If you’ve ever trusted a mechanical watch to help you catch a train on time, you owe a nod to Abraham-Louis Breguet. Born in 1747 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Breguet expressed his prodigious talent for mechanics via the complex gears, springs, and drivetrains of pocket watches. His work produced countless technological leaps, including an improved lever escapement, the overcoil hairspring, the tourbillon (considered horology’s crown jewel), and the wristwatch itself. Many have improved upon his breakthroughs over the centuries, but few have replaced a Breguet invention entirely.
This story originally appeared in Volume 14 of Road & Track.
To celebrate its namesake, and to rub his achievements in the face of every other watchmaker, Breguet released the Tradition Tourbillon Fusée 7047. Because it’s a Breguet, this Grande Complication, wherein a watchmaker packs every trick in its arsenal into a single timepiece, offers more horological firepower than most.
Each of the watch’s 542 components is finished by hand and arranged to display Breguet’s genius. And rather than encase its greatest hits in the stale aesthetics of an old-world clock tower, Breguet’s platinum tribute looks more like the Terminator’s eyeball. Celebrating centuries-old history with cyborg aesthetics? That’s pretty rad.