Breguet’s successful Tradition line, with its distinctive exposed mechanism, was launched in 2005. But they were inspired by the simple “subscription” watch calibers designed by Abraham-Louis Breguet in the 1790s to expand his market. . The pioneering watchmaker was already a famous man for his revolutionary inventions, such as the self-winding watch (1780), the gong spring for repeating watches (1783), Breguet hands and Breguet Arabic numerals (1783), the guilloché dials (1786)), and the key to Breguet (1789) when the French Revolution forced him into exile in Switzerland.
Once things had calmed down, he took over the management of his Parisian workshop on the Quai de l’Horloge, on the Ile de la Cité, in the spring of 1795. His first step was an attempt to expand the clientele of his watches beyond. of the royalty and the land nobility of which it dealt until then. He had the idea of launching a basic and affordable pocket watch of a relatively large diameter with a single hand, an enamel dial and an easy-to-make movement. He then designs a subscription service to sell these watches, where buyers are required to pay a deposit of a quarter of the price when ordering, and the rest on delivery.
These watches, first launched in 1797, were a great success. Some 700 were made, in silver and gold boxes. Breguet used the caliber of subscription watches to create its first tact or tactile watches in 1799. These were equipped with a mechanism that rotated a pointer that reflected the position of the hour hand and stretched out to the- beyond the watch face. This allowed their wearers to read the time by touching the pointer, without looking at it. It was handy for checking the time in the dark, in the pre-electric days.
The Tradition line, with its breathtaking view of the movements, is directly inspired by the subscription and touch watches. Its other distinguishing feature is a retrograde display. This is a display where the date or seconds indicator hand sweeps a semicircle or quarter circle instead of a full circle, and then returns to the starting position. It is a Breguet invention whose initial goal, centuries ago, was to save space on a dial. In modern watches, however, the retrograde display – while functional – is largely for its aesthetics. In the Breguet Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597, the retrograde date display (“Quantième” means date) is positioned between 3 and 9 o’clock, with a blued steel hand sweeping away. The hand is at several levels, which allows it to fly over the components of the movement. At 10 o’clock, a screw-in corrector allows users to set the date. The 18-carat silver-plated dial, with its delicate motor-turned Clous de Paris motif, is eccentrically positioned at 12 o’clock. The Breguet open-tipped hands are made of blued steel.
The 40mm case, with a finely fluted caseband, is available in 18k white gold and 18k rose gold. The self-winding 505Q caliber, with a 50-hour power reserve, is fitted with an inverted anchor escapement with silicon lugs, as well as a Breguet balance-spring. The central wheel at 8 o’clock triggers the similarly sized oscillating mechanism at 4 o’clock. The pendulum pivots at 4 o’clock are protected by another major invention of Abraham-Louis Breguet – the cone-shaped “pare-chute” impact protection system. It is the predecessor of shock absorption systems in modern watches, such as Incabloc. The watch comes with an alligator leather strap, with a white gold folding clasp.
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