The Breguet Tradition 7035 ticks all the boxes for female watch collectors. It’s inspired by the heritage of one of the world’s most elite watchmakers, with an openworked dial, classic haute horlogerie finishing, diamond-set components and a splash of color. Above all, it has an elite, fully decorated mechanical movement. The fact that it is limited to 88 pieces makes it all the more desirable.
The watches in the Tradition collection are modern-day interpretations of the subscription watches designed in the late 18th century by brand founder Abraham-Louis Breguet. Paid for partly in advance, Breguet’s “souscription” pocket watches were notable for their chronometry and their exquisite finish. The Tradition made its debut in 2005 as an homage to those pieces, but with an openworked, multi-level dial and movement architecture, including an offset hour and minutes plate. The dial side reveals the escapement, a large part of the gear train and the mainspring barrel.
But it wasn’t until 2016 that the first ladies’ Tradition was launched. It came with a diamond-set bezel, frosted bridges and a floral engraving on the central barrel, and it was one of the first ladies’ watches to openly display the gear works of a mechanical movement on the dial side. The new model, Ref. 7035, is likewise fitted with subtle feminine details, including a rosette motif engraved onto the central barrel, snow-set diamond setting on the plates and offset time dial, along with a sprinkling of rubies and pink sapphires in graduated hues to represent the power reserve index.
Snow setting has become the go-to when it comes to gemsetting on watches. The technique differs from traditional pavé setting in that it involves using varying sizes of diamonds that, when placed on the dial, allow for a tighter fit. The result is a sheet of diamonds that cover more of the metal surface so there’s more brilliance. Consider it pavé-plus. Diamonds are also set into the bezel of the 18-karat rose gold case and on the strap buckle, for a total weight of about 1.6 carats. The crown is set with a ruby cabochon. The open-tipped Breguet-style hands are 18-karat rose gold.
Breguet famously made a ladies’ watch in 1810 for the Queen of Naples, for which its modern Reine de Naples collection is named. The ladies’ Tradition collection, however, is a more purist representation of mechanical watchmaking on offer for women from this brand, with its exposed movement and more traditional case shape. Signature Breguet Tradition elements include the fluted case band and straight welded lugs with screw bars. The Ref. 7035 contains the automatic caliber 505J, with 50 hours of power reserve, an inverted in-line lever escapement, silicon horns and a silicon balance spring. Price is upon request.