For a manufacture like Breguet, literally everything is possible. Thus, this year at Baselworld 2015, we had the opportunity to work on this hands-on review of the new breguet tradition chronographe indépendant replica watch, a 20-minute chronograph.
The first going train is for the hours and minutes, regulated by a 3Hz balance and having a power reserve of 50 hours. The engine-turned dial in silvered gold showing the hours and minutes is offset at 12 o’clock, while the chronograph hand is fixed in the center of the watch. The chronograph-activation indicator is a blue hand at 6 o’clock. Directly opposite to each other, at 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock two retrograde hands respectively indicate the power reserve of the watch and the chronograph minutes, while the two balance-wheels beat side by side at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock.
Normally, a second train implies a second barrel to provide the energy required by the chronograph. This approach nonetheless needs more space and above all means that the owner of the watch must wind up the chronograph barrel spring as well as the going barrel. In addition, the new Breguet Chronographe Indépendant ref. 7077 is fitted with a patented chronograph balance-wheel in titanium ensuring perfect symmetry with the movement balance-wheel. The use of a heavier material for the balance-wheel would have meant making it smaller. The overall appearance would be affected, especially since one of the features of the Tradition collection is to make the main parts of the movement visible on the baseplate. The two balance-wheels are thus the same size, despite their different frequencies, and their position is in tune with aesthetic considerations.
The application of the blade spring principle by Breguet’s watchmakers has given rise to a number of innovations. A non-concentric going train has been associated with the blade spring so as to even out the torque and achieve constant amplitude and rate of the chronograph. A patent has been filed for the entire spring and train assembly. Instead of following its usual curve, the shape of the train has been calculated to transmit constant force to the chronograph.
This new chronograph is a true feat of horology and one of the most amazing complications. Measuring elapsed times provides immediate visualization of the desired function, but making it work is an additional mechanical challenge, because starting a chronograph disturbs the main gear trains. To alleviate this problem, Breguet has fitted its new breguet replica watch with two independent trains.