hora Mundi features a stylised map in the central section of the dial, and a much more colourful day/night indicator. It was a watch that stated, loudly and clearly, that it was made for travellers. The 5727 is positively stealthy in comparison. The dial is monochrome Breguet at its best, Roman numerals, blued Breguet-style hands (obviously) and that impeccable engine-turned guilloché, with hobnail finish in the centre and alternating weave and flame finishes on the day/night indicator.
It all adds up to a watch that can comfortably serve duties as a dressy daily wearer as well as a reliable travel companion, and an excellent example of how Breguet continues to innovate while remaining true to its roots.
Breguet Classique Hora Mundi 5727 Australian pricing
The Breguet Hora Mundi 5727 in white gold, $88,800