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Breguet - The Tradition Collection

Breguet The Tradition Collection

Reserved exclusively for Breguet boutiques, the brand launches two models which are an ode to Abraham-Louis Breguet’s creations.

Inspired by History

The refined aesthetic of the Tradition line is inspired by the design of the subscription caliber created by Breguet in 1796. After two years in Switzerland during the darkest days of the French Revolution, the watchmaker returned to Paris to find his workshops, located on Quai de l’Horloge in Île de la Cité, needed to be rebuilt. In a stroke of genius, Abraham-Louis Breguet, with a reputation for complex timepieces, created the simplest watch ever made: the subscription watch. With a robust construction and a pared-back aesthetic, a single hand indicates both the hours and minutes. The movement is characterized by a centrally positioned barrel, as well as by a symmetrical placement of the balance wheel and the opposite wheel, which are of identical diameters.

Three years later, Breguet brought out his tact watches, including watch no. 611 which was to be acquired by the Empress Joséphine, wife to Napoleon Bonaparte. The timepiece featured a flinqué enamel dial with diamonds set at each hour, and can be viewed at the Breguet Museum in Paris. A subtle evolution from the subscription caliber, a number of these watches featured – along with the external hand – a pared-back dial with only one or two hands. This layout, taken up again in the current Tradition collection, allows both for the time to be read and the movement to be observed.

1. Breguet Tradition Dame 7038

With this new Tradition model, Breguet offers a contemporary reinterpretation of an aesthetic conceived by the House’s founder in the late eighteenth century. Visible from the dial, the movement, deep brown in color, takes up the symmetrical architecture of the historic subscription watch. This innovative timepiece design was created by Abraham-Louis Breguet, in Paris, in the wake of the French Revolution, following a long trip to Switzerland during which he had mused on a great number of projects. Mechanical and feminine in equal measure, the Tradition 7038 is easily recognizable by its off-center dial in Tahitian mother- of-pearl, inspired by Breguet’s tact watches. A diamond-set bezel adds sparkle to the creation, which is completed with a striking strap in orange leather. Delicately decorated and powered by a self-winding caliber with a silicon balance spring, the Tradition 7038 watch, which is reserved for Breguet boutiques, brings together the expertise of the House.

Breguet is offering this model reserved for its boutiques only with an original case – an elegant matching orange clutch bag fashioned from grained calfskin leather. Made in Italy in accordance with the great artisanal tradition, it features a clasp that echoes the rosette pattern on the barrel of the Tradition 7038 watch.

The Tradition Collection

Breguet Tradition Dame 7038 © Breguet

An ultra-mechanical yet feminine creation, the face of the Tradition 7038 reveals its historically inspired movement. The balance wheel with a hairspring – the oscillating heart of the watch – takes its place between 4 and 5 o’clock under a bridge protected by a pare-chute anti-shock mechanism, invented by Breguet in 1790. Opposite, between 7 and 8 o’clock, the center wheel and its bridge perfectly mirror the Breguet balance wheel, with identical dimensions. In golden hues, the central barrel, decorated with a rosette motif, and the wheels of the movement contrast with the deep brown and finely sandblasted bridges and mainplate.

Breguet hands in gold indicate the hours and minutes on the Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial, which is off-center at 12 o’clock. Its iridescent surface features clous de Paris (hobnailing) guilloche pattern topped with the Breguet inscription and the unique number of the timepiece. A delicate border, engine-turned by hand, outlines the hours chapter marked with Breguet numerals. A fine retrograde hand discretely points to the seconds engraved at 10 o’clock. The movement of the Tradition 7038 model sits in a rose-gold case, with delicately fluted sides. The bezel set with 68 diamonds highlights the precious aesthetic of the composition, while a cabochon-cut ruby adorns the winding crown. The transparent caseback reveals the reverse side of the self-winding Breguet 505SR caliber. Its gold rotor, embellished with a rosette guilloche motif, echoes the decoration of the barrel on the dial. The welded lugs, which are slightly rounded at the edges, provide a holding place for the orange calfskin leather bracelet.

The Tradition Collection

Breguet Tradition Dame 7038 © Breguet

Breguet is offering the Tradition 7038 wristwatch, available exclusively in brand boutiques, with a unique and refined accessory which reimagines the idea of a watchcase. Breguet has called on the services of Italian craftsmen for this handcrafted and tailor-made clutch bag in grained calfskin leather. Its bright orange matches the bracelet of the Tradition 7038 and can be carried by hand, or worn over the shoulder, or across the body. The bag’s round and golden clasp is decorated with a rosette design, a larger version of the engine-turned barrel visible on the dial side of the Tradition 7038, which is barely 10 millimeters in size.

The Tradition Collection

Breguet Tradition Dame 7038 © Breguet

2. Breguet Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097

This year the original and remarkable line presents a new design version of the Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097 with a blue colored guilloche dial. This wristwatch, like the rest of the collection, inspired by the subscription watches, recalls the genius of Abraham-Louis Breguet who first invented these one-hand pocket watches in 1796. They were fitted with a special movement of great simplicity and sold by subscription: a down payment of a quarter of the price on order and the rest on delivery. A.-L. Breguet used the movements of his subscription watches to create his first tact watches.

The Tradition Collection

Breguet Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097 © Breguet

The Tradition 7097 pays tribute to the beauty of the calibers 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 mainplate. Refined finishing enhances the visual balance displayed by the symmetrical bridges. The bridges and mainplate are decorated to achieve a uniform, finely grained surface, which requires rare skill and faultless execution. The gold winding rotor borrows its shape from historical movements while the classic clous de Paris (hobnailing) guilloche pattern, executed by hand, highlights the blue dial in gold, positioned off-center at 12 o'clock.

This timepiece gets its name from the retrograde seconds hand at 10 o'clock. The hours and minutes are shown by Breguet-style open-tipped hands in rhodium-plated steel. In order to provide optimum readability and to highlight the retrograde seconds’ complication, Breguet watchmakers used a semicircle with a circular brushed finish superimposed on the dial. 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 the emblematic feature of the Tradition collection. It is the forbear of all the shock-protection mechanisms in use in watch-making today, including the Incabloc system.

The Tradition Collection

Breguet Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097 © Breguet

The 7097 reference features advanced technology. Its 40mm case houses a movement with an inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon pallets and a silicon Breguet overcoil balance spring that guarantee exceptional precision. The Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097 watch is the result of the technical and aesthetic excellence which Breguet consistently strives for. Its refined and pure style honours the legacy of the House, while its technical characteristics are the prerogative of a watchmaking company that is resolutely turned towards the future.

 

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