Montres Breguet presents: The London Concours 2022

By Breguet Blog
July 11th, 2022


2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
The HAC Grounds, home to the annual London Concours.

THE London Concours is one of the world’s leading, luxury automobile exhibitions, hosted and presented annually by Montres Breguet in the historic City of London. Around 80 of the world’s finest cars gather in the grounds of The Honourable Artillery Company Headquarters, an oasis of calm overlooked by The Honourable Artillery Company Museum. A stone’s throw north of the HAC Grounds one finds the William Blake Cenotaph and Isaac Watts’ Grave, two notable Britons who worked and lived in London.

This year the event took place from Tuesday 28th to Thursday 30th June beginning with a VIP preview day of the several dozen rare and iconic cars of all ages, once again curated and arranged by theme. These included classic vintage cars, supercars as well as novel options to create customised electric vehicles across a range of choice cars.

Presenting partner Montres Breguet

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Montres Breguet is the official presenting partner of the London Concours and a number of exciting new watches were on display.

Breguet continues its tradition of presenting the annual Concours while discreetly offering fine watches in the background. The Concours is for car enthusiasts after all, as well as serious buyers, but the allure of a mechanical watch is a natural fit for anyone with a passion for motorcars. Let us take a closer look at some of the watches on offer.

Breguet Tradition 7047PT Fusée-Chain Tourbillon Waltz

First presented in 2005, the Breguet Tradition pays homage to the rich history of the company and its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet. The Tradition family takes its cues from the Souscription (Subscription) pocket watches which required a down payment and allowing prospective owners to spread the cost of the watch (around 600 livres). The original was a large 61mm pocket watch with a single hand, enamel dial and a relatively thin movement housed in a sleek case. Some 700 Souscription watches (with some technical variations) were made in both gold and silver cases, mostly between 1798 and 1805.

Breguet now presents a new variation celebrating its recent anniversary of the tourbillon (1801-2021) as well as several innovations and inventions, including: Breguet hands, Breguet balance-spring, escape-wheel and lever in silicon, and, of course, the tourbillon.

The highlight of the Tourbillon Waltz is the strong colour combination achieved by having the dial and tourbillon carriage with a blue coating, while the chain is thermally blued. The spectacular fusée-chain tourbillon transmission also serves to optimise the regularity of the watch’s operation by maintaining constant torque, whatever the winding level. Signature finishes include the clous de Paris guilloché pattern on its off-centre gold dial, the traditional Roman numerals and the open-tipped hands. The dial is secured by three screws, another tribute to the pocket watch era.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Breguet’s phenomenal Tradition 7047PT Fusée-Chain Tourbillon Waltz, also available in two rose gold and a further platinum variation.

Marine Hora Mundi 5557

Breguet launched its two time-zone complication in 2011, when the first Hora Mundi (‘Hour of the World’) appeared in the Classique collection. These sumptuous dress watches are generously sized at 43mm and come in three versions showing the continents of the world: gold dial depicting the American continent, Europe-Africa or Asia-Oceania. Those are available in platinum or rose gold. Then there is also a traditional model with guilloché only, available in white or rose gold. Finally, there are three haute joaillerie versions adorned with diamonds and sapphires for each of the world’s major regions.

However, the real ingenuity behind the Hora Mundi lies in its in-house movement. The self-winding movement took three years to develop and has been awarded four patents. It is the first, and so far only, instant-jump time-zone display with synchronised date, day/night indication and city.

Simply put, Breguet conjured up a dual time-zone watch that shows either home time or local time on demand. Select your home time city by pulling the crown-pushbutton at 7 o’clock to position two and turn it to the city you are in or would like to choose. Now push this crown back in and then pull the crown at 3 o’clock to position three to stop the seconds hand when it reaches 12 o’clock. Turn the crown upwards to advance the hands until the date changes at midnight. Continue advancing the hands until you have the correct time in am/pm for the desired city. For accurate time-setting please ensure that this last operation is done with the hands moving clockwise. Then push the crown back to position one to start the seconds hand precisely.

For rapid date setting, pull the crown at 3 o’clock out to position two. Turn the crown upwards or downwards to the desired date and push the crown back in.

To set the watch to the synchronised time zone, press the crown-pushbutton at 7 o’clock to move away from the reference city, then pull the crown to position two and turn it in either direction until you have reached the desired second city.

Once the home city has been set to the correct time and the crown-pushbutton at 7 o’clock is in position one, you simply press the crown-pushbutton at 7 o’clock to change the city. The sensation and result are both glorious to watch in operation as the change is instantaneous for the time, date and am/pm indicator.

Now, the maison introduces the Marine Hora Mundi 5557, extending the pleasure of this novel movement to its Marine line of watches. The watch functions the same but is water-resistant to 10 bar (100m) and, naturally, sports a look and feel that is very much at home in freshwater or at sea.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
From l-r: Marine Hora Mundi 5557 in white and 5557 in rose gold. Both watches are also available on a leather strap or bracelet.

Fine dress watches were also on display, including the Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597 first released in 2020, available in rose gold with silvered dial or in white gold with silvered or blue dial. For movement connoisseurs, there is also the Tradition 7077 independent chronograph, a sophisticated 20-minute chronograph with two separate power reserves for the chronograph and timekeeping function. The chronograph’s balance wheel operates at a frequency of 5Hz and is accurate to 1/10th of a second, while the regular balance wheel operates at 3Hz, with a power reserve of 55 hours. The movement is completely in-house and unique among competitor chronographs. Those looking for a simpler nod to Breguet’s pocket watch era may prefer the Tradition 7097, a superb watch needing no complications.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
From l-r: Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597, Tradition 7077 independent chronograph, and Tradition 7097, all models featured are in rose gold but also available in white gold.

In the category of slim dress watches, nothing could be more elegant than the Classique collection. Whether you are looking for extra-thin models or complicated watches, there is a wide variety available. A few choice examples are shown below:

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
From l-r: Classique 7147, 7137, and 5157, other variations available.

Breguet’s Reine de Naples Ladies Collection

This collection is inspired by an early bracelet watch A.-L. Breguet created for Bonaparte’s sister Caroline, Queen of Naples. Inspired by tradition but not without contemporary flair, ladies are able to choose from a stunning range of jewellery watches and ladies’ sports watches are also available in the Marine collection.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
From l-r: Reine de Naples 8918 in white gold, Reine de Naples 8938 in rose gold, and Reine de Naples 8928 in rose gold on a bracelet. Other variations are also available.

Breguet also had on hand a watchmaker who was able to speak to everyone at length about Breguet and watchmaking. This made for a very rewarding and interactive experience. The watchmaker was also happy to show the various movements under a microscope, with images relayed on a video screen for convenient viewing.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
One of Breguet’s dedicated in-house watchmakers who made the day.

Rounding off the day’s watch experience, we take a quick look at the famous magnetic pivot before we turn our attention to the cars. Below is an enlarged, desk-sized model of the patent of 9th November 2010 that protects the magnetic pivot, an invention by Breguet that allows the balance staff, which holds the balance, to be held in part-suspension between two powerful micro-magnets. It was lovingly described as a paperweight and actually comes from the Breguet manufacture in L’Orient. For further information on the magnetic pivot, please see: https://breguetblog.com/m-z/.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
A full working model of the magnetic pivot, showing how the mechanism works. Not for sale although it could be a hit!
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Armoury House is home to the HAC and overlooks the grounds. This magnificent building is also available on a private hire basis for events.

Motorcars of distinction

Many exceptional cars were present and vintage cars jostled with contemporary style icons for our attention. The following photos trace some of the highlights of The London Concours 2022 and represent nothing less than a feast for the eyes.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
The Italian Spiders, one of many sensational highlights of this year’s Concours.

Always innovative and in tune with the Zeitgeist of everything mechanical, Breguet designed a chronograph dashboard clock for Lamborghini’s famed “Diablo”, offered as an upgrade option for the sum of 13,500 CHF. Out of the 60 pieces that were made, Breguet was recently able to acquire one for its museum, exhibited for the first time during the London Concours.

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Lamborghini Diablo, instantly recognisable and powered by a 5.7-litre Nat Aspirated V12 engine with a top speed of just over 200mph.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Breguet’s beautiful chronograph dashboard clock for the Lamborghini Diablo, showing fine guilloché work on the dial in harmony with Breguet’s classic Roman and Arabic numbers, Breguet hands and a 60-minute and 60-second counter for the chronograph.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Side-view of Breguet’s dashboard clock for Diablo 12102.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Back of Breguet’s dashboard clock for Diablo 12102 with lavishly oversized flat-head screws.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1960 Maserati 3500 Vignale Spider with a 3.5-litre straight-six engine and top speed of 140mph, one of 244.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1962 Ferrari 250GT California SWB with a 3.0-litre Colombo V12 engine and only 56 are believed to have been made.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1965 Ferrari 275GTS, launched at the 1964 Paris Salon, with a wet-dumped 260bhp 3.3-litre Colombo V12 engine, one of 200 believed to have been built.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1952 Mercedes-Benz 300S Convertible, also known as the “Adenauder Mercedes” after the German Chancellor who chose it for his state coach, with a 150bhp 3.0-litre 6-cylinder engine.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1929 Vauxhall Hurlingham 20 – 60 Speedster with a 3.0-litre T series engine, it is believed just 48 Hurlinghams were produced.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Detail of the magnificent 1929 Vauxhall Hurlingham and signature Britannia figure with the legend, “Pride of British”.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Flawless lines and immaculate colour tones highlight the resplendent coachwork of the 1929 Vauxhall Hurlingham.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
This 1928 Austin Seven Swallow is the oldest known survivor and thought to be one of only three cars preserved from the Blackpool production founded in 1922. It was acquired for the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in the 1980s and extensively restored in 1993. The original engine had sadly been lost and the car is now fitted with a slightly later engine, dating to 1930.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1932 Wolseley Hornet by Wolseley Motor Co., Ward End Works, Birmingham, with a 1.3-litre straight-six cylinder engine, a fine Swallow-bodied two-seat tourer.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
The legendary 1931 Bentley Blower 4-½ litre which won Le Mans in 1928; unblown, the engine put out 110bhp but with a Roots supercharger output reached 240bhp. One of Walter Owen Bentley’s quintessential British sportscars, thanks to the vision of Sir Henry Ralph Stanley ‘Tim’ Birkin who persuaded Bentley to produce 50 examples of the model.
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Detail of the 1931 Bentley Blower 4-½ litre engine with its wonderful workmanship, capable of a top speed of 130mph.
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The iconic dashboard with its unique steering wheel, wonderfully eccentric windshields and small, rectangular mirrors.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1937 Lagonda LG45 is a 130bhp 4.5-litre, straight-six engine. With just 25 built, this was the first model delivered to S. Baker in London in 1937.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1935 Jaguar SS1 Airline Saloon, a 20bhp six-cylinder engine with a smooth, air-spearing design in the Art Deco style of its day. Only 624 were produced and this one was delivered in March 1935 to Captain S. Clough by Glovers of Harrogate.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Detail of the 1935 Jaguar SS1 Airline Saloon exhibiting a light and fluid touch in terms of design, befitting of its “Airline Saloon” status.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
This 2022 McLaren 765LT MSO 001 is one of only 55 UK cars, custom built by McLaren Special Operations on chassis no. 1, and boasts 755bhp with a twin-turbo V8 engine, 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds, 124mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 205mph.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1958 Mercury Park Lane Convertible, powered by a 430ci V8 engine, the largest in a passenger car since WWII. It also boasts power steering. Only six to eight are believed to still survive. This model was restored in Quebec and spent some time in France before settling in the UK.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
The “Park Lane” logo graces the side of this stylish American icon.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Oozing class, the 1958 Mercury Park Lane Convertible, the likes of which we shall never see again.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Pagoda, designed by Paul Bracq, it made quite a splash at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show. With a 2.8-litre straight-six engine and removable hard-top, Bracq’s understated vision has become a timeless classic.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Pick-Up, a conversion carried out by Essex-based Clark & Carter, faithful to the original Silver Shadow and flawlessly executed.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1956 Maserati A6G 2000GT, one of 60 that left the factory in race specification with a tuned six-cylinder, twin spark DOHC engine with three 4DOC3 Weber carbs that produced 150bhp. It also has A6GCS brakes. The original interior is intact and the car has been painted only once.
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2004 Ferrari Enzo, launched in 2002 with an all-new 660bhp 6.0-litre V12 engine. Ferrari threw much of the technology from their F1 campaigns behind this car and it worked: the Ferrari Enzo is prized among collectors the world over.
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1964 Aston Martin DB5, formerly owned by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan from 1986-98, after which ownership changed hands a few times until the car arrived in the UK. In 2016, specialists Pugsley & Lewis fully rebuilt the engine and converted it to unleaded fuel. The car is exhibited courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1952 Mercedes-Benz 300S Convertible, a classic released at the 1951 Paris Motor Show, powered by a 150bhp Inline-6 engine. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Dashboard and steering wheel of the 1952 Mercedes-Benz 300S Convertible, in a word: superb. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona, a front-engine 353bhp water-cooled V12 presented at the 1968 Paris Motor Show with a top speed of about 170mph. The Ferrari Daytona defined an era and remains a timeless contribution in the supercar category. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
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1957 Porsche 356 Speedster with a 1600cc flat-4 engine and presented here in immaculate condition. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
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Dashboard and steering wheel of the 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster, a symphony of simplicity. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1960 Chevrolet Corvette, fabulously designed with a 283 ci. V-8 engine, is virtually indistinguishable from the 1950s. A fine example courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
Dashboard and steering wheel of the 1960 Chevrolet Corvette in a see of red, the speedometer stylishly shaped in the form of a crescent moon. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL, first shown in prototype at the 1954 New York Auto Show, 4-cylinder-inline engine (four-stroke), front-mounted, with a top speed of 107mph. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
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The magnificent dashboard and steering wheel of the 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL. Courtesy of The Ahluwalia Collection.
2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
1990 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary. This thoroughbred packs a 5.2-litre V12 engine with 449bhp at 7000rpm and 369lb ft at 5200rpm. 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and with a top speed of 185mph. One of 67 RHD cars built, this unique example was ordered by a passionate Lamborghini devotee who wanted to colour-match his 1975 LP400 Periscopio finished in Arancio Miura orange. With a little persuasion and extra encouragement by test driver Valentino Balboni, the factory duly obliged. The result is an iconoclastic addition to the Lamborghini legend.
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The forgotten 1938 Delahaye 135MS, one of the greatest pre-war French sports cars, first shown at the 1935 Paris Auto Show with a water cooled inline-6 w/alloy head engine and top speed of about 100mph. Exhaustively restored over a two-year period from 1989-1991. The coachwork is lavishly finished with a nod to the Art Deco era, making this a worthy contribution to the canon of vintage sports cars. The engine of this particular model was given a complete overhaul by renowned experts Jim Stokes in 2020.
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1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Sports Torpedo Tourer, the Rolls to top them all. First released in 1906, after 1910 it was fitted with a silken 7.4-litre straight-six engine that gave an output of 50bhp. This model was built in 1914 as a rare Sports Torpedo Tourer for the Cecil family, of Burghley House in Stamford, UK. In 1918 it was exported to the US by its owner, who emigrated there during WWI. It was rebodied in the mid-1920s and repatriated in the early 2000s and fitted with a toolroom copy of the original Barker Sports Torpedo body. This Ghost has graced many exhibitions and even travelled to India.
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The famed Spirit of Ecstasy adorns the bonnet.
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1938 Alvis 4.3 Short-Chassis Turner, with a 137bhp 4.3-litre OHV engine, notching up an impressive 0-60mph in 11.3 seconds and a top speed of 103mph. It was one of the fastest road cars of its day yet cheaper than the competition. The 1938 Alvis had independent front suspension plus a four-speed, all-synchro box, as well as Luvax hydraulic dampers and servo brakes. This particular model was purchased by the Royal Automobile Club in 1994 who have cared for it since.
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A North American Indian graces the bonnet of the 1938 Alvis, an accomplished design that embodies speed and forward motion.

Finally, it would seem fitting to close with an unassailable icon of the world of classic cars: the 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport Cabriolet. These cars have attained mythical status among enthusiasts and collectors. Vintage Bugatti’s are a rare sight and attendees of this year’s Concours were treated to the following star attraction, which is expected to be auctioned at Gooding & Company’s Concours of Elegance sale, at Hampton Court between September 2-4th of this year.

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1932 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport Cabriolet. Chassis no. 55230 with Gangloff coachwork was first delievered to Paris in 1932 and exported to the US in the early 1960s. One of 38 Type 55s, it retains its original engine following a recent restoration. This icon is anticipated to be auctioned by Gooding & Company in the near future. Estimates between £3,750,000 – £4,750,000.
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A peek under the hood of the timeless 1932 Bugatti Type 55 and its powerful 2.3-litre inline eight-cylinder twin-cam Type 51 grand prix engine.
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Bugatti’s famous front radiator grill with honeycomb mesh, company logo and radiator screw-cap, flanked by Bugatti’s recognisable headlights joined by a T-bar.

To put this car in perspective, it is necessary to consult no less an authority than historian Hugh Conway, who describes its achievements in his book Bugatti: Le pur-sang des automobiles (1974): ‘Unquestionably, the most spectacular feature of the [Type 55] is its acceleration, which is really terrific; when the first car was imported into this country and was road tested by a contemporary journal in 1932, figures were recorded of 10 to 80 mph in 18 seconds and 10 to 100mph in 40 seconds; these cannot have been surpassed by very, very few standard sports cars ever produced, irrespective of engine capacity and price.’

The Bugatti Type 55 represents an exceptional climax to an already outstanding event that never fails to impress. The car curators at the London Concours are to be applauded for their dedication and ability to put on a world class display.

Connoisseurs and fans will know that the cars are judged by experts led by members of the London Concours Steering Committee, who award an overall winner and a winner in each class. The winners this year are:

Best in Show – Toyota 2000GT

Chairman’s Award – Ferrari 250 GT California SWB

Pursuit of Speed – Sponsored by Montres Breguet – Koenigsegg Agera S
Highly Commended – Jaguar XJ220

Fins and Chrome – Sponsored by Adrian Flux and American Classic Magazine – Cadillac Sedan de Ville
Highly Commended – Chrysler 300F

Japanese Jewels – Sponsored by Concours of Elegance – Toyota 2000GT
Highly Commended – Mitsubishi Evo 6 Tommi Mäkinen Edition

Great British History, Sponsored by Engine Notes – Jaguar SS100
Highly Commended – Invicta S Type

The Italian Spiders, Sponsored by London Concours – Ferrari 250 GT California SWB
Highly Commended – Fiat-Abarth 2200 Allemano

Great Marques – Mercedes, Sponsored by Moss Automotive – Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’
Highly Commended – Mercedes-Benz 600 LWB

For more information and a full breakdown of the days’ events, please visit: https://londonconcours.co.uk.

Breguet Blog would like to thank Montres Breguet for hosting us and for presenting this world class annual event. The London Concours 2022 was outstanding as always and car connoisseurs as well as admirers of high horology were in their element. For those that could not make it this year, we hope to have captured the magnificent show for you in this article. Nous espérons vous voir l’année prochaine!

2022 London Concours © Breguet Blog
The Honourable Artillery Company entrance leading to Armoury House and the HAC Grounds hosting the annual Concours, on City Road, London EC1Y 2BQ. For more information, please visit: https://hac.org.uk.

Acknowledgements

We would like to offer a sincere debt of gratitude to Montres Breguet for presenting one of the most unique automobile shows in the world and The Honourable Artillery Company for providing this very special venue including all the dedicated staff who make this event happen every year with great élan.

All photos in this article © BreguetBlog.com 2022. All rights reserved

© BreguetBlog.com 2022. All rights reserved

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