Breguet's New TraditionalistsBy Felix Scholz
Breguet’s Tradition collection lives up to its name. Though the current incarnation dates from 2005, the aesthetic and technical inspiration goes back a little further — to 1797 and Abraham-Louis Breguet’s first souscription watch. The open mechanism, the traditional architecture, the refined finishings — all these things were present on the 18th century original, and are significant factors in making the Tradition one of Breguet’s most popular models today.
This year, we were treated to two new Traditions. First and foremost, Tradition 7047 — a blue-accented 41mm, platinum-cased watch running a complication closely associated with Breguet — the tourbillon. Not just any tourbillon either, but one equipped with the early constant force mechanism that is the fusée and chain. As the watch delivers power, the chain is slowly unwound around the conical fusée, which in turn ensures a consistent level of torque. Of course, not everything in this watch is centuries-old technology, the lever escapement, for example, is fitted with silicon horns, just like the balance spring, to ensure smooth and accurate running.
On top of that, and with a similar visual appeal, there is the Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597, here in white gold so as not to distract from the refined monochrome aesthetic. The caliber used here may lack the tourbillon complication of its complicated sibling, but it is an automatic (the rotor, in a nice nod to history, is shaped like the one on Breguet’s 1780 perpétuelle).
Of course, the 7597 tells time, but it also tells you the date. The bottom sector of the dial displays a retrograde date, color matched with the blue Clous de Paris hour and minute subdial. A central date hand points to the current day — but the real charm is watching it instantaneously whip back to the opposite end of the arc when the month is up.
As a brand, Breguet is full of history, innovation and potential. All these elements are bundled neatly together in the Tradition collection.
Breguet Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597, Ref. 7597BB/GY/9WU
Movement: Self-winding caliber 505Q; 50-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes and retrograde date
Case: 40mm; 18K white gold; water resistant to 30m
Dial: Openworked, off-centered blue; silver-colored Roman numerals
Strap: Midnight blue alligator leather; white gold pin buckle
Price: AUD 56,300
Breguet Tradition 7047, Ref. 7047PT/1Y/9ZU
Movement: Manual winding caliber 569; 50-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 41mm; platinum; water resistant to 30m DIAL Openworked, off-centered blue; silver-colored Roman numerals
Strap: Midnight blue alligator leather; platinum triple-folding clasp
Price: AUD 276,400