This summer has seen some awesome watches launched. Between them, a new piece in the Breguet’s Tradition Collection. Following the rigours of exceptional craftsmanship, the Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597 comes with two very interesting complications. One visible on the dial, a retrograde date indication and one visible on the back, the self-winding complication shaped in the style of Breguet’s historic movements. I find this watch as the most interesting automatic date piece of the year and as the perfect grail to be desired as a Christmas gift.
How to make a simple “two hands time and date indication” complicated and extremely interesting? You pass the issue to Breguet… Not only that they created a watch using the brand’s most traditional key signature elements but also an extremely modern and technical appealing piece. A perfect example not only for a Christmas list but also as the holy grail of a collector. If you are in the mood for some nice pictures and some rumbling, stick until the end of the article. If not, maybe just see the video below with a quick visual presentation and a wrist-roll:
Breguet Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597
Breguet‘s Tradition Collection is one of the most spectacular in the industry. Retrograde was also used in other watches but with other function: seconds in 7097 or minute counter in 7077. Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597 comes with an architecture similar to the feminine 7038, power reserve 7057 (hand-wound), the GMT 7067 (hand-wound) or the retrograde seconds mentioned above, the 7097 (and can be considered as an evolution of it). This architecture pays a homage to the Breguet’s montre souscription.
Case – simply Breguet
From the Tradition Collection, we can only expect the fluted case with thin polished bezel and the straight, inclined horn. The 40mm case was manufactured in a white gold case. A rose gold version is available. The slender lugs are a familiar design and specific to the Breguet watches (being, along with the case, copied by many). This case shape and design is one of the most classic appearances, being easily recognisable even only by a short glimpse under the shirt.
The watch features the slim Breguet sign crown and a large box cristal. The back is also revealed by a sapphire crystal. The view of the back reveals an unusual rotor weight. For those familiar with the history of Breguet, the white gold rotor will bring a large smile – it is shaped like the pendulum weight used to “automatic” wind the pocket watch. The oscillating weight mounted in a pocket watch (Montre a Secousses), with an up / down movement, permitted a full winding in 15 minutes of walking. Breguet later used this principle to invent the pedometer.
The dial – unquestionable Breguet
There is nothing more traditional and widely known dial style as the Breguet tradition. Solid gold engine-turned by hand with Clous de Paris (Paris hobnail or simply hobnail guilloché), Roman numerals, guilloché delimited areas and blue Breguet hands are the definition and the key signature of montre Breguet. The eccentric position is, again, not a new element.
The dial has a sublime layout and details beyond perfection. Note the excellent chosen size of the hands that almost touch the numerals, in the case of the hours’ hand and the dot indexes by the minutes’ hand.
The retrograde function draws a large smile on the face of Breguet 7597. From 3 to 9 0’clock, the complication uses a semi-circle register with printed Arabic numerals intercalated by metal semi-sphere dots.
A long and slender hand hoovers over the balance wheel and train gears only to come back a month later. As any Breguet hand, the retrograde date indication was blued. But instead of the hollow, eccentric “moon” tip watch hand, was used an arrow tip hand with a splash of white, for better visibility.
The movement – clean, architectural, Breguet
When presenting the watch’s movement, one can expect to see the backside of the watch. But in the case of the Breguet Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597, the back of the movement contains only the gorgeous frosted mainplate with Breguet signature engraved and the prominent pendulum shaped weight.
The entire show of the Calibre 505Q is exposed on the dial side. This self-winding movement reveals all its beauty. A large central barrel is balancing the time display dial with the symmetrical gear displacement on the lower side of the dial (a layout similar to the one used in the Breguet’s montre souscription).
The calibre 505Q features a reverse in-line lever escapement with silicon horns. The large Breguet balance wheel at 4 o’clock is fitted with a silicon spring. The balance wheel is fixed with the pare-chute system invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet himself (and a signature element of the Tradition collection). The gear that triggers the oscillating mechanism is placed symmetrically at 8 o’clock, having the same size as the balance wheel
The entire construction, besides very interesting architectural, it is nicely decorated: an overall frosted finish obtained through hand hammering process with delicate hand beveling. Being a Tradition piece, the Quantième Retrograde 7597 features other small HH details: circular graining on the barrel and gears, polished sink and polished screws. On the tech side, the Calibre 505Q has a 3Hz beating heart and an autonomy of 50 hours (fully wound).
The look and the brains
Again a watch that left me speechless. Yes, it was nice to play with the Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge 5345, but that is not something I will particularly wish (don’t get me wrong, I will love it in my collection). The Breguet Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597 is the one I secretly really wish. I was so impressed by its look that I completely forgot to test all the functions. I set it to 10:10, wind it a bit and that is it, I just focused on its exceptional architecture, lavish finishes and pure horological soul.
It feels great on the wrist. It was somehow lighter than I expected. The long lugs contribute somehow to a larger look impression. The view of all movement components (except the sumptuous rotor visible on the back), the gear train and the interesting retrograde implementation is magnificent.
Breguet Tradition Quantième Retrograde 7597 Technical Specifications and Price
- 18-carat white gold with finely fluted caseband.
- Sapphire-crystal caseback.
- Diameter 40 mm.
- Welded lugs with screw bars.
- Pushbutton for correcting the date at 10 o’clock.
- Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 meters).
- Engine-turned by hand, 18-carat silvered gold, at 12 o’clock.
- Individually numbered and signed Breguet.
- Hours chapter with Roman numerals.
- Open-tipped Breguet hands in blued steel.
- Mechanical self-winding movement, numbered and signed Breguet.
- Calibre 505Q.
- 14½ lignes.
- 45 jewels.
- 50-hour power reserve.
- Retrograde date indicated with blued-steel hand.
- Gold rotor in the style of historic movements.
- Reverse in-line lever escapement with silicon horns.
- Breguet balance spring in silicon.
- Frequency 3 hertz.
- Adjusted in 6 positions.
- Alligator leather with white gold folding buckle.
- CHF 37 700.00 – Recommended retail price (incl. VAT)
Also available in 18-carat rose gold: Reference 7597BR/G1/9WU – CHF 36 900.00 – Recommended retail price (incl. VAT)