The minute repeater, a standout feature in the history of watchmaking, has always been a marvel. Abraham-Louis Breguet, an exceptional technician, was captivated by its complexity early on. In 1783, he pioneered the creation of repeating watches that utilized a spring blade, moving away from the traditional bell-gong system. Today, a new timepiece from Breguet celebrates this innovation.
Minute repeaters stand as horological wonders, often regarded as compact feats of engineering. They incorporate a musical mechanism, primarily made up of hammers that strike a gong-like spring. The materials selected for its construction are acoustically superior. Moreover, all its components are engineered to be compact enough for a discreet case size.
Crafting a minute repeater demands precision, expertise spanning decades, and unparalleled craftsmanship. To build one, it demands over a month’s dedication. Breguet has championed this tradition for almost 250 years, rooted in its Vallée de Joux workshop.
The 7637’s seemingly simple dial conceals an intricate art, the ‘grand feu enamelling’— a method mastered by only a select few artisans today. This involves a blend of silica and oxides that undergo a series of meticulously controlled firing processes. Every layer and shade undergoes separate heating, sometimes exceeding 800 degrees Celsius, ensuring the enamel fuses perfectly.
This intensive process can span several weeks just to achieve the desired hue on a single dial. The elegant Breguet Arabic numerals, minute markers, and brand insignia shine in a silvery finish. Gold Breguet hands indicate the hours and minutes. A slide positioned at 9 o’clock sets the minute repeater in motion.
The revamped Classique Répétition Minutes boasts a black alligator strap with a gold clasp. Another variant in the series showcases a white gold design complemented by a deep blue grand feu enamel dial and matching alligator strap.
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