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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:31 am 
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My AD finally got a Patek Travel Time Pilot in, so I went in to see it. Unfortunately the out of this world nice owner is traveling, but the team where as courteous as ever. Allowing me to spend as much time as I wanted with the watches I was interested in, in a semi private room, no pressure, only checking in to see if I needed more coffee or anything else. Love these guys, except they sold me a Hublot once...


Anyway, the Patek Pilot is, without even a close second, the very finest interpretation of the Flieger watch legend, as you might imagine. Patek did an amazing job preserving heritage while maintaining their uncompromising quality and elegance. It's a sport watch, but its a Patek sport watch, so you get the same feel of the Nautilus, a finely made timepiece that is intended to evoke a sporty character, but not to be used in any such activity. Delicate.


The RG version with brown dial felt a bit much, the WG a bit bland. Now if we where talking 15K, 20K, heck even maybe 30K, I would have gotten it. But at 54K and change, I just wasnt sure I was going to get much use of it, so I opted against it. There are other more interesting watches that could fill that particular void I am imagining in my collection. Enter the Breguet Tradition series.

They had just got a shipment in, as many times I have been to this particular AD they where always out of the tradition, hot sellers. And it is now crystal clear why. Absolutely stunning watches, and what breguet did was, simply put, to define the era we are living in as watch makers and enthusiasts. To celebrate the machine.

It makes perfect sense, modern technology has taken such an overwhelmingly prominent role in our lives, where everything, including the kitchen sink and the fridge (seriousely!) have some sort of automated inteligence or at least internet conectivity. My new Samsung refrigerator, eplacing a 15 year old American model, notifies me if we are running low on eggs or if the milk is about to expire. Wonderfull, one more ding in the ever so annoying series of dings my iPhone fills my life with.

I believe the reason so many of us are so fascinated by traditional watchmaking is that it is so different, an opposing force to the times we live in. Dont get me wrong, I do love what technology has done for us, in fact I am a computer scientist (bachelors) and engineer (masters) but you do need a break from it all, and traditional watchmaking is so complex, yet so simple in comparison. A way to meditate throughout the day. Something I will only admit in the anonymity of nline forums, I frequentely take a moment out of my schedule, several times during a work day, to focus on my mechanical wrist watch, admire its movement, a very calming exercise.

I am obviousely not alone, in no other period in watchmaking history has there been this many tranparant casebacks, skeletonized dials, and exposed movements. Several watchmakers have even went to the trouble to build the movements backwards, Glashutte has a very successfull line as do others, but no one comes close to Breguet I must say. The Tradition line is a triumpth, and a fantastic way to celebrate mechanical watchmaking. I would imagine it would also be a great conversation piece, and a great way to explain how a mechanical watch works to the uninitiated.

The line has several models, all present at the AD except the Tourbillon. My phone was charging, so no pics right now I am sorry to say, But I will make it up next time I am there to pick up my new piece. I am now debating which to get, the basic, time onely model did not impress me visually, it was a bit naked and bland compared to the others. My clear favorite was the chronoraph, an unbelievable watch with a truely revolutionary take on the chronograph (my favorite complication) but unfortunately with a price point to match, at 65K USD. The Retrograde Seconds is an absolute bargain in comparision, offering the same symmetry, fine details including legendary Breguet finishing and decoration, and was offered to me at 26K. The GMT was nice, with a UN Freak kind of aura about it, but I like symmetry.


What will most likely seal the deal is that in place of the Patek Pilot I decided against, I can get both the Retrograde Seconds AND the mew Cartier Santos Skeleton for the same price as the PPP or the Breguet Tradition Chronograph. I do have the original, much larger Cartier Triple Face Skeleton, an absolute behemoth of a watch, combining ulra fine watchmaking, elegance, yet a dominating size and presense. But its not an office watch by a long shot. Most people in my office dont know im a watch collector, I wore my Rolex GMT to the office for years and only recentely exchanged it for the Lange 1815 Annual Calendar. Keeping a low profile in certain situations is a must. Unfortunately some of the people I work with are a it too competitive, and can get jelous of someone elses success, and will take any chance to point out a persons flaws or oddities. An obsession on watches could be seen as such, si I prefer stick to oe, at the most two, office watches every four to five years.


The nice thing about Cartier Skeleton is that it comes in a very reasonable size and package, and absolutely looks the part as a classy and professional watch while being very interesting indeed. The quick strap change system would add versatility and would pair rincely with the Lange being the everyday watch, and the Cartier for more casual office days with no big meetings. It would be a wonderful counter to the drones of Rolexs I am starting to loath seeing everyday on everyone.


To boil it down, I saw these two lines and had to bring them up to the forum. If you can afford the Breguet Retrograde, it is a formidable grail and an absolute joy to wear. The new Cartier Santos is a must in every collection I truely believe, if the skeleton is out of reach, you might want to consider the Large Santos model, especially considering that the asking price is less than that of a Rolex Submariner.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:43 am 
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I was curious and decided to do a quick search on the Tradition Tourbillon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhD6LZgooBA

My Lord that is an amazing watch!!!!!! Both a Tourbillon and a Fusee, WOW!

It is very close to qualify as my ultimate grail, if it was not for the oddly empty spaces in the dial taking away from the overall impact. Then again, Breguet might have decided to do that on purpose, emphasising the two mechanisms.


This is one that has to be seen in person. Amazing watch none the less.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Prices seem to be coming down on the WG 5524 but if that didn't sing to you, and neither did the rose gold model, I'd pass on it as well.

I've never seen the Breguet Tradition models in person but I've always been fascinated with them. My only concern, without ever having tried them on, would be how small the dial actually looks on the wrist. There's no denying that they're very interesting to look at but I've just wondered how easy it is to actually tell the time.

The Santos Skeleton is another amazing timepiece. I'm not surprised at all that you're considering it. I have yet to see the new Santos models but if they're finished like my Calibre was, I can see where it would be an impressive timepiece.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:12 pm 
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jnelson3097 wrote:
Prices seem to be coming down on the WG 5524 but if that didn't sing to you, and neither did the rose gold model, I'd pass on it as well.

I've never seen the Breguet Tradition models in person but I've always been fascinated with them. My only concern, without ever having tried them on, would be how small the dial actually looks on the wrist. There's no denying that they're very interesting to look at but I've just wondered how easy it is to actually tell the time.

The Santos Skeleton is another amazing timepiece. I'm not surprised at all that you're considering it. I have yet to see the new Santos models but if they're finished like my Calibre was, I can see where it would be an impressive timepiece.



I can understand your concern about the Tradition being too small, you have to try it on for yourself. I found it very comfortable without being diminutive. As for telling the time, legibility definitely is not what they went for here, however once you "get" the dial it is possible.

The Chrono is a whopping 44MM, its just the 65-70K they are asking.


One of the things that struck me about the Santos Skeleton was the finishing actually. My Tripple Face was finished to a higher level than usual for Cartier, makes sense that they have a core team of high end finishers for more expensive pieces, most brands do. The Skeleton had what I consider the most attractive finish on a macro level, and a very formidable finish on a micro level as well. On the Macro, it seemed to my eye that the polished sections where comparable to the polish on a Lange, and the brushed where comparable to that on my AP Royal Oak Offshore. Just a stunning piece by Cartier, and considering the skeleton aspect it is a bargain compared to others.


I just cant get over how overpriced Patek's have become, both the Breguet Retrograde Tradition AND The Santos Skeleton and save 4K. WOW!

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