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Keeping Time With Tradition

Breguet reveals a stunning new timepiece in their sought-after Tradition Collection: the Quantième Rétrograde Date 7597

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In watchmaking, it takes a skilled master to create a complication and a genius to introduce beautiful simplicity, but only a true visionary can accomplish both. A visionary like Abraham-Louis Breguet.


Widely recognised as one of the greatest horologists the world has ever known, Swiss-born Breguet founded his eponymous watchmaking company in 1775 in Paris's Quai de l’Horloge on the Ile de La Cité. The gifted watchmaker quickly rose to prominence as his timepieces featuring his own innovative inventions, such as the tourbillon, became de rigueur among the French aristocracy. Following a two-year stint in Switzerland from 1793 to 1795, Breguet returned to the City of Lights reinvigorated with fresh inspiration and new ideas.


One such idea was for a watch with a single, solitary hand – a groundbreaking design that would simplify the telling of time. Breguet christened this watch "souscription" ("subscription"), named for the equally unique method of payment in which the customer paid a quarter of the price when placing the order. The souscription was a clear success, prompting Breguet to push the envelope even further with the invention of the "tact" watch in 1799. In an unheard-of development, the tact watch enabled the wearer to read the time without ever removing the timepiece from his pocket, simply by running his fingers along the outer hand and comparing its position with raised hour markers on the caseband. Tactful, indeed, as the etiquette of the day deemed it rude to look at one's watch during a social occasion.


More than two centuries later, the company that Breguet founded would honour these pioneering designs with the introduction of the Tradition collection, the first of the brand's collections to feature all of the timepiece's intricate organs right on the dial. Now iconic in their own right, Tradition watches seamlessly reinterpret the emblematic visual codes of the souscription and tact watches for a new millennium and the next generation of watchmaking connoisseurs.


The newest arrival in this elegant collection is the Breguet Tradition Quantième Rétrograde Date 7597, a stunning homage rendered in 18-karat gold with magnificent symmetrical calibre architecture. The 7597 honours its forebears with a number of well-considered details, from the pare-chute shock-absorber system, to the shape of the bridges, the size of the balance and the wheels, even the three screws securing the dial just as found on the timepieces that inspired it. A feature certain to delight Breguet aficionados is the inclusion of a retrograde date – a complication first developed by Abraham-Louis Breguet himself.


The 505Q self-winding movement housed within the 40mm case possesses an inverted lever escapement and silicon horns, while the Breguet balance spring also makes use of silicon to ensure durability, resistance to the influence of magnetic fields and remarkable timekeeping precision. Turning the timepiece over, the sapphire caseback showcases yet another striking element of this masterful wristwatch: a gold oscillating weight shaped just as the one on the Breguet's perpétuelle watch created in 1780.


With its blue dial that exquisitely contrasts the anthracite movement while complementing a midnight blue alligator strap, the Quantième Rétrograde Date 7597 is a studious ode to watchmaking tradition as much as it is a stylish timepiece made for the modern man.

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