Posted tagged ‘Breguet Tradition 7047’

Breguet’s Silicon Quest

April 1, 2010

Briefly: The silicon balance spring in Breguet Tradition 7047, unveiled at Basel World 2010 is technologically superior and is more precise, thanks to silicon being totally impervious to magnetic fields

breguet tradition 7047

Balance spring is the most responsive in terms of improvements to timekeeping precision and its performance crucial to the workings of mechanical watch movement. One of a series of vital parts at the heart of the movement, its regular oscillations gives the movement its rhythm and helps regulate the flow of time.

Anthony Louis Breguet conceived the “Breguet overcoil” spring in the year 1795. Two hundred years later it still is the reference in terms of balance spring. A.-L. Breguet got the idea of altering the balance spring’s terminal curve by raising its end and bending it slightly as a way of improving its isochronism. Another Breguet, Louis-Clement, in 1830 sought to prevail over magnetic fields by crafting balance springs in glass instead of metal. Breguet himself had made balance springs in gold to counter oxidation. One such cylindrical spring was fitted in the celebrated Marie-Antoinette watch; its shape was designed to improve considerably its isochronism by repoising its centre of gravity.

Over the years and so much progress in the art and science of horology watchmakers still cribbed about precision. But with arrival of silicon balance spring, courtesy Breguet in its Breguet Tradition 7047 model launched at Basel World 2010.

The balance spring is a very fine coil spring. Usually made of metal, it is vulnerable to shocks, magnetic fields and even the pull of gravity, which can cause warping.

Today, the new Breguet silicon balance spring is featured in the Breguet Tradition 7047 model with tourbillon and fusee-and-chain transmission. Inspired by the design of the first tourbillon-equipped pocket watches devised by Breguet, a platinum version is now available fitted with a movement fashioned in an anthracite-toned metal alloy.

What are the advantages of  a silicon balance spring?

  • Technologically superior
  • Needs less oil
  • Is more precise
  • Totally impervious to magnetic fields
  • Yields to a broad variety of shapes
  • Is lighter than metal and thus less prone to deformation
  • As components fashioned from silicon are subjected to a special process it greatly improves their resistance to handling and shocks