Saturday, 25 October 2014

Tra-di-TION! TRA-DI-TION! ;) no not fiddler on the roof... BREGUET! My take / review on Breguet Tradition 7047 7057 7067

Perchik: Money is the world's curse. 
Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.
a funny exchange from the musical/film i watched probably about 25+ years ago. remember folks there are more important things than money ;) 

this post / review will focus on the Tradition range but i shot some other absolutely beautiful Breguet watches on my trip down which i will be doing up a post in time(but these things take time) so before that's up, I will be posting some shots of them on my Instagram account so do check it out here LINK. my gracious hosts for the day was the fine marketing team here in Singapore and my thanks to them for having me over. 

hmm what's wrong with this picture?
and this? any guesses? :)

Well going back to the first quote, money is a necessity if you want to purchase some of these fine timepieces of course. I do so love them but if you don't, that's fine as well. We were all not made to love the same things. The great thing about this passion is the variety of timepieces and stories that's out there. It is definitely a good thing to open our eyes to see and experience more and know what it is that resonates with us and not anyone else... then figure out a way to obtain it ;) 

Looking back then(as one should do with Breguet)... Abraham Louis Breguet made beautiful and significant timepieces in his time. Certain notable inventions or characteristic stylings of Breguet timepieces are:
  • Tourbillon - as the person who invented it to aid in accuracy of pocket watches by addressing gravitational pull for pocketwatches, which were more or less always in the same position, and the oils used then 
  • Breguet hands - I love these.. on Breguets, Voutilainens and other classic styled dials
  • Wonderful guillochage or engine turned dials. A lot of beautiful designs and some dials feature several different types of guilloché at a go. 
  • Breguet overcoil hairspring
I must say that the Swatch Group, under CEO Nicholas Hayek then, had great vision in purchasing the brand and take it forward the way they have. From the brand's site it also notes that "Today more than ever, its capacity to innovate reflects a brand’s vitality. Breguet’s own creative powers and ingenuity have certainly not declined over time. Driven by Nicolas G. Hayek, they have indeed been amplified, resulting in Breguet filing in eight short years, a number of patent applications exceeding that of its founder’s own inventions."

That is the right way forward. Building off what was good and distinctive from Abraham Louis Breguet, and his wonderful creations of horological art with technical innovation, and taking it forward staying true to the spirit of the man. To note though, there were lost years when ownership passed on to people/corporations who did not know how to build on the name and innovate as the Swatch Group are doing today. 

Passage of the brand (Much of the information for this bit is referenced from this great article by Carlos Perez in this LINK)

  • 1775 Abraham Louis Breguet(1747-1823) begins his watch business. After his passing, it goes to his heirs.
  • 1870 - The watch business is sold to Edward Brown, an English watchmaker that worked for Breguet. To note, there were significant English watch collectors of Breguet at the time, Sir David Lionel Salomons(1851-1925), being the most significant and an owner of the Marie Antoinette pocket watch for a time.
  • 1970 - Sold to Chaumet brothers, Parisian jewelers.
  • 1987 - Chaumets' went bankrupt and the Republic of France sold its patrimony to Investcorp, a small-ish investment company(site currently states AUM of $10.5b) that looks to invest in alternative investment products.
  • Investcorp interestingly also purchased Nouvelle Lemania and Valdar in 1991 and brought them into a "Groupe Horloger Breguet." I don't know much about Valdar but Lemania, there's a name with some movements I know about :) they also supplied low to high end calibres to many brands. The brand lost it's way a little during these years.
  • 1999 - Sold to Swatch Group... Nicholas Hayek(1928-2010) steps down as Swatch Group CEO in 2003 to focus on Breguet. Marc Hayek  has since taken over the reins after his father's passing. It has not been easy road but they have given new life to the legacy. 
And we come to La Tradition... when it first came out, I took notice and at some points I had looked to buy one. The Tradition has the look of some of the pocket watch movements Breguet had done in his time. 
From 1793 to 1795, because of the Terror (wiki on it LINK), Breguet took refuge in Switzerland. He then came up with the idea of the souscription watch or 'subscription' watch which were committed to with a downpayment while he made them. they also had certain stylings to them, some of which has made their way into the Tradition range.

First up let's tackle the recent addition to the line... the Tradition GMT with two dials for two 
timezones to be shown and a day night indicator for the home or reference time. the pusher on the left 
to advance the 2nd time in hour increments. a beautiful piece with a modern and practical dual time function
power reserve indicator near the bottom centre on the back... i do so like the frosted finishing 
found throughout the range
all the Breguets I saw also had wonderful clasps and buckles. this was no exception

Next up... the Tradition Tourbillons 7047 in Plat and Rose Gold at 41mm. there is another version 
of the Rose Gold with the grey movement... all lovely

Let's take a closer look at the Rose Gold first... the high domed bombeé shape sapphire 
allows for great visibility of the dial with it's Breguet overcoil silicium hairspring and 
titanium balance wheel, tourbillon with titanium cage, power reserve indicator on the 
winding barrel and the chain and fusée transmisson
 this fusée and chain transmisson provides a constant force or balances out torque as the 
power in the barrel winds down. it's the bicycle chain and gear lookin mechanism behind the dial
before we look at the plat let's look at an older Breguet tourbillon... notice anything
interesting from the pic below? :) Chronometer No. 1176 with inverted fusée 
The Plat is colder looking of course and has a cool machine vibe to it. i like that this range 
exists in the Breguet family of watches together with their classic looking pieces
the back is simpler with most of what is to be seen on the front of the watch 

but what a front... a one minute tourbillon, power reserve indicator, chain and fusée 
And lastly the La Tradition in Rose Gold (other pics of a Tradition in another metal here LINK
this is one of the three 40mm diameter Traditions released in 2011. power reserve indicator
 and parachute shock absorber evident from the front. The other 2 released were the Rose Gold with 
movement in matt grey NAC finish and the white gold with the grey NAC movement
and the distinctive fluted or 'coin edge' style case and welded lugs. note the traditions come
in 2 sizes, 37mm(ref 7027 when it first launched) and 40mm(ref 7057 in 2011) the 40mm 
works better for me personally
and a pic from an auction piece from the past... Breguet No.689 souscription calibre with 
central barrel. 3 arm barrel with parachute on the top pivot... just wonderful translation into the modern range
The Group of Traditions then and their retail prices(inclusive of 7% GST)... the Plat Tourby 7047PT is at S$272,600, 
the Rose Gold Tourby 7047BR is $252,300 and the GMT 7067BR is S$56,200. 7057BR should be high 30s.Photobucket

ah... "if i were a rich man... Yubba dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I'd biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man. I wouldn't have to work hard. Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum. If I were a biddy biddy rich, Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man." song from the movie yuh

if i were a very wealthy man, i would buy at least one Breguet Tradition [amongst other pieces of course :) ] probably this one which i had significant trouble getting off my wrist after putting it on there... 
studying the art of breguet of which there is A LOT! this is a great book by the way showing 
auctions of interesting Breguet pieces and highlighting owners of note 
and that's it folks... a parting shot of mine as i was dragged out of the store by security ;) 
kidding of course. HAGWE! cheers, raph


raphael too said...

Zegarek said...
very impressive watch!

raphael too said...

Agreed Zegarek. Thanks for your comment :) i love the tourbillon...

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