Breguet Traditional Quantième Rétrograde 7597: Regal Monochrome
Montres Breguet elevates the Quantième Rétrograde 7597 with a regal variation.
In 1797, pioneering master watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet sought to restart his watchmaking activities after the Revolutionary interregnum using a new business model. The idea was that he would create more affordable watches, ones that would help bring in a steady flow of capital and forward the grander vision of his horological pursuits. The model also required patrons to commission their timepieces and agree to pay for a portion of the costs upfront — a souscription, or subscription, model if you will. While the pocket watches he produced through this approach were simple, they were made with zero chronometric compromises.
Simplicity in approach and construction ensured easy availability of parts and components from suppliers, thus keeping costs down. There was also an unexpected plus point to this approach. The faces of these timepieces were relatively unassuming; elegantly reserved, one might say. Their movements, though, presented an avant-garde brutalist aesthetic that was hard not to appreciate. Think steampunk, long before the term was even coined — even the brutalism would not take shape until the mid-20th century. All of this is important to recount, to make this one important point: Abraham-Louis Breguet was an enlightened man, far ahead of his time.
Fast-forward to 2005, when the contemporary brand that is Breguet, took inspiration from Abraham-Louis’ souscription watch to launch the Tradition collection. The collection presents classical watchmaking, executed with the aesthetics of the souscription watch movement. And just to advance the concept, these watches are designed to feature their movements from the dial side. The grained anthracite bridges and plates form an arresting contrast for a functionally classical timepiece that looks anything but classical.
Late in 2020, the Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597 was added to the collection. This was the first instance of a date complication within the collection and contemporary Breguet made sure that it would be worthy to stand next to other complications within the collection, by adding a sophisticated retrograde date indication to the lower half of the watch face. Setting the stage, and of course taking another page from the souscription watch, the 7597 starts off with a central mainspring barrel. An off-centred engine-turned dial is thereafter used for the main time indication at the 12 o’clock position. The centre of the watch is flanked by two large, stepped bridges for the first train wheel (9 o’clock) and balance wheel (3 o’clock). Lastly, of course, there is the large centrally mounted date hand, which sweeps across a date scale set along the lower edge of the dial. The blued-steel date hand has been intriguingly shaped such that is able to dramatically sweep over the movement that sits beneath.
At launch, the wristwatch was available in a 40mm case in pink or white gold with a completely monochromatic watch face. In 2022, the brand has added a third option, yet again in a 40mm white gold case, this time with a blue primary dial and arched date scale. This particular shade of blue does seem to amplify the three dimensionality of the symmetrical metropolis sprawling below.
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