Features

Watches: The Tradition of Timelessness

6 Jan 2018 by Akanksha Maker
Breguet N°1009, small (médaillon) tact watch

In horlogerie, there are only select brands that have stood the test of time and maintained their glory with path-breaking creations that continue to alter the face of watchmaking. A name that stands foremost in this list is the house of Breguet that was founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in Paris back in 1775, making it one of the oldest surviving watchmaking institutions of the world.

Inventions conceived at various periods in its antiquity find their presence even across contemporary models of the brand. One of its most iconic collections — Breguet’s Tradition collection — is a tribute to its age-old mastery that dates back to the 18th century.

The Tradition collection by Breguet was introduced in 2005. At that time, the 7027 model was the first contemporary watch to unveil the movement organs above the main-plate. With this feature, the Tradition collection established its niche in watchmaking. The smart symmetrical layout of the movement components gives Tradition watches a powerful graphic identity. Most models have a barrel in the centre, a dial at 12 o’clock with hands directly driven by the barrel, a balance wheel and intermediate wheels forming an arc stretching from 4 to 8 o’clock. The protective pare-chute shock-absorbing system invented by A.-L Breguet is synonymous with many Tradition creations.

Through the years, the Tradition collection has been consistently enhanced with complications such as a power-reserve indicator, tourbillon, GMT function and retrograde small seconds, alongside the use of ultra-modern materials such as silicon and titanium. Tradition timepieces hint at both the brand’s rich history and its vision of the future. Bearing an avant garde styling, their dial face features horological complications in trim and aesthetic compositions. Most of their parts receive a sand blasted surface finish, meticulously applied by hand.

The seeds of inspiration for this collection were sowed in 1796 when Abraham-Louis Breguet finalised a new model called the  “subscription” watch. Adorned with a comparatively larger diameter, an enamel dial and a single hand, the timepiece was powered by a superior but simple movement that could be produced in large numbers. The timepiece’s commercialisation was based on the subscription principle and about 700 pieces were produced, with gold or silver cases.

The calibre of the  “subscription”  watches was used by A.-L Breguet to make his premier tact watches three years later, which offered the possibility of reading time by touch. Tact watches are differentiated by an arrow on the outside of the case that reproduces the position of the hour hand and by 12 raised markers placed around the case. Time is read from a traditional dial with two hands. These smaller and (in some instances) offset dials have inspired contemporary Tradition models.

A.-L Breguet’s description of the  “subscription” watch in the first chapter of his treatise on horology, resonates with the Tradition line —  “The arrangement of the movement is such that a devotee of mechanics can follow all its effects through the open side.”

It’s indeed been a momentous chronology for this timeless collection, from N°1576  “montre de souscription”, tact watches N°960 and N°1009, to the official Tradition collection by Breguet in 2005.

Here are the watches launched under the Tradition collection:

Breguet Tradition 7027

Tradition 7027

Case: round in 18K rose gold with finely fluted case-band with a sapphire case-back. Diameter is 37mm with rounded horns welded to the case, screw pins securing the strap. Water-resistant up to 30 metres.

Dial: in black electroplated 18K gold, hand-engraved on a rose engine, off-centred at 12 o’clock. Individually numbered and signed  “Breguet”. Chapter ring with Roman numerals. Open-tipped Breguet hands in polished steel.

Movement: hand-wound mechanical movement in rose gold-plated. Power reserve indication engraved on the front and back of the movement. Numbered and signed  “Breguet”. Straight-line lever escapement with 34 jewels and 50-hour power reserve. Monometallic balance-wheel and Breguet over-coil. Adjusted in five positions.

Breguet Tradition 7057

Tradition 7057

Case: round in 18K red gold with finely fluted case-band. Sapphire-crystal case-back. Rounded lugs welded to the case, with screw pins securing the strap and 40mm diameter. Water-resistant up to 30 metres.

Dial: black in gold hand-engraved on a rose engine, off-centred at 12 o’clock. Individually numbered and signed “Breguet”. Chapter ring with Roman numerals. Open-tipped Breguet hands in sandblasted steel.

Movement: hand-wound, coated with an anthracite gray alloy of platinum-related metals (NAC). Swiss straight-line lever escapement with 34 jewels and 50-hour power reserve. Breguet balance-wheel with four regulating screws and Breguet over-coil balance-spring. Adjusted in five positions. Strap in alligator leather. Also available in red gold with red gold-plated movement and in white gold with NAC movement.

Breguet Tradition GMT 7067

Tradition GMT 7067

Case: round in 18K rose gold with finely fluted on the case-band. Sapphire-crystal case-back with 40mm diameter. Welded lugs with rounded ends and screw bars. Water-resistant up to 30 metres.

Dial: in 18K gold, engine turned by hand. Silvered dial for the second timezone off-centre at 12 o’clock. Black-coated dial for the reference time at 8 o’clock. Individually numbered and signed  “Breguet”. Hours chapter with Roman numerals. Day/night indicator for the reference time at 10 o’clock. Open-tipped Breguet hands in polished steel.

Movement: hand-wound with anthracite-gray surface treatment. Numbered and signed  “Breguet”. Inverted in-line lever escapement in silicon, 40 jewels and 50-hour power-reserve indicator at the back of the watch. Breguet balance-spring in silicon. Adjusted in six positions. Leather strap; also available in a rose gold case.

Tradition Fusee Tourbillon 7047 in Pink Gold

Tradition Fusee Tourbillon 7047 in Pink Gold

Case: round in 18K rose gold with finely fluted case-band. Sapphire case-back with 41mm diameter. Rounded horns welded to the case, with screw pins securing the strap. Water-resistant up to 30 metres.

Dial: in silvered 18K gold, off-centred to the 7 o’clock position and hand-engraved on a rose engine. Individually numbered and signed  “Breguet”. Chapter ring with Roman numerals and 60-second tourbillon positioned at 1 o’clock. Blued steel, open-tipped Breguet hands.

Movement: hand-wound mechanical, with tourbillon regulator. Numbered and signed  “Breguet”, 16 lines and 43 jewels. Power reserve of 50-hour with power-reserve indication on the barrel drum. Breguet balance-spring in titanium with four adjustment screws in gold. Adjusted in six positions.

7097 Tradition Automatique Second Retrograde

Case: round in 18K white gold with a finely fluted case-band. Sapphire-crystal case-back with 40mm diameter. Welded lugs with screw bars. Water-resistant up to 30 metres.

Dial: in 18K gold, silvered and engine-turned by hand, off-centred 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: self-winding. Numbered and signed  “Breguet”, 38 jewels and 50-hour power reserve. Straight-line inverted lever escapement with silicon pallets. Breguet over-coil balance-spring in silicon. Adjusted in six positions.
Leather strap.

Breguet 7077 Tradition Chronograph Independent

7077 Tradition Chronograph Independent

Case: round in 18K white gold with delicately fluted case-band. Sapphire-crystal case-back with 44mm diameter. Welded lugs with screw bars. Water-resistant up to 30 metres.

Dial: in silvered 18K gold, engine-turned and offset at 12 o’clock. Individually numbered and signed  “Breguet”. Hours chapter with Roman numerals. Power reserve indicator at 2 o’clock and 20-minute counter at 10 o’clock. Breguet open-tipped hands in blued steel.

Movement: hand-wound chronograph movement numbered and signed  “Breguet”. Chronograph running indicator at 6 o’clock, 62 jewels and 50-hour power reserve. Symmetrical inverted in-line lever escapements with silicon pallets. Breguet balance-spring in silicon. Adjusted in six positions. Leather strap, also available in 18K rose gold.

Breguet Tradition Dame 7038

Tradition Dame 7038

Case: round in 18K rose gold with delicately fluted case-band. Bezel set with 68 brilliant-cut diamonds. Crown set with a watch movement jewel. Sapphire-crystal case-back with 37mm diameter. Welded lugs with screw bars. Water-resistant up to 30 metres.

Dial: in natural white mother-of-pearl, engine-turned and offset at 12 o’clock. Individually numbered and signed “Breguet”. Hours chapter with Arabic Breguet numerals. Breguet open-tipped hands in gold.

Movement: self-winding. Individually numbered and signed “Breguet”. Retrograde seconds engraved on the movement face, 38 jewels, 50-hour power reserve. Inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns. Breguet balance-spring in silicon. Adjusted in six positions. Alligator leather strap with gold pin buckle set with 19 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Loading comments...
Share with your friends










Submit
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription

To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below

Polls