What is tradition, if not an endless amount of history? Breguet’s latest collection certainly honors the brand’s past achievements and showcases many of its founder’s inventions. Both the Breguet 7097 Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde and the Breguet 7077 La Tradition Chronograph Indépendant are packed with hints of the past, but in keeping with tradition, introduce important innovations.
Introduced at this year’s Baselworld, the Breguet 7077 La Tradition Chronograph Indépendant is a modern chronograph using two separate gear trains mounted on separate balance wheels to improve its timekeeping accuracy when the chronograph is being used. Cased in 18-carat white gold with delicately fluted case band, the watch features many of Breguet’s signatures, including iconic open-tipped hands to indicate the hours and minutes within an 18-carat gold subdial at 12 o’clock. On either side, a power reserve and a 20-minute counter add complexity and harmony to the dial. But the beauty of this watch undoubtedly comes from its imperfect symmetry, including different scales on the power reserve and the chronograph indicators, different frequencies and materials for the two balance wheels at 6 o’clock, and the odd placement of the chronograph’s pushers on either the case.
In fact, the latter is a faithful homage to the design of the first chronograph ever, developed in 1820 by Abraham-Louis Breguet, of course. Technically, the new watch is a marvel also, as one balance kicks into higher gear to help power the chronograph function indicated at 6 o’clock by a small blue arrow. Teased by the openwork dial, the mechanics can be admired in full though the watch’s sapphire-crystal caseback.
Despite its generous size – the case of the watch measures 44mm in diameter – the 7077 La Tradition Chronograph Indépendant hugs the wrist comfortably and doesn’t feel as large as one would imagine. In fact the watch is the same size as the new Breguet 7097 La Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde.
The watch is powered by Cal. 580DR, an in-house self-winding movement featuring a symmetrical inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon pallets, and boasting a 50 hours power reserve. It looks lovely too, since the bridges and the mainplate are decorated with a dark grey frosted finish that give it a modern look.
The new Breguet 7077 La Tradition Chronograph Indépendant is available in white gold and rose gold, priced at CHF 77,800 and CHF 77,000 respectively.