Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Back at Baselworld 2015, one of the new Breguet watches was an extremely interesting and visually attractive – if you like watch movement porn, that is – chronograph that combines appealing technology with a refined and distinct "Breguet look," known as the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent. This watch was so nice, in fact, that aBlogtoWatch included it in our list of the Top 10 Watches Of Baselworld 2015. It isn't cheap, nor is it meant to be, but the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent is a real "watch lover's watch," for those looking to combine their love of design with a fun and extremely "not boring," yet classic overall look and feel.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Of course, I wish that Breguet decided to offer the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent in steel, but alas, it is only available in either 18k white or rose gold. If you are familiar with timepieces at this level from Breguet, this fact should not at all be surprising. Breguet watches are often one of those luxury products that really never needs to apologize for being quite literally a luxury product. The Tradition style case remains a classic and nearly synonymous with the brand, with its "coined" edges, smooth bezel, and flat lugs.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Of course, those same lugs that look great on a smaller diameter watches might cause some sizing problems for those with medium to small wrists, given the 44mm-wide case size of the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent. You can see the fit on my wrist, and the lugs do stick out a bit, even though the case rests firmly on my arm. The case is also 13.95mm thick - which isn't too bad for a chronograph of this complexity.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The majority of the story here is in the chronograph, and you'll notice that the pushers on the case aren't at all where you might "traditionally" expect them to be. Rather than a 2 and 4 o'clock chronograph pusher orientation, you have the pushers at 4 and 8 o'clock. Interesting, right?

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

As a chronograph, you have some interesting features. Breguet isn't the first company to do this, but the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent is named as such because the chronograph complication uses its own balance wheel and gear train, separate from the elements of the mechanical movement that indicate the time. A somewhat similar concept has been more popularized by Jaeger-LeCoultre with the Duometre Chronograph (aBlogtoWatch review here), where the movement is quite literally split between those complications that tell the time and those that power the other complications. In fact, something like the Duometre would be a natural competitor product to the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

What is different, however, in the Breguet is that the balance wheel for the time and the one for the chronograph operate at different frequency rates. The balance wheel for the time operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph), while the balance wheel for the chronograph operates at 5Hz (36,000 bph). This faster frequency for the chronograph translates into more accuracy over time - which is actually somewhat overkill, given that the chronograph complication in the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent only measures up to 20 minutes. With that said, those 20 minutes are gonna be rather precisely measured! Five Hertz is at the upper ranges of chronograph watch frequency, but Breguet has actually already exceeded this with their very special 10Hz speed chronograph in the Breguet Type XXII 3880ST watch (hands-on here).

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The fact that the chronograph measures 20 minutes alone makes the watch unique (30 is more standard for single-subdial chronographs). However, in order to make the dial more symmetrical (and I happen to love the symmetry in the watch), Breguet went with a retrograde style minute subdial to the left of the dial for the time. To the right of the dial for the time is a power reserve indicator - and the two gauges nicely balance each other out.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

All of this is part of the Breguet-produced caliber 580DR manually-wound movement with 50 hours of power reserve. The movement contains some silicon parts, such as the pallets, balance springs, and escapements. Breguet has been a champion of silicon parts technology and, probably more than any other traditional watch brand, has put silicon to the best use in watches such as this.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

From a design perspective, the caliber 580DR is fantastic. Breguet drew on its own history as a name and many of the bridge designs are based on antique Breguet watches, but made for today - and with that cool matte deep gray finishing color. The angularity of the bridges looks remarkably modern (even though it is inspired by historical movements), and the overall treatment of the movement on both the open-dial front and the exhibition caseback make for a watch that is unlike anything else out there from other brands. While Breguet is a very well respected brand, I think their watches need to come up a bit more in conversations between watch enthusiasts when it comes to very nicely designed and finished movements.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

While the Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent isn't the most complicated or fully functional chronograph in the world, it is a very interesting one that mixes technical sophistication with design excellence in a particularly satisfying way. The Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent also happens to be unique, which is something that, for at least me, is very important when even considering a watch with a price close to $80,000. Breguet, honestly, could do more to properly market their innovative mechanical movements and add more personality to their timepieces in terms of names and stories, but at the end of the day, if you take the time to understand what they are doing, then Breguet has a lot to offer, and thankfully, keeps coming out with truly new stuff.

Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Breguet Tradition 7077 Chronograph Independent reference 7077BR/G1/9XV in 18k rose gold is priced at $78,900 and the reference 7077BB/G1/9XV in 18k white gold is priced at $79,700 breguet.com

What do you think?
  • I want it! (3)
  • Thumbs up (1)
  • Interesting (1)
  • Classy (1)
  • I love it! (1)
  • iamcalledryan

    Great article, thanks. I adore this watch, both in terms of it’s overall aesthetic and in terms of its technical attributes. Although I am in love with the JLC Duometre range, I see more technical rationale for the Breguet interpretation. As for the 20 minute restriction – will turn some off, but I honestly see very little value in a 12 hour chrono. The 20 minute one is far more in line with the attention span and interest curve of its user – and let’s be honest, attention and interest are the real drivers of this, not utility.

    • DanW94

      You’re right on that – I don’t think a 20 minute chronograph as opposed to a 30 minute or a 12 hour one will be the deciding factor for someone not to purchase this 80,000 dollar watch. This is pure and simple a showpiece, a beautiful one at that, an opportunity to announce that you have discretion, good taste (and boatloads of money) when it comes to watches.

  • What I found highly interesting when we received our briefing on this watch at BaselWorld is that the chronograph only runs for 20 minutes – the reason being that it is powered by an independent (of course) blade spring which – get this – is retensioned for the next chronograph use via the pressure you apply to the reset button. Unique system so far as I know. Anyway a very cool watch (even though we were handling a prototype).

    • iamcalledryan

      Indeed – certainly puts the column wheel to shame as a chrono “complication”

    • speedy

      I was also told that, given that the chronograph is much more precise than 0.1s in 20mn, it may well be the only mechanical chronograph on the market that is always exactly accurate…

    • somethingnottaken

      Wouldn’t the spring last longer if it was retensioned by the start (instead of reset) button, and thus stored untensioned between usages?

      • Sounds like a question for the Breguet engineers. But I’d think that the tensioning would take a fraction of a second to do which might introduce latency in the start of your timing. Meaning, you can’t start the chronograph until the spring’s tension is fully restored (and the mechanism needs to “know” that it’s done before engaging the chronograph’s going train). But it’s a good question. Maybe they figure having tension on the blade spring 99.9% of the time causes no harm and makes it ready to go at a moment’s notice. But I’m just speculating. Cheers.

  • BIG CHRONO

    So, due to technical restrictions & time constraints, this is not a split second chrono. RATS!!

  • john coleman

    What a great watch. With only a 20 minute chrono timer maybe it could just be used for a very well done boiled egg!

  • Shirley Furby

    This genre of watches are readily recognised as Breguet. To watch all of the interplay of the parts could entertain me for hours. The problem for me is that the grey color “hides” most of the beauty of the watch at least in the photos provided. The interplay of all those hands is really unique, kind of organised chaos. Price, choke, arghhhh, once again in the realm of dreams only.

  • Steve Bowden

    “… if you like watch movement porn” -Ariel Adams, 2015

  • Byzness

    Probably the most fancy deployant buckle I’ve ever seen. <3

  • SuperStrapper

    When I first read about this, it instantly became my favourite Breguet reference.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Them darn screws, it’s like buying an 80 grand car with different sized wheels. Drives me nuts. Dont anyone tell me its difficult to do ( am taking about alignment )either all vertical or horizontal.

    • Peter Byford

      My brother is a Leica camera owner, & he told me a while back that Leica purposely orientated the slot screw heads in particular & distinct orientations at assembly. So
      opposing pairs could be horizontal, vertical or at 45 degrees clockwise / anticlockwise.
      Leica would know that if the camera was returned to them, particularly under warranty,
      & the screw orientations were not as they were when set at the factory, that the camera or lens had been opened up lol !

  • Raymond Wilkie

    just to quickly add…………..stunning timepiece.

  • Tonepeli

    Horological master work of art!

  • Peter Byford

    Perhaps I’m being pedantic, but I’m a purist when it comes to the use of the word ‘symmetry’ lol !
    This Breguet is in fact asymmetrical in design as per the definition ( Wikipedia & Oxford ) You can not add to symmetry…..it either is or it is not, symetrical. Given that though, I’d prefer a Lange double rattrapante to this cluttered & too busy Breguet. By all means show us the ‘we can therefore we do’ movement via an exhibition back, but leave the dial side fresh & clean to the eye……not all of us like this skeleton look no matter how great the maker.

  • resonator resonator

    That thing is a bargain. Not kidding.

    • egznyc

      I know what you mean. For the level of complexity and novelty as well as the finishing of the exposed movement, and in precious metal (though I’m surprised they haven’t released it in platinum … yet), they pricing while high is not bad relative to some other “fancy” watches that aren’t nearly as interesting.

  • I love the details on this watch, but, going against the grain, it bothers me how often Breguet superposes scales on the time dial and mars the beauty of its craftsmanship.

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