Established in 2005, Breguet’s Tradition collection pays tribute to the one-handed “subscription” pocketwatches invented by founder Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1796, and their successors, the so-called “tact” watches, by placing major movement components on top of the mainplate alongside an off-centered subdial. The newest addition to the collection, the Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597, will be featured at WatchTime Live, our first all-digital collectors’ event, kicking off later this week.
The Tradition 7597 model combines the distinctive, off-centered subdial time indication with a retrograde date display, a complication that Breguet’s eponymous founder was among the first to develop. The 40-mm case, in white gold or rose gold, features the familiar fluted sides and houses the manufacture’s self-winding Caliber 505Q, equipped with a reverse in-line lever escapement with silicon horns and a silicon balance spring. Its solid gold rotor, visible behind the transparent caseback, is evocative of those used in the very first self-winding watches, called Perpetuelles.
As in Breguet’s historical subscription watches, the large barrel is topped by a symmetrically arranged gear train, and the center wheel at 8 o’clock triggers the similarly sized oscillating mechanism at 4 o’clock. The oscillator is enhanced with another early Breguet innovation, the pare-chute device for anti-shock protection — also a hallmark of the Tradition collection. The hours-and-minutes subdial, made of gold and eccentrically positioned at 12 o’clock, recalls those of early Breguet tact watches — with Roman numeral hours, an engine-turned Clous de Paris pattern in the center, and classical blued Breguet hands. Balancing out the dial is the retrograde date scale, stretching between 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, with an elegantly curved hand indicating the date as it moves in a vertical plane. A patented mechanism provides for a fine adjustment of this hand, whose multi-tiered shape, allows it to sweep over the movement components. A screw-in corrector at 10 o’clock allows users to set the date.
The Breguet Tradition 7597 comes on a black (for the white-gold case) or brown (for the rose gold) alligator leather strap with a matching gold buckle. To learn about other recent models in the Breguet Tradition collection, click here. To learn more about WatchTime Live, its sponsoring watch brands, and details on its schedule of presentations and panels, and to sign up for tickets to the event, click here.