In 1783, an admirer of Marie-Antoinette placed an order with Breguet, horological purveyor to the French Court for a pocket watch fit for a queen.
The watch was to be spectacular with gold replacing any metals and complications as numerous and varied as possible. There was no time limit or budget set for the work. Just the instruction that this was to be the most magnificent watch ever produced. And watch number “160” as it was named, fulfilled that request completely.
Unfortunately the piece was finished in 1802, 9 years after her death by guillotine, and 19 years after the original order was placed. Tardy.
Fortunately it doesn’t take as long to get your hands one in 2022!
I thought for our first tourbillon review, it would be fitting to use a Breguet since Abraham Louis Breguet invented the mechanism that is considered one of the greatest watchmaking complications 221 years ago.
The Breguet Tradition Grand Complication Fusee Tourbillon, reference 7047.
41mm Rose Gold case that wears a little larger due to its slim bezel.
Just over 16mm thick with a glorious dome of sapphire showcasing the movement, which is an absolute masterclass.
The tourbillon is on display at one with its cage and balance made of titanium which is lighter and more efficient than steel.
and sitting below at nine and four, is the fusee and chain mechanism which provides running power to the watch.
The fusee and chain provides the exact same level of power regardless of whether the watch is fully or partially wound so keeps timekeeping steady over its 50 hour power reserve.
This mechanism is MUCH harder to engineer than a standard mainspring mechanism as under a certain amount of pressure the tiny chain links can be prone to breaking.
It really is a feat of micro engineering and no surprise that its proudly on display along with the tourbillon.
The dial set at 7 is typically Breguet with hand guilloche decoration and Roman numerals.
Through the rear caseback you can view the movement which has a kind of sandblast texture.
While its beautifully finished, it lacks the fuss and floral of some exhibition movements.
I think actually thats one of the points of this watch, it has a lean mean machine look while being a technical tour de force.
The Rose Gold’s “Big Brother” 7047 in platinum was worn by Ben Affleck when he played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice.