Breguet: Full of Innovation
Breguet used Baselworld 2016 to launch the in 2015, the tradition répétition Minutes tourbillon 7087 in its final form, which will be available in various markets by the end of the year.
The Manufacture unveiled the 7087 last year as the result of several years of fundamental research in the field of acoustics. The aim was to take on a previously unmet challenge: developing a timepiece around a predetermined sound. Now, the brand has made certain adjustments to the timepiece intended to improve its sound and its performance, and is ready to bring it to market. the tradition répétition Minutes tourbillon 7087 is a collection of innovations.
Using specially developed sound generators; Breguet’s engineers experimented with more than 200,000 combinations of frequencies, which they then classified into categories according to psychoacoustic criteria. The sounds were listened to and evaluated so as to determine the combination of notes that best met the development objectives. The choice made after this selection process then guided the development and the construction of the model.
the gong springs—a Breguet invention and an essential part of minute repeater mechanisms—have been entirely reworked. generally coiled around the movement and horizontally struck by hammers, they have in this instance been attached to the bezel and vertically struck by the hammers. this innova- tive construction is based on the fact that the sapphire crystal and bezel enable optimal sound emission when they vibrate vertically. By striking the gongs vertically from the movement towards the bezel, the hammers enhance the transmission of the vibrations towards radiating elements and then through the air.
the structure of the hammers also features an innovation. the hammer causes the gong spring to vibrate. to prevent the hammer rebounding and damping the vibration of the gong, traditional minute repeaters are equipped with a buffer spring. the disadvantage of these constructions is that they partially reduce the hammer’s force. to solve these problems, Breguet has invented a semi-active buffer which becomes active after the strike so as to avoid a double strike, and thereby maximises the energy injected into the gongs by the strike.
Like the Classique la Musicale 7800 model, this new tradition 7087 features an acoustic chamber built into the case—technically termed a Heimholz cavity—whose role is to increase the sound level of the minute repeater while filtering the sounds from the mechanism. This chamber can be glimpsed through eight small holes arrayed on the lower bezel encircling the caseback. It is shaped for the resonant frequencies of the desired sounds. In this model the cavity is rectangular in profile and encircles the movement, from which it is separated by a membrane designed to seal the movement from the outside air. Contrary to the 7800 model that featured a metallic glass membrane, this one is made of gold and affixed to a sapphire crystal providing a stunning view of the movement.
These innovations are complemented by the use of a magnetic strike governor, developed on the basis of a concept featured in the Classique la Musicale model. This patented system is composed of silver weights surrounded by magnets placed around the circumference of the strike governor.