Breguet History

1775, Abraham-Louis Breguet (Neuchâtel 1747-Paris 1823) founded the Breguet Company in Paris, not far from the workshops of Pierre Le-Roy, Jean Romilly, Ferdinand Berthoud and his nephew Louis, and Jean-Antoine Lepine. Breguet was behind many significant advances in watch mechanisms. His contribution to the aesthetics of the watch was no less important, from the movement to the case, dial, numerals and hands. Indeed, his legacy was to revolutionise watches. Abraham-Louis Breguet was close to such celebrated watchmakers as John Arnold and his son John Roger, Frédéric-Louis Fatton, Louis Recordon (England), Jacques-Frédéric Houriet, Abraham-Louis Perrelet, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet, Gédéon Decombaz (Switzerland) and Urban Jurgensen (Denmark), certain of whom made watches for Breguet to his specifications.

1780, Launch of the self-winding Perpétuelle watch whose à secousse mechanism was better suited to pocket watches than Abraham-Louis Perrelet’s rotor system.

1783, Invention of the gong spring for repeater watches. Creation of Breguet hands and numerals

1783, Commissioning of the socalled Marie-Antoinette watch which, after numerous interruptions, was completed in 1827 It is acknowledged as being the first Grande Complication watch in the history of watchmaking.

1786, The first guilloché dials, known as Breguet dials.

1790, Invention of the pare-choc, which was given its final form in 1806

1795, Invention of the tourbillon for which a patent was filed in 1801

1795, Creation of the perpetual calendar and of the Breguet overcoil, which is still commonly used today.

1796 The "subscription watch" with its single hand.

1798, Patent for the constant force escapement, First sympathique clock for setting and later winding a specially adapted watch.

1799, The first tact watch was sold.

1810, First wristwatch for the Queen of Naples

1815, Chronometer with two barrels

1820, Double seconds watch or observation chronometer, the forerunner of the modern chronograph

1823, Death of Abraham-Louis Breguet; the company was taken over by his son, Antoine-Louis. Abraham-Louis’ grandson, the physicist Louis-Clément, sold the watchmaking branch of the company to Edward Brown, whose family retained ownership until it was sold to Chaumet in 1970, then to Investcorp in 1987, and to the Swatch Group in 1999. Since then, and under the directorship of Nicolas G. Hayek, Montres Breguet SA has gone from strength to strength.

1926, Watch without hands, with a rotating dial and jumping hours shown in an aperture.

1954, Type XX military wristwatch chronograph with flyback hand

1988, Tourbillon wristwatch

1991, Patent for the wristwatch with perpetual equation of time

1998, Movement with in-line perpetual calendar

2002, Patent for the moon-phase mechanism of the Reine de Naples watch.

2003, two patents for the Le Réveil du Tsar watch: the locking mechanism for the alarm function, and coordination of the alarm to local time.

2005, Three patents including the new Breguet detent escapement,  Launch of the Tradition line

2006, The Double Tourbillon watch