he tourbillon stemmed from a necessity keenly felt in the 18th century: namely, to overcome the lack of accuracy caused by the vertical position of pocket watches placed in gentlemen’s waistcoats or jackets. The challenge was taken up by Abraham-Louis Breguet, who on 26 June 1801 filed a patent for the creation of the first tourbillon. Ever since, this complication has remained one of the most greatly appreciated by devotees of fine watchmaking, since it reveals the heart of the watch.
To mark the date of creation of the tourbillon, Breguet unveils the Tradition 7047 Tourbillon: a timepiece featuring strong colours highlighting what has remained – from past to present – one of the most fascinating horological complications of all times.
The fusée-chain tourbillon mechanism appears sprinkled with touches of blue. Various treatments have been used on all the components in order to achieve visual uniformity: the tourbillon carriage and the dial are covered with blue coatings, while the chain links are thermally blued.
The fusée-chain tourbillon transmission device housed in the new Tourbillon 7047 serves to optimise the regularity of the watch’s operation by guaranteeing its constant torque, whatever its winding level is.
When the barrel is fully wound, it delivers its maximum force. The chain then acts on the top of the fusée and therefore on its smallest circumference. As the chain unwinds, its torque decreases yet acts in parallel on the widest part of the fusée – its base – thus ensuring the constant force of the energy is delivered.
Resolutely contemporary while displaying the House’s emblematic codes, the new Tourbillon 7047 picks up the signatures of the ManufactureBreguet: namely the “Clous de Paris” guilloché pattern on its off-centre gold dial, the traditional Roman numerals and the open-tipped hands. Like the watches that inspired it, its dial is secured by three screws.
At the heart of its 41 mm platinum case beats Calibre 569, a rhodium-plated hand-wound movement housing 542 components. It is equipped with an inverted in-line lever escapement featuring horns made of silicon, as too is the Breguet balance-spring. This material has many properties, since in addition to being resistant to corrosion and wear, it is insensitive to the influence of magnetic fields and improves the chronometry (timekeeping precision) of the timepiece. Finally, the balance of the Tradition Tourbillon 7047 oscillates at a frequency of 2.5 Hz and has a 50-hour power reserve.
Unveiled in 2005, the Tradition collection with its attractive blend of heritage and modernity is the brand’s first line to present all the movement’s organs on the dial side, thus demonstrating its inspiration from souscription and touch (à tact) watches. Launched in 1797, the souscription watch featured a single hand to read the hours and minutes. The aesthetics of this refined yet minimalist timepiece were avant-garde for its time – as indeed was its concept, since a quarter of the price had to be paid at the time of ordering.
The same calibre was used by Abraham-Louis Breguet to design the first touch (à tact) watches presented a year later at the French Industrial Exhibition. At that time, poor lighting made it difficult to read the time on a dial. It was also not considered very elegant to consult one’s watch during social occasions. The founder of the Manufacture Breguet therefore devised a piece that allowed the time to be read in a tactile manner, without removing the watch from the pocket. All the wearer had to do to check the time was to touch the arrow or hours hand turning around the case rim and compare its position with the hour projections on the case middle.
The current Tradition collection picks up Breguet’s codes in a contrasting and contemporary way, as demonstrated by the Tradition Tourbillon 7047 model. This new timepiece is fitted with a midnight blue alligator leather strap secured by a triple-blade platinum folding clasp.
- Case: Platinum
- Diameter: 41 mm
- Thickness: 16 mm
- Dial: Off-centred blue dial in hand-guilloché gold
- Movement: hand-wound
- Functions: Hours, minutes, fusée tourbillon
- Balance-spring: Breguet type, in silicon
- Carriage: Titanium
- Water resistance: 3 bar (30 m)
- Calibre: 569
- Frequency: 2,5 Hz
- Power reserve: 50 hours
- Components: 542
- Strap: Midnight blue alligator leather