Watch able to indicate a length of time that has elapsed.
A watch that both measures and displays elapsed times and shows conventional time. The chronograph mechanism, driven by the movement of the watch, controls a centre seconds hand that can be started and stopped to time an event. A subsidiary dial records the elapsed minutes. Two pushpieces in the caseband serve to operate and return the chronograph to zero.
With his "chronomètre à doubles secondes, dit d'observation", developed in 1820, which permitted the measurement of intermediate periods or of the length of time taken by two separate and simultaneous events, Breguet anticipated the modern chronograph.
In 1822, moreover, he sold his first inking, or “Fatton”, chronographs, the fruit of a joint venture with the watchmaker Fatton, one of his most gifted pupils. This instrument was equipped with a seconds hand which deposited, as required, a minuscule drop of ink on the dial, thus literally marking out a length of time. The system was to be brought to perfection by Louis-Clément Breguet, who confirmed to the Academy of Sciences in 1850 that the idea for an inking chronograph belonged originally to his grandfather and not to the Parisian watchmaker Rieussec, who had patented a very similar system some thirty years before, in 1821.
The Type XX was introduced as a pilot watch equipped with a flyback chronograph, the emblematic function of this watch. The flyback function allows for the chronograph function to be reset to zero by simply pressing the lower pushbutton, simplifying the pilot or team members’ operations and offering the possibility of recording several consecutive times. The first generation – from 1954 to 1970 – appears as a steel chronograph with a black dial and steel rotating bezel, a utilitarian design driven by the legibility of the indicators. Presenting a 30- or 15-minute counter (for the Air Force and Naval Air Force respectively), a 12-hour totalizer (available on civilian versions), a brushed steel case, and fluted (military) or graduated (civilian) bezel, it remains the most famous and most widely produced Breguet watch of the post-war era.
Available in different colors of gold as well as platinum, the Type XX chronograph has evolved over the years to become one of the brand’s major watch series, with modern and technical versions. Equipped with a self-winding movement while retaining the flyback function ideally suited to aviation purposes, the Type XXI models feature a sporty style and a powerful identity. Devotees of watchmaking mechanisms will be able to admire every last detail of its movement through a sapphire crystal caseback, a first in the history of the Type XX collection.
Breguet has fitted its Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077 model with two independent trains. The first is the going train for the hours and minutes, regulated by a 3Hz balance and having a power reserve of 55 hours. For the chronograph, the second transmission has a 5Hz frequency to ensure more precise readings, in harmony with the one devoted to measuring the passing of time. Breguet’s research into high frequencies shows that a higher rate of oscillations improves the stability of rate, since any disturbance is corrected more quickly.
The company’s technicians have introduced a new type of spring perfectly suited to the chronograph function. The energy required to drive the chronograph is provided by the user when operating the reset-to-zero function. This energy is stored in a flexed blade spring. The application of the blade spring principle by Breguet’s watchmakers has given rise to a number of innovations. In addition, the reference 7077 is fitted with a patented chronograph balance-wheel in titanium ensuring perfect symmetry with the movement balance-wheel.
Many details of the collection have been inspired by the seafaring world, recalling the title of Chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy bestowed upon Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1815. In its continuous quest for reliability, the House of Breguet uses self-winding manufacture calibers precision-tested in six different positions.
The Marine Chronographe 5527 comes with a 582QA caliber. On the caliber bars, the côtes de Genève enhanced by guilloche design call to mind a ship’s deck boards. The design of a rudder is found on the gold rotor. Each caliber is numbered individually and signed Breguet. Finally, the words Horloger de la Marine (Chronometer-maker to the Navy) are engraved on the caseback.