Breguet takes Baselworld by storm with its new La Tradition collection. Well-known for its innovative open-work concept and its harmonious design marriage between modernity and classicism, the Tradition collection is in every way a major haute horlogerie contender.
We have previously reviewed the Tradition minute repeater the elder brother of this Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077 that we will review today. Both of these pieces are stunning bastions of Breguet’s unique position as an inventor and innovator as well as a master watch maker.
So what’s so special about this Chronographe? As is said in its name, Indépendant. Breguet shows an alternative approach to chronograph mechanism, by using two balance wheels of different frequencies. One of them runs the regular time keeping module, and the other the chronograph function when activated. While this innovation is not entirely meant to solve existing problems in chronograph watches, it nonetheless shows Breguet’s ingenuity in working against constraints to portray new watch ideas.
The watch employs two balance wheels. The first balance wheel at 4 o’clock beats at 3 Hz for the regular timekeeping of the watch. The other balance wheel at 7 o’clock, beats at a higher frequency of 5 Hz and is only activated when the chronograph is activated. Breguet’s research into high frequencies shows that a higher rate of oscillations improves the stability of rate, since any disturbance is corrected more quickly. Thus, the higher frequency is to ensure more precise readings.
Apart from technical prowess, the 7077 Chronographe is also a masterpiece steeped in traditional finishing and aesthetic cues. The frosted finish on the plates is well contrasted with the silver engine-turned motif on the hour and minute dial. This hand-crafted engine-tuned motif was first created around 1786, when Breguet began fitting his watches with engine-turned silver or gold dials of his own design. Today still, Breguet craftsmen continue to use engine-turning lathes designed and built over a century ago. With a precision of a tenth of a millimeter, they engrave intricate patterns reflecting their uncommon virtuosity.
All in all, the Breguet Chronographe Independant 7077 is a stellar example of modern watchmaking, a horological feat in reinventing the chronograph module and a visually stunning masterpiece. Priced at S$114,500 and $113,300 for white gold and rose gold respectively.