Slideshow = 22 photos to see that watch from every angle
Abraham-Louis Breguet is one of modern watchmaking's founding fathers: he's invented or perfected in his Parisian workshop most of the mechanical refinements that are now the stuff of dreams for today's amateur high-end watchmakers.
Like the tourbillon, the perpetual calendar, the self-winding system, or the balance's pivot anti-shock suspension system.
Needless to say that in the 19th century, Breguet did not have access to computers, or digital control, to achieve these masterpieces.
His creations were so successful that they single-handedly defined the style of the "French school" which still influences numerous brand names to this day.
Launched in 2005 (after the purchase of the Breguet brand name by the Swatch Group), the Tradition 7027 was created to pay homage to this 19th century "French school".
A case with absolute classicism
We find in this watch the familiar principal characteristics of a genuine Breguet.
Like the pocket watches of that era, the Tradition's case is made of yellow gold, with notched sides and a polished bezel.
This concept, though a bit baroque, still retains absolute classicism with its soldered lugs.
The quality of the execution is excellent.
From the side, it looks a bit like a macaroon...
Maybe Abraham-Louis Breguet had a sweet tooth?
A case with breathtaking finish
The small off-center dial is made of silvered gold guilloche engraved by hand.
For the record, Breguet was the first to replace the enameled dials with guilloche-engraved ones, the latter being less sensitive than the former to the finger smudges.
Maintenance work was indeed quite frequent at the time...
In this instance, the finish of this modern version is absolutely breathtaking: the details of the three guilloche-engravings used (clou de Paris, circular brush and lifted pique) are a delight to the eyes.
The "apple" hands and the screws are blue flame-colored and display a multitude of nuanced colors.
A unique movement
If these cosmetic attributes deserve your attention, they're nothing compared to the caliber 507.
While most of the brands pride themselves of their "manufactured" movements shared by numerous of their catalog references, Breguet has created a caliber exclusively dedicated to their Tradition models.
This movement is unique in the world of modern watchmaking because it reclaims the architecture of the 19th century calibers.
While flipping through the pages of the catalog of the recent Breguet exhibition at the Louvre, one is struck by the similarities: the layout of the cogs and of the escapement, terminal curve of the balance-spring, manual engravings...
Breguet even goes so far as to equip the Tradition with a drop guard (first anti-shock system).
It is cosmetic, however, with the movement set-up with a modern incabloc hidden under the drop guard.
The Frosted Gilt finish is also historically accurate.
Deceptively simple, it is actually very tricky to achieve.
Its execution is magnificent...
The surface is frosted-like and changes appearance depending on the lighting.
One small dampener: only the upper part of the bridges are beveled.
Nothing serious, but a more thorough angling job wouldn't have hurt...
A unique sensation
When worn, the Tradition gives a unique sensation.
You're not wearing a watch, but rather, a movement, the time function becoming anecdotal.
One can spend hours in the depth of its cogs... or become hypnotized by the ticking of the balance spring, which almost serves as "affordable tourbillon" - still, almost 20,000 euros!
With such a mechanical wonder to admire, you will no longer get bored at boring meetings!
The watch is extremely comfortable due to its light weight.
Its legibility (for those who are interested in time) is good, despite the tiny dial, thanks to its excellent contrast.
This Breguet Tradition is quite a paradoxical object: produced by the largest watchmaker company in the world, the Swatch Group, it gives off the same aura of hand-made craft as if it just came out of the workshop of a small independent watchmaker...
And staying true to the design of the original historical parts doesn't stop it from looking quite contemporary once worn on the wrist...
A watch for the aesthetes who want to take the road less traveled!
- an original design
- the exclusive movement
- faithful to the original historical model
- the quality of the wristband
- the taking apart and changing of the strap which requires tools that are not provided
- journalist's wrist = 17 cm
- brand website : Breguet