Breguet revolutionizes watchmaking again
December 1, 2015
Awarded the distinguished “Aiguille d’Or” grand prize at the Geneva Grand Prix in 2014, the Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727 movement could revolutionize modern watchmaking with its patented magnetic pivot system.
Breguet introduced their first 10Hz (72,000 vph) movement in 2010, and has since introduced newer iterations such as this in 2013. Fast forward to 2014, and the Chronometrie 7727 is powered by Breguet’s very latest high-frequency movement.
The new caliber 574DR movement is incredibly accurate, according to the manufacture, because the magnetic pivots allow Breguet to control the negative effects of magnetism in a watch, but also allows them to use the magnetic force to improve the pivoting, rotation and stability of the balance staff, thereby significantly improving the chronometry of the watch.
The precision of the movement has been significantly increased because of the magnetic pivots but also thanks to the use of an anti-magnetic silicon escapement wheel, pallets, and double hairsprings that have been specially prepared to achieve a high frequency.
Furthermore, the twin 180° symmetrically deploying silicon balance springs, balance out their respective forces on the balance-staff as well as contributing to the stability of the oscillator and hence to improved timing precision.
If you are wondering how the magnetic forces, which typically ruin a watch’s rate results, do not undermine the accuracy of caliber 574DR. It is because the magnets in the pivot system are sized perfectly so that the forces are localized and do no affect other metallic components. “The magnetic pivot consists of a carbon-steel balance- staff and a ‘rare-earth’ magnet behind each end- stone. One of the magnets is stronger than the other so that the balance-staff is in permanent contact with the endstone on the dial side and thus appears to be suspended,” according to Breguet.
In addition to the technical feats, the Classique Chronométrie 7727 maintains all the signatures of a Breguet timepiece. The case is crafted in 18K white or rose gold case (7727BR/12/9WU - rose gold, 7727BB/12/9WU - white gold) with a finely fluted caseband and welded lugs with screw bars, along with an 18K yellow gold dial that has been silvered. The dial has been engine-turned by hand using a traditional rose engine, with six different types of guilloché, resulting in each piece being a unique work of art.
The six guilloché techniques used are as follows: “Geneva waves” in the center, a “clou de Paris hobnailing” for the small seconds at twelve o’clock, “sunburst” for the tenth-of-a-second counter at one o’clock and “chevrons” for the power reserve indicator at five o’clock. The hours chapter has a “cross-hatched” surface while the outer edge of the dial is cut in a “barleycorn” pattern.
A traditional Breguet dial indicates the hours and minutes with an off-center frosted chapter ring with Roman numerals and blued open-tipped hands. A subdial at 12 o’clock displays the small seconds, along with a smaller subdial the is adjacent at 1 o’clock and indicates 1/10th of with a constantly running patented lightweight silicon hand with low inertia that doesn’t affect the balance even though it is constantly running at a very high speed. At 2 o’clock is a para-chute, which pays homage to the invention from Abraham-Louis Breguet.
Ultimately, the rate results of the new caliber 574DR are virtually flawless by mechanical timekeeping standards – with average rates of -1/+3 seconds per day, and a rate difference of -2/+4 seconds a day between the six positions. This is highly commendable as many watchmakers nowadays focus more on aesthetics, and superfluous features over precision, forgetting that it is “chronometry” (the science and advancement of time measurement) that was historically the most important part of watchmaking.
The founder (Abraham-Louis Breguet) has created some of the most important innovations in the history of watchmaking – such as the tourbillon, the pare-chute, the perpetuelle winding system, and many more. This is why Breguet is widely regarded as one of the best watchmakers of all time. Moreover, much of this technology was well ahead of its time when he invented it, and is still in existence today, across the entire industry. And so now, it should come as no surprise that Breguet (the present-day company) – is making history again.