In addition to its manufacture, Breguet is an institution that has never budged from its founder’s philosophy of passion, excellence and creativity.
238 years ago a young, newly-graduated Swiss watchmaker opened his workshop on Quai de l'Horloge, Paris. The year was 1775, and Abraham-Louis Breguet was 28.
The man who was to revolutionise Fine Watchmaking served his time as an apprentice in Versailles, where he learned the rudiments of mathematics, mechanics and watchmaking. Abraham-Louis Breguet committed himself to sublimating watchmaking – at the crossroads of art and science, technology and refinement.
Five years after setting up his workshop, he developed the automatic or “perpetual” watch. News of his talent reached the royal court and there were soon queues in front of his humble workshop. His work was greatly appreciated by Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, who in 1782 commissioned a completely new grand complication from him, named after her, that went on to become a legend.
In 1810, he made the first wristwatch for the Queen of Naples and established himself as the benchmark watchmaker for the diplomatic, scientific and military elite until his death in 1823.
Breguet's legacy to the watchmaking world was immense, including inventions that still embody the excellence of the art: the Breguet hairspring, the first travel clock, the à tact watch and the tourbillon.
The firm remained a family business for two centuries before being bought by Chaumet in 1970 and then becoming a part of the Swatch Group in 1999.
In addition to its manufacture, Breguet is an institution that has never budged from its founder's philosophy of passion, excellence and creativity. Committed to watchmaking traditions and craftsmanship, Breguet strives to provide contemporary timetelling for its age. The manufacture continues to file a large number of patents.
When Nicolas G. Hayek took over Breguet in 1999, he gave it a new lease of economic and cultural life, placing it once again at the centre of the international stage. With a production unit relocated to the Joux Valley, Breguet is once again making its mark on the world of Fine Watchmaking.
1747: birth of Abraham-Louis Breguet in Neuchâtel
1775: Breguet's watchmaking workshop opens on Ile de la Cité, Paris
1780: creation of the Marie-Antoinette grand complication, a new version of which was released in 2008
1801: invention of the tourbillon
1999: Swatch Group buys out the manufacture
Tradition: in an invitation to travel through time, the Tradition line pays tribute to the memory of Breguet.
Classique: drawing inspiration from the founder's work, “Classique” watches represent the ideal face of time, with a minimalist design and easy-to-read timepieces.
Classique Grandes Complications: the peak of Breguet's art, Grandes Complications bear witness to the bonds Breguet has always forged with science.
Marine: the Marine line reinterprets the traditional values of Breguet in a contemporary way, resulting in youthful, modern timepieces.
Heritage: This line, a modern adaptation of a classic, is an example of technical prowess.
Type XX: designed in the 1950s for the French Fleet Air Arm, the Type XX has now joined the Breguet collection in a contemporary civilian version, with an automatic self-winding movement.
Queen of Naples: the Queen of Naples line, drawing inspiration from the first wristwatch designed by Abraham-Louis Breguet for Caroline Murat, is the epitome of refinement and accuracy, enhancing femininity – and a piece of jewellery in its own right.
Haute Joaillerie: in these watches set with precious stones, Breguet demonstrates its ability to combine the arts of watchmaking and jewellery.