The Breguet 7047 watch incorporates a spectacular tourbillon mechanism coupled to a fusee-and-chain transmission. Beating inside the watch, the Breguet 569 hand-wound caliber comes with many unique features include its power-reserve indicator for which a patent application has been filed.
Positioned at 10 o’clock, it is located directly on the barrel drum (the movement’s power source) and features a system of reducer differentials allowing the indication to appear directly on the drum. The latter’s large dimensions furthermore enabled watchmakers to fit it with two barrels, increasing the amount of energy stores and provides.
The fusee-and-chain transmission is designed to optimize watch-rate regularity by ensuring a constant torque whatever the actual degree of winding tension (a mechanical watch mainspring’s torque usually varies with the degree of winding). Conical in shape, the fusee features differential gears that convey a continuous flow of energy to the movement.
When the watch and barrel are fully wound, thus providing peak traction, the chain connecting the barrel to the fusee winds around the latter’s smallest circumference whereas when the barrel is only partly wound and thus cannot develop its full torque, the chain winds around the broadest part of the fusee, offsetting in this way the barrel’s loss of power. The winding system further benefits from a crown wheel with frontal toothing that considerably improves its responsiveness.
Unquestionably a harbinger of things to come, the Tradition 7047 timepiece nonetheless embodies a full measure of Breguet’s product identity. Inspired by the first tourbillon-equipped pocket watches of the early 19th century, it includes such signature features as caseband fluting, round-ended welded lugs and blued-steel Breguet hands.
Its platinum case holds centuries of accumulated horological know-how. Slim bezel and domed crystal together clearly reveal the movement’s various levels and provide a good view of the tourbillon carriage’s generous proportions. Its thin bar (or barrette), upper bridge and carriage all derive from A.-L. Breguet’s earliest sketches.
Fitted with a Breguet balance made of titanium, patented in 2004, and an upper bridge also fashioned in titanium, the tourbillon carriage’s impressive size is offset by its spare design. For its part, the Breguet-shaped barrette is made of nonmagnetic stainless steel.
The balance spring is one of a series of vital parts at the heart of the movement. Its regular oscillations give the movement its rhythm and regulate the flow of time. Crucial to the workings of a mechanical watch movement, the balance spring is also the most responsive in terms of improvements to timekeeping precision.
The balance spring is a very fine coil spring. Usually made of metal, it is vulnerable to shocks, magnetic fields and even the pull of gravity, which can cause warping.
Made and marketed by Nivarox-FAR, a Swatch Group enterprise, the alloy traditionally utilised to make balance springs is designed to increase its rigidity as its temperature increases, offsetting in this way the balance’s increased inertia stemming from the latter’s heat expansion.
Long viewed as one of the key components of movement precision, the balance spring has benefited from a lot of research and experimentation, with Breguet leading the way. In 1795, Breguet conceived the “Breget overcoil” spring, today still the reference in terms of balance springs, the choice of the finest watch houses and craft watchmakers. A.-L. Breguet got the idea of altering the balance spring’s terminal curve by raising its end and bending it slightly as a way of improving its isochronism.
Another Breguet, Louis-Clément, in 1830 sought to prevail over magnetic fields by crafting balance springs in glass instead of metal. Breguet himself had made balance springs in gold to counter oxidation. One such cylindrical spring was fitted in the celebrated Marie -Antoinette watch; its shape was designed to improve considerably its isochronism by repoising its centre of gravity.
In 2006, Breget introduced its first wristwatches with silicon balance spring and escapement. It combines the advantages and qualities of the earlier experiments.
Silicon also possesses advantages of its own:
- Silicon is totally impervious to magnetic fields. Practical measurements have confirmed that when exposed to over twice the magnetic influence mandated by NIHS standards, silicon posted results 15 times better than the standard.
- The manufacturing operations of a silicon ba lance spring yield a broad variety of shapes, facilitating the highly accurate adaptation of its shape to precisely calculated models. The gap between two silicon coils can be varied according to the spring’s specific function because silicon springs are produced by direct in-depth etching of silicon wafers and not by spiral winding like metal springs.
- Silicon balance springs are lighter than metal ones and thus less prone to deformation caused by the pull of gravity. They are also less vulnerable to shock s and provide far superior resistance to corrosion.
- Components fashioned from silicon are subjected to a special process that greatly improves their resistance to handling and shocks.
These silicon components are already in industrial production and incorporated in four Breguet calibres which are themselves in volume production. One of the challenges of using silicon balance springs is the determination of their temperature coefficient. It defines the watch’s capacity to maintain a steady rate whatever its running temperature. In this area, Breguet has benefited from a joint development with the Swiss Electronics and Microtechnology Centre (Swatch Group participation) and two other Swiss watch houses, for which a patent has been awarded.
After four years of service in various watch movements, Breguet can report satisfactory results with flat silicon balance springs. The next step was to turn out silicon balance springs featuring the celebrated ”Breguet” terminal curve. Actually putting a curve into a sliver of silicon represented no mean exploit in the world of watchmaking. The springs are usually cut from flat wafers and remain uniformly thin strips.
Getting silicon, devoid of the malleability of metal, to form a bend rising up from the coil required a complete rethinking of the production process, a technical challenge brilliantly mastered by Breguet technicians. The Breguet silicon balance spring will now be adding its specific advantages to silicon’s on all Breguet movements, whatever their basic configuration.
Today, the new Breguet silicon balance spring is featured in the Breguet Tradition 7047 model with tourbillon and fusee-and-chain transmission. Inspired by the design of the first tourbillon-equipped pocket watches devised by Breguet himself, a platinum version is now available fitted with a movement fashioned in an anthracite-toned metal alloy. Its surface finish was obtained by a new and improved electrode position process using an alloy of precious metals of the platinum group with a hue darker than ruthenium’s.
The fusee-and-chain transmission connected to the barrel ensures constant force for as long as the watch is running. A number of patents applications involve the large tourbillon resonator at one o’clock on the watch face, one for a titanium balance and three relating to Breguet silicon balance springs. A further patent was awarded for a power-reserve indicator positioned directly on the barrel.
The Breguet Tradition 7047 (reference 7047PT/11/9ZU) watch features a 41mm diameter case in Platinum. Off-centred at 7 o’clock, the silvered 18K gold dial reflects understated design in the established Tradition style, underlined by the movement’s impeccably shot-blasted surface finishing.
Engine-turning in the Clou de Paris cobbled pattern, classic Roman numerals and Breguet hands all evoke the very origins of the brand. Secured by three blued screws, the dial plate salutes the celebrated subscription watches devised centuries ago by Breguet himself.
Model: Breguet Tradition Tourbillon Fusée 7047
Ref. 7047PT/11/9ZU (in platinum)
Round in 950 Platinum with finely fluted caseband. Sapphire caseback. Diameter: 41 mm. Rounded horns welded to the case, with screw pins securing the strap. Water-resistant to 3 bar (30m).
In silvered 18K gold, hand-engraved on a rose engine offcentred at 7 o’clock. Individually numbered and signed Breguet. Chapter ring with Roman numerals. 60 -second tourbillon positioned at 1 o’clock. Open-tipped Breguet hands in polished steel.
Hand-wound mechanical movement clad in an anthracite gray alloy of platinum -group metals, with tourbillon regulator. Numbered and signed Breguet. Cal. 569. 16 lines, 43 jewels, 2.5-Hz frequency. Power reserve of 50 hours with power – reserve indication on the barrel drum. Torque regularity throughout the operation of the watch provided by fusee-and-chain transmission. Upper bridge of the tourbillon carriage in titanium. Breguet-shaped thin bar (barrette) in nonmagnetic stainless steel. Straight-line lever escapement. Breguet balance in titanium with four adjustment screws in gold. BREGUET balance spring in silicon. Adjusted in 6 positions.