3057 Breguet Classique Perpetual Calendar
There seems to be some magic about the inception of a career. Let me explain. Einstein invented the theory of relativity at 26, writing his seminal paper shortly after graduating while working in the Swiss Patent Office. Brandon Flowers of The Killers wrote Mr. Brightside at 22, two years after the Band formed. Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004, at 20. Actually, perhaps that last one we’d be better without. But Daniel Roth, well his earliest work I find most attractive, whilst spearheading Breguet. The Classique collection rivaled any 90s Patek Philippe in design sense, finishing standard, and watchmaking effort. There isn’t higher praise. In 1973, Roth set about bringing a perpetual calendar back to Breguet. Most will know the ref. 3310 as the Classique Perpetual, however, before that was this 3050 whose roots tie directly to to Roth’s past and a pocket watch he made for his studies at Le Sentier. And this 3057 is the same deal, but with a display back and finished to an insane standard.
Perpetual calendars in 1980 were a niche interest and still quite uncommon, certainly nothing like as proliferated as they are today. Perpetual calendars were a last bastion of the highest order watchmaking when quartz crystals were causing chaos. Roth wisely recognized this early, and in the late 70s Breguet debuted this 3050, a wristwatch whose movement and layout were both directly taken from a pocket watch made in his studies and applied to a wristwatch format. It’s often parroted in watch media that Audemars Piguet brought back high-level mechanical watchmaking in the 5548 Perpetual Calendar. However, Roth was there right alongside AP in the very earliest days of Switzerland’s resurgence and is often, even admittedly by us, overlooked. This is the start of what you’d call neo-vintage, and as we just learned some things are best right out of the gate.
Moreover, its proportions are restrained at 36mm, with an aggressively thin 8mm height. The dial is made from a plate of solid gold with a galvanized silver surface, sporting a full clous de paris guilloché. Perhaps the most beautiful aesthetic touch, though, is the handset: characteristically Breguet with elongated stems. Each watch was numbered in series in the classic Breguet tradition, viewable on a plaque applied to the right hand date subdial. Breguet’s director at the time, Francois Bodet, was quoted as saying that only 2 or 3 perpetual calendars left the maison’s doors each year, as they required about thirty distinct watchmaking professions to create a single watch. All of this history and watchmaking effort, yet still 3050s will trade hands at or about 30K in USD today. Think of it as a 3940, half-off. Moreover, on this 3057, the movement is on display with a fully hand engraved rotor, balancecock, and baseplate. Maybe we’re all just getting more entrenched and lazy as we get older. This would suggest so: perfection.
This example is in fantastic shape, there is only minor surface wear visible on the case with a light rose patina in the deeper parts of the case. Engravings are deep. It comes with its original deployant clasp and guarantee booklet from a well-regarded London retailer.