Breguet’s Tradition collection dives deep into the history of one of the oldest surviving manufacturers of timepieces in the world, a company founded almost 250 years ago by Abraham-Louis Breguet, a pioneer of technologies such as the self-winding movement and the tourbillon that today remain central to the art of mechanical watchmaking.
With such a rich heritage of innovation, craftsmanship and artistry to draw upon, it goes without saying that these contemporary masterpieces, which are inspired by the founder’s early souscription pocket watches, combine traditional and modern techniques to create timepieces that engage the mind while simultaneously dazzling the eyes.
A case in point is the Breguet Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597, which has recently been made available in a 40mm case of white gold, with a blue-finished gold dial offset at 12 o’ clock and a retrograde date track, also in blue, balancing the design in a 180-degree arc around the base of the display. Both of these apparently traditional elements – the “Clous de Paris” hand-guilloché dial and the date track – make a stunning visual contrast with uncompromising modernity of the anthracite-clad open-worked mechanism, which lies beneath. Completing the effect are the dial’s open-tipped hour and minute hands and Roman numerals, the stepped blued-steel retrograde date hand, and the architectural symmetry of the calibre.
Although retrograde displays were much favoured by Abraham-Louis, the Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597 is nonetheless thoroughly contemporary. Its self-winding 505Q calibre employs silicon for its balance spring, which features prominently at the mechanism’s centre, as well as the pare-chute anti-shock mechanism. Its gold oscillating weight, which resembles that of Breguet’s perpétuelle of 1780, is visible through the caseback and the calibre beats at 3Hz, providing a power reserve of 50 hours.
A midnight-blue alligator strap provides the finishing touch to this exquisite watch, which pays homage to an illustrious past while facing resolutely forward.
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