In 1797, pioneering master watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet attempted to revive his watchmaking activity after the Revolutionary War using a new business strategy. The plan was for him to develop more cheap watches, which would assist bring in a constant supply of funds and further the wider goal of his horological interests. Patrons were also asked to commission their watches and agree to pay a percentage of the costs up ahead — a souscription, or subscription, model, if you will. While the pocket watches he created with this method were basic, they were manufactured with no chronometric sacrifices.
The strategy and construction simplicity provided simple availability of parts and components from vendors, lowering prices. This strategy also had an unanticipated advantage. The faces of these clocks were understated, even tastefully restrained. Their motions, on the other hand, provided an avant-garde brutalist aesthetic that was difficult not to admire. Consider steampunk, which existed long before the name was defined — even brutalism would not emerge until the mid-twentieth century. All of this is necessary to emphasize one point: Abraham-Louis Breguet was an intellectual guy who was far ahead of his time.
Fast forward to 2005, when the modern brand Breguet launched the Tradition series, drawing inspiration from Abraham-Louis’ souscription watch. The line features classical watchmaking completed with the beauty of the souscription watch mechanism. To add to the notion, these watches are intended to display their movements from the dial side. The grained anthracite bridges and plates create an eye-catching contrast for a functionally traditional clock that appears everything but conventional.
The Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597 was introduced to the collection in late 2020. This was the first date complication in the collection, and contemporary Breguet ensured that it would be worthy of standing with other complexities in the collection by adding a clever retrograde date indicator to the lower half of the watch face. The 7597 begins with a central mainspring barrel, setting the tone and, of course, borrowing a page from the souscription watch.
Following that, an off-centered engine-turned dial is employed for the primary time indicator at 12 o’clock. The first train wheel (9 o’clock) and balancing wheel (3 o’clock) are flanked by two huge, stepped bridges in the center of the watch. Finally, there’s the huge centrally located date hand, which sweeps over a date scale set down the dial’s bottom border. The blued-steel date hand has been intriguingly fashioned so that it may sweep dramatically over the movement beneath.
The timepiece was first offered in a 40mm pink or white gold casing with a totally monochrome watch face. In 2022, the company introduced a third alternative, this time in a 40mm white gold case with a blue main dial and an arching date scale. This specific hue of blue appears to emphasize the three-dimensionality of the symmetrical metropolis stretching underneath.