A Perfect Ten

A Perfect Ten

0 781

< Breguet >

With the 10 Hz frequency watch, a world first, Breguet brings about a watch revolution

Breguet set a fascinating stage for the 10 Hertz frequency through a month-long exhibition held in the Cité du Temps in Geneva recently. Based on a learning circuit, the exhibition gave visitors a clear and precise definition of what the 10Hz frequency is, while illustrating the advantages it brings to the field of horology.

 

Representing the absolute benchmark in the field of fine watchmaking, the House of Breguet has been constantly innovating for over two centuries. The House owes its eminence in particular to its founder Abraham-Louis Breguet, a number of brilliant watchmaking inventions such as the tourbillon, the pare-chute shock absorbing device and the gong spring. This time-honoured know-how has been maintained, perpetuated and constantly enriched in order to enable the brand to remain at the vanguard of technology, while also making optimal use of this expertise in its contemporary collections.

The fabulous Type XXII is doubtlessly the most striking example of this approach. Launched in 2010, this first and only series-made mechanical chronograph with a 10Hz frequency (meaning 72,000 vibrations/ hour) boasts a spectacular degree of technical sophistication. Among other key features, this major technical  accomplishment is made possible by the use of silicon that serves to reduce the weight of the mobile components of the escapement, such as the escape-wheel and the lever, while avoiding the lubrication problems related to these high frequencies.

The exhibition, through a learning circuit, featured a number of educational and interactive tools, and enlightened the visitors on the advantages of silicon, particularly in the field of high frequency. Finally, a magnificent selection of timepieces composed of vintage watches and contemporary models retraced part of  the history of the Breguet Manufacture, paying vibrant testimony to the brand’s technological breakthroughs down the centuries. Through this exhibition, Breguet paid homage to the constant developments in the field of technological innovations that have been undertaken since its creation in 1775 to the present day, where they have now reached a new pinnacle of achievement.

For the 50th anniversary of the first delivery in 1960 of the famed Type XX watch to the French naval air arm, which this year is celebrating its first century of service, Breguet has introduced a contemporary, technically updated reinterpretation of that legendary  chronograph, the Type XXII design.

Its stainless steel case, 44 mm across, houses a Breguet chronograph movement with silicon escapement and flat balance spring whose frequency has been raised to 10 Hertz (i.e. 72,000 vibrations per hour), endowing the movement with exceptional regulating power, its chronograph seconds hand effecting a complete rotation in 30 seconds. The timepiece’s start function and readout are thus twice as precise.

At the heart of this technical exploit is the use of silicon, resulting in more lightweight mobile components and the avoidance of the lubrication problems generated by high frequencies. An extra hand at centre counts the minutes by adding together the 30–second spans. The minutes graduation in the form of dashes – one red and the other white – situated on the flange, combined with the numbered seconds graduation also appearing in red and white, serves to establish whether the chronograph counter is in its first (red sectors) or second (white sectors) 30-second revolution.

The Breguet Type XXII chronograph naturally features a fly back function, allowing the totaliser to be returned to  zero and instantly restarted in one and the same operation. Furthermore, the dial includes a second timezone indicator along with an aperture for a date calendar. A two-position crown resets the second time-zone indicator by moving the hour hand at centre without affecting the minute hand. With the crown in that position, the date calendar obeys the time of the main time-zone displayed at the centre.

A 24-hour night-and-day indicator at 3 o’clock tells the wearer whether it is day or night in the area covered by the second time-zone. At nine o’clock, a sub dial showing the running seconds making full rotations in 30 seconds completes this truly exceptional timepiece. The chronograph’s black dial contrasts crisply with the fly back indications in red. The model comes fitted with an integrated veal strap.

CHRONOGRAPH TYPE XXII REF. 3880ST/H2/3XVCase: Round, in steel, with fluted caseband; Diameter 44 mm; Round-ended horns; Two-way rotating bezel with 60-minute scale; Screw-locked crown.Water-resistant: 10 bar (100 m).Dial: Oxidised black, signed BREGUET; Luminous hands and hour-markers; Chapter ring with Arabic numerals; Red chronograph’s seconds hand on a 30-second basis at the centre; Half-minute totaliser at the centre; 24-hour indicator at 3 o’clock; Second time zone indicator at 6 o’clock with luminous Arabic numerals; Small second on a 30-second basis at 9 o’clock; Date in an aperture at 6 o’clock.Movement: Self-winding chronograph with flyback function and second time-zone; Numbered and signed BREGUET; 28 jewels; 45-hour power-reserve; High frequency silicon escapement; BREGUE T balance-wheel with regulating screws, silicon balance-spring; 10 Hz frequency; Adjusted in 5 positions.