We are just a few months away from the annual Baselworld, when the world’s most well-known watch brands will come together in the city of Basel, Switzerland, to tell us what will be gracing our wrists in 2015. A few watches have been previewed ahead of the watch fair but it is Breguet’s Tradition Automatique Seconde Retrograde 7097 that has caught our attention. The timepiece is the latest model to become part of Breguet’s iconic ‘Tradition’ collection that was launched in 2005.
The new watch, like the rest of the collection, is inspired by the “subscription watches” and recalls the genius of Abraham-Louis Breguet who first produced these one-hand watches in 1796. The Tradition 7097 pays further tribute to the mechanisms 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 baseplate.
The 40mm case, available in white gold or 18k rose gold, houses a movement with an inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon pallets and a silicon Breguet overcoil balance spring that ensure exceptional stability of rate. It is powered with an automatic mechanical Breguet Cal 505 SR1 (3 Hz / 50 hrs power reserve).
The new model gets its name from the retrograde seconds hand at 10 o’clock, which supplements the hours and minutes shown by Breguet-style open-tipped hands in blued steel. Breguet’s watchmakers show off the complication with the help of a circular-brushed semi-circle that also makes the other indications easy to read. To maintain the symmetry, the pare-chute is located at 4 o’clock. A Louis Breguet’s invention, the pare-chute is a shock absorber mechanism to prevent the delicate pivots of the balance-wheel snapping under shock and has been an emblematic feature of the Tradition collection.