When a number of watch company CEOs were asked by a Swiss trade magazine to name the watch they would want to own, if they were to choose one not from their own brands, a surprising majority said, “Breguet Tradition”. Who knew? If a cult is, by definition, below the radar, then Breguet’s most deliberately retro watch of them all is cult par excellence. Having already enjoyed a few variations, it has just been released in a form that’ll double its appeal: a ladies’ version.
The Tradition is an open-architecture design that pays homage to the watches Abraham-Louis Breguet was making in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In the Breguet Tradition Dame 7038, the design contains a small dial of engine-turned Tahitian mother-of-pearl, showing the hours and minutes with Breguet numerals, floating above the mainplate at 12 o’clock and surrounded by the rest of the components. A keen eye will see retrograde seconds at the 10 o’clock position, a sight to delight any connoisseur.
The Dame is self-winding, with the barrel located centrally and its housing engraved with a floral pattern, driving directly the classic Breguet hands. Also on view are the balance wheel and intermediate wheels, arranged in an arc that occupies the space between four and eight o’clock. The bridge for the escapement features a hand-chamfered “pare-chute”, thus highlighting one of many Breguet inventions; this was conceived to make the balance-staff shock-resistant.
Ensuring its appeal for discerning ladies with a passion for horology, the Tradition Dame uses an 18K white-gold case measuring a modern 37mm. In addition to the mother-of-pearl dial and decorated barrel, the Dame also has finishing and decoration to increase its distaff appeal. Instead of the previous models’ gray, anthracite or golden rose tones, the Dame’s movement is frosted in white, while 68 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing approximately 0.895 carats are set into the bezel. Another charming detail is a watch jewel set into the winding crown.
With its sapphire-crystal caseback, the owner is also able to study the Breguet caliber 505 SR even further. The in-house movement has a 50-hour power reserve, and it features a Breguet balance spring in silicon. Each watch is individually numbered and signed, and fitted with a leather strap.