La Tradition is the name of a series of watches made from 2005 until today, and to celebrate the collection’s 10th anniversary, Breguet is staging a show in Hong Kong featuring both the latest models, along with preceding pieces from earlier in the decade, and some superb historical pieces lent by the Breguet museum in Paris.
The La Tradition series celebrates the brilliant work by brand founder Abraham-Louis Breguet who began his career in Paris in 1775. His inventions – which included features such as the tourbillon, the pare-chute shock-absorbing system, and the automatic winding mechanism – are mirrored by the contemporary watches, such as Reference 7027 which was the first modern watch to reveal the open-work movement above the mainplate. Abraham-Louis Breguet had already had the idea back in 1796 with the Souscription pocket watch, that he described thus: “The arrangement of the movement is such that a devotee of mechanics can follow all its effects through the open side…” (Below, La Tradition 7077).
Today, the various La Tradition watches incorporate many complications, such as power reserve indicator, tourbillon, fusée and chain transmission, GMT display and retrograde small seconds. But perhaps the most immediately recognizable feature of modern Breguet watches is their superb finish and hand-guilloché dials, a feature that is both decorative and practical, because it eliminates surface reflections and makes the dial more legible. At the Hong Kong exhibition, a Breguet craftsman will be present, demonstrating this extraordinarily demanding technique. Still today, Breguet’s craftsmen use lathes dating to over a century ago, achieving precisions down to a tenth of a millimeter.
The exhibition ‘La Tradition Breguet, At the heart of an icon’ runs from 11 to 14 June at the Anita Chan Gallery, in the Fringe Club, open every day from 11am to 6pm.
Anita Chan Gallery
Lower Albert Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2521 7251
For more info see www.breguet.com
Below, two views of the antique Breguet watch N° 1009: