Officially it will be introduced in April of next year, but here’s already a pre-Baselworld release from Breguet. And it’s a great one! A new variation on the spectacular Breguet Tradition, now featuring an retrograde second hand and automatic winding. The original in 2005 introduced Breguet Tradition, has laid the fundaments for what has become a full collection and the horological dream for many watch-lovers.
What determines the looks of all pieces from the Tradition collection, is that most parts of the mechanical movement are fully exposed on its face, and the time is displayed on a subsidiary dial by means of a blued-steel Breguet open-tipped hour and minute hand. While the movement is usually hidden beneath the dial, here Breguet reveals the bridges, wheels, escapement, barrel and other components of the movement. Everything is finished in a classical way. For instance, the peculiar, block-shaped, bridges and main plate are peened; a decorative technique that requires a faultless execution to achieve a regular and uniform finish.
Breguet’s new Tradition, features for the first time a rotor on the back side, for automatic winding functionality. Furthermore there’s a retrograde seconds hand at 10 o’clock, which is indicated on a circular-brushed semi-circle that partially overlaps the subsidiary hours and minutes dial. Centrally placed is the main spring barrel, which stores energy for 50 hour of autonomy when fully wound. At the 4 o’clock position is the pare-chute shock protection system – protecting the balance staff – that Abraham Louis Breguet invented in 1790.
The movement seems beautifully balanced, especially when compared to the majority of open-worked movements; to the left is the third wheel and on the right-hand side is the balance wheel. The movement, calibre 505SR1, features a straight-line inverted lever escapement with silicon pallets. The balance spring has a Breguet overcoil, and is executed in silicon. It vibrates at the frequency of 3Hz or 21,600 vph. A seemingly small detail, however rather interesting for the true connoisseur: the movement is adjusted in 6 positions! That’s an extra hurdle for the watchmaker regulating the movement, and also a sign that Breguet has faith in the precision of its own movements.
Specifications Breguet Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097
- Case: 18-carat rose or white gold, 40mm diameter, with a finely fluted caseband, sapphire-crystal on both sides, welded lugs with screw bars, water-resistant to 3 bar (30 metres).
- Dial: 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, calibre 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 vph (3Hz), adjusted in 6 positions
- Strap: alligator leather strap