Presented in 2005, the Breguet Tradition collection is a fascinating range of watches that pays tribute to the brand’s rich past. Probably the most heritage-oriented lineup, it blends tradition and modernity in a highly technical and surprisingly audacious way. Among the different watches in this collection, the Tradition 7047 Fusée-Chain Tourbillon remains a true feast for horology enthusiasts, with loads of complexity to discover. Combining the signature anti-gravity device invented by A.L. Breguet with a constant force transmission is nothing short of an achievement. And today the Breguet Tradition 7047 Fusée-Chain Tourbillon comes back in a contemporary interpretation mixing platinum and blue tones, echoing the recent introduction of the blue Quantième Rétrograde 7597.
Behind the Breguet Tradition collection is a homage to one of the most important watches and movements developed by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the Montre de Sousciption (subscription watches). A simple, solid, reliable pocket watch with a large diameter (61mm) and a single hand, it was meant to be more accessible but also a cornerstone for A.L. Breguet’s atelier, with a highly specific way of commercialisation. More importantly, it can be seen as one of the earliest serially-produced watches. An important element of the Souscription was its movement, with a symmetrical design characterised by a large central barrel flanked by the gear train and balance wheel. This highly graphic calibre will be the source of inspiration for the creation of the Tradition collection.
Then, another important element of the brand’s heritage is the tourbillon, the famous anti-gravity device that was invented by A.L. Breguet and patented on 26 June 1801. Ever since, this complication will be an integral part of the brand’s collections. Finally, there’s the fusée-chain transmission, an impressively complex take on the constant force, which has once again been important in the brand’s history. And when you combine all of these elements, you’ll end up with a truly fascinating watch, the Breguet Tradition 7047 Fusée-Chain Tourbillon – which is now available in a new platinum-blue version.
About the Tradition 7047, I can remember a collector’s interview about this very watch, the owner explaining having “developed an affinity for overbuilt, time-only watches. I think that the 7047 epitomizes that philosophy. It’s almost ridiculously complex in its operation, yet it’s completely uncomplicated in its function.” And this perfectly summarizes the whole idea of the 7047. It is a rather simple watch in terms of indications, but the mechanics to indicate the hours and minutes are simply staggering.
The watch in question, this spectacular Breguet Tradition 7047, is a 41mm timepiece with all the brand’s signature design cues. The case, here made in platinum, is entirely polished and features the typical fluted casebands and soldered lugs with screw-pins. On top, and acting as a display window to observe the movement in all its glory, is an ultra-domed sapphire crystal – almost a bubble glass – which slightly compensates for the height of the case, measured at almost 16mm.
More than the case, the beauty of the Breguet Tradition 7047 is all about the dial layout and its mechanism. As said, this is watch is rather simple when it comes to indications, being a time-only piece. But don’t get fooled by this apparent minimalistic approach of watchmaking, as the engine to drive the hands is extremely sophisticated. Underneath the new blue-coloured solid gold guilloche dial, with the classic Breguet moon hands in silver, is a three-element layout composed of a barrel at 9 o’clock, an oversized tourbillon at 2 o’clock and a fusée and chain transmission at 4 o’clock. This movement, with its finger bridges and hammered surfaces, pays a direct tribute to the movements of the souscription watches and is here executed in a bright silver colour, being rhodium-plated.
In addition to the blue sub-dial, more touches of colours are to be found in this new, contemporary edition of the Breguet Tradition 7047. For instance, the oversized tourbillon cage is also treated in blue and, even more surprising, the chain coiling around the fusée has been heat-blued too. Technical, surprisingly modern and historically relevant at the same time, this new colour scheme adds a serious dosage of boldness to this watch. Complementing the look, the watch is worn on a blue alligator strap closed by a triple-blade platinum folding clasp.
The movement, the in-house calibre 569, relies on a rare and ultra-desirable combination of complications. As a nod to the brand’s founder and inventor of the tourbillon, the movement is regulated by a one-minute tourbillon that is all about modern solutions, with a titanium carriage and an inverted in-line lever escapement featuring horns made of silicon, as too is the Breguet balance-spring – a material that is resistant to corrosion and wear, and is insensitive to the influence of magnetic fields and improves the chronometry. The tourbillon runs at a calm 2.5Hz frequency. The other important part of this movement is its fusée-chain transmission, which is used to deliver a constant torque to the tourbillon. Compensating the diminishing force of the barrel as it winds down, the chain coiled around a conical fusée ensured that the diminishing torque is compensated by the shape of this device, proving contact force to the escapement.
The new Breguet Tradition 7047 Fusée-Chain Tourbillon Platinum/Blue (reference 7047PT/1Y/9ZU) is part of the permanent collection and isn’t limited. It is priced at EUR 194,100 or CHF 185,300. For more details, please visit breguet.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.