« Breguet


In 1775, Abraham-Louis Breguet set up his company on Quai de l’Horòloge, Ile de la Cité, Paris. Five years later, in 1780, he launched the first self-winding watch known as Breguet Perpétuelles and just three years later in 1783 Queen Marie-Antoinette commissioned one of his watches (to be given the Queen’s name), that was only completed in 1827. Following this was a long period of invention and patenting for the company. In this time Breguet produced: 1786 the first guilloche dial. 1790 the anti-shock device (reaching its finished model in 1806). 1795 the Breguet Tourbillon (patented, in 1806). 1796 the Breguet Perpetual calendar, Breguet Overcoil, and “Subscription”. 1810 the first Breguet wristwatch commissioned by the Queen of Naples. 1820 the Breguet “Double Seconds” (which was the precursor of the modern chronograph). 1822 the Breguet chronograph Ink in 1822. When Abraham-Louis died in 1823, responsibility for the company fell into the hands of his son Antoine-Louis. Later Louis-Clément, the founder’s grandson, sold the company to the manufactuer Edward Brown. His family maintained ownership of the company until 1970, when it was taken over by Chaumet. After a short period under the direction of Investcorp (beginning in 1987), the company was incorporated into Swatch Group (1999). Since then, the president and managing director has been Nicolas G. Hayek , whose central statement on the official website is, “ I could not wish for a better future for Breguet”. Returning to tracing the historical path of the company, a few more important dates to be remembered are; 1954 the first military chronograph “Breguet Type XX” was made. 1988 the wristwatch “Breguet Tourbillon” was created. 1991 the release of a watch with the perpetual equation of time. 1997 the release of the perpetual calendar watch movement. 2002 Breguet “Reine de Naples” received a patent for its moon-phase mechanism. 2003 Breguet “Le Rèveil du Tsar” received two patents. 2005 the launch of Breguet “La Tradition” collection. 2006 the launch of the “Breguet Double Tourbillon”. The company’s history is characterised by celebrated patrons, ranging from royal families to politicians and famous artists. Among the popular Breguet “clients” to be remembered are: Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria of England, Napoleon Bonaparte, the Sultan of Ottoman Empire, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Winston Churchill and the pianist Arthur Rubinstein. The literary world has also celebrated the Breguet firm such as Victor Hugo, Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas. Just a few writers who have made reference to Breguet in their work.