Things are constantly evolving, when Mr. Abraham-Louis Breguet was instructed by materials science to invent the tourbillon in order to reduce the shift of the center of gravity of the balance spring. In modern times, watchmaking has changed because of the use of a material in watchmaking.
This material is “silicon” and its density is three times lower than that of steel or brass, which makes the finished watch parts lighter and saves more energy during operation. At the same time, the silicon material does not require lubricating oil, and it does not cause wear due to high-speed operation. These two are exactly the characteristics necessary to make a higher frequency mechanical watch material.
The high speed operation of 72000 VPH (10Hz) will undoubtedly bring more energy loss, although the lower density silicon is used to make the pallet fork and the escape wheel, it guarantees 60 hours of power reserve. In addition to the two barrels, this Breguet Ref.7727 has deliberately done more “weight reduction” processing. For example, the escape wheel and the pallet fork are hollowed out, and the fast-rotating pointer on the dial is not the “blue steel” that looks like it is, but the lighter “silicon” material, at the same time, the hollow design perfectly reduce the weight.
Parts made of silicon to make movements were powerful 20 years ago, but with the popularity of technology, more and more brands are already equipped. For example, Tissot and Mido have already launched related models. Naturally, the use of silicon parts to achieve high-frequency operation at present is not very powerful.
The biggest killer of this Breguet Ref.7727 is to use the invisible magnetic field to realize the “magnetic levitation” of the balance.
On November 9, 2010, Breguet obtained the patent for the Magnetic Pivot balance wheel system. In this invention, Breguet placed the balance wheel between two ruby bearings superimposed with magnets. In normal times, the balance wheel floated in the air by the magnetic field. And there are only two rubies in our common watch, which is almost completely sandwiched between the balance wheels.
Because it is completely suspended, after a strong impact, the powerful magnetic force allows the balance to return to the correct position almost instantaneously, so it is equivalent to an extra shock absorber function. At the same time, it is not necessary to overcome the frictional force during rotation like the conventional balance wheel, thereby greatly improving the stability of the balance wheel, especially in the vertical position.
To be honest, when I first saw Breguet’s introduction to this magnetic suspension, I personally did not believe it, and I felt a little metaphysical. How can the two wheels magnetize the balance wheel stably?
It is estimated that the Breguet brand also thinks that it is difficult to introduce the invisible and intangible magnetic field with the watch friends, so it has specially customized a large model of the magnetic suspension, so that it can let the friends actually touch the perception. When I was full of suspicion, I went to the a Breguet exclusive shop and looked at this model.
It seems that this system is exactly the same as our common ordinary watch, but when the hand is actually touched by the balance wheel (which mimics the external vibration of the watch), the balance wheel does have a large space for movement and will instantly return to the equilibrium position. It’s very interesting.
The Side View of Ref.7727 Balance Wheel
In this side view, we can clearly see the difference in the balance shaft used in the magnetic levitation. Compared to ordinary watches, the Breguet Ref.7727 watch’s shaft tip will be more robust because it is suspended and does not need to reduce the contact area to reduce friction. At the same time, the strong balance shaft tip is not easily broken when subjected to vibration.
Breguet Classique Chronometrie White Gold Manual Wind Watch 7727BB/12/9WU
In addition, there may be questions from the watch lovers, relying on the magnetic field to suspend the balance wheel. If a magnet with a stronger magnetic force is placed next to it, then the balance will not fall off. After testing, such a situation will not happen. Because the balance shaft is controlled by the upper and lower magnets, there are two ruby bearings on the periphery to limit it, so “out of orbit” will never occur.
For Breguet, continuous “innovation” is the historical “tradition”.