When Breguet launched its Tradition collection in the year 2005 with the Reference “7027”, the first timepiece to showcase the mechanisms of the movement on top of the baseplate, the watchmaking-world was turned upside down. Click on “read more” to get the story…
I still remember many of my colleagues wondering and asking: What the hell is this? Already then I always replied them: This is the best I have ever seen from Breguet!
In my eyes the Tradition collection highlights all the technical achievements what Breguet made so famous and showcases them in a real spectacular way for the owner of the watch. The Tradition collection is big horological cinema for the wrist! Its austere styling honours the traditions of Breguet, while its technical features are the prerogative of a watchmaking company that is resolutely building its future.
Often copied but never matched, the Tradition collection has since filled out and welcomes this year an outstanding new model: the Breguet Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097.
The new watch, like the rest of the collection, is inspired by the “subscription watches” and recalls the genius of Abraham-Louis Breguet who first produced these one-hand watches in 1796. They were fitted with a very simple movement and sold by subscription: a down payment of a quarter of the price on order and the balance on delivery.
Abraham-Louis Breguet also used the movements of his “subscription” watches for his first tact watches. The Tradition 7097 pays further tribute to the mechanisms of the “subscription” and tact watches by revealing the bridges, wheels, escapement, barrel and other components of the movement, which are usually hidden beneath the baseplate. Trim embellishments enhance the visual balance displayed by the symmetrical bridges. The bridges and baseplate are peened according to a decorative technique that requires rare skill and faultless execution to achieve a regular and uniform finish.
The gold winding rotor borrows its style from the movements of the period while a conventional engine-turned hobnail pattern, done by hand, highlights a dial in silvered gold offset at 12 o’clock.
This type of dial can be found on many of the tact watches that Abraham-Louis Breguet made from 1799 onwards.
The new Tradition 7097 model gets its name from the retrograde seconds hand at “10 o’clock”, which supplements the hours and minutes shown by Breguet-style open-tipped hands in blued steel. Breguet’s watchmakers highlight the complication with the help of a circular-brushed semi-circle that also makes the other indications easy to read.
To maintain the symmetry, the pare-chute is located at “4 o’clock”. This Breguet invention, which protects the balance staff from shocks, can be identified at a glance as one of the most representative features of the Breguet Tradition collection. It is the forbear of all modern shock-protection devices in use today, including the so well-known Incabloc system.
The 40 mm case houses a movement with an inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon pallets and a silicon Breguet overcoil balance spring that ensure exceptional stability of rate.
The Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097 watch is the result of the technical and aesthetic excellence that Breguet consistently strives for in its modernisation of historical devices.
BREGUET TRADITION AUTOMATIQUE SECONDE RÉTROGRADE 7097
Breguet REF. 7097BB/G1/9WU (Also available in 18-carat rose gold: Ref. 7097BR/G1/9WU)
Case in 18-carat white gold with a finely fluted case band; sapphire-crystal case back; 40 mm diameter; welded lugs with screw bars; water-resistant to 30 metres.
Dial in 18-carat gold, silvered and engine-turned by hand, off-centre at 12 o’clock; individually numbered and signed BREGUET; chapter-ring with Roman numerals; retrograde small seconds at 10 o’clock; blued-steel BREGUET open-tipped hands.
Movement: selfwinding; numbered and signed BREGUET; Cal. 505SR1; 14 ½ lignes; 38 jewels; 50-hour power-reserve; straight-line inverted lever escapement with silicon pallets. BREGUET overcoil balance spring in silicon; 21,600 A/h = 3Hz; adjusted in 6 positions.