Breguet’s key position in the field of high-grade watchmaking is without any doubt due to its propensity for innovation. For more than 200 years the Manufacture’s quest for greater precision has led it to develop revolutionary inventions improving the rate of mechanical watches. From the tourbillon to the Classique Chronométrie, Breguet invites Baselworld visitors to view these fabulous creations in a retrospective exhibition held at the Swatch Group Plaza on April 27 and 28, 2013.
Breguet’s inventive approach was already making an impression in the late 18th century. The learned watchmaker applied the breadth of his astronomical and mathematical knowledge to his vocation, quickly inventing a variety of ingenious devices that won him the recognition of his peers. His career got off to a flying start in the 1780s with the development of the selfwinding perpétuelle watch and the invention of gongs for minute-repeaters. In 1790, Breguet introduced the pare-chute, an outstanding shock absorber. Several years and a dozen inventions later Breguet achieved a masterstroke by patenting the tourbillon regulator. Its value and especially the complexity of its manufacture soon made the tourbillon the measure of a watchmaker’s skill.
Today Breguet walks in the footsteps of its founder: the Manufacture maintains its pioneering approach by incorporating new technologies in its watches. In 2006 the brand presented the results of several years of research by unveiling the first silicon components. Silicon’s low weight and other ideal horological properties enabled Breguet to present the Type XXII model, the first series-produced mechanical chronograph with a frequency of 10Hz. The use of non-magnetic silicon opened new avenues of research, leading Breguet to consider employing magnets in a watch movement to improve its performance. This is how the Classique La Musicale model came into being. This chiming watch is fitted with the first magnetic regulator in watchmaking history. The introduction of magnetic components, hitherto regarded as watchmaking heresy, opened new horizons. Then in 2012 Breguet unveiled a watch without precedent, the Classique Chronométrie. Protected by six patents, the watch incorporates a magnetically pivoted balance in a 10Hz frequency movement. This revolutionary solution relies on two endstones, each fitted with a micro-magnet, at either end of the balance staff. The aim is to improve the pivoting, oscillations and stability of the balance. The much enhanced regulating capacity of the balance that ensues allows Breguet to set another milestone in the history of watchmaking.
This year, the Classique Chronométrie is one of the stars of the public exhibition at Baselworld during the weekend of April 27 and 28 at the Swatch Group Plaza. After Basel, the retrospective of Breguet’s innovations goes on a world tour with the tourbillon as its main theme. Entitled “Breguet the innovator. Inventor of the tourbillon”, the exhibition travels from major European cities to centres in Asia, the Middle East and the United States.