From the day it was born, the name Breguet has existed for the royal family, and Breguet’s creations are dignified, refined, understated and simple, which is precisely what attracted the favor of the French and British royal families. Since its foundation, every timepiece made by Breguet has been individually numbered, allowing collectors to determine its authenticity and provenance, in addition to the Breguet pitted bezel (double row of beads), the “Breguet hands” (skeletonized off-center “moon” hands), the Breguet numerals, the hand-engraved dial and the concealed dial. The hand-engraved dial and the concealed signature are among the many features that make Breguet timepieces stand out from the rest, while demonstrating the subtlety of the finishing touches.
Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823), born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, showed from an early age an exceptional talent for complex mechanics. 15 years old, he went to Versailles to study watchmaking, and during his five-year apprenticeship, he enrolled in the evening mathematics class at the Institut Marcelin, where he laid a good foundation for the development of sophisticated instruments. His talent and vigorous inventive ability brought him to prominence and to the admiration of King Louis XV of France, the literary champion of his time.
In 1775, Breguet opened Paris to found the Quaide Phorloge (the predecessor of Breguet). Thanks to his vast knowledge of mechanics and his unique talent for the characteristics and techniques of watchmaking, he attracted the interest of many of the best craftsmen of the time, who were trained under his tutelage and whose rich imagination was brought to life in the form of outstanding pieces of work.
Breguet designed and manufactured a wide range of watches, from wristwatches to marine chronometers and clocks, and his designs were so distinctive that he is regarded as one of the most outstanding figures in the watch industry. Breguet’s success in all aspects of the watchmaking industry was remarkable from the outset, with many new achievements. Louis XVI and his queen Marie-Antoinette were among the earliest champions of Breguet’s timepieces. Each watch from the Breguet workshops is equipped with an original movement, reflecting the latest watchmaking techniques of the time. Most of them are equipped with Breguet’s elaborate lever or jeweled column escapements.
A technical mastery that has influenced future generations.
Breguet, who died at the age of 77, was widely admired for his achievements not only during his lifetime; today, he is still recognized as the greatest genius and watchmaker of all time. Important inventions of Breguet’s life include the Tourbillon, the balance-spring overcoil, the
Sympathi-que clock, the Constant force escapement, and the spring for minute repeater.
The Sympathi-que clock, the Constant force escapement and the spring for minute yepeater have all made a profound contribution to the world of watchmaking today.
When a watch is in different positions, the balance wheel operates faster or slower depending on gravity, thus affecting accuracy. To solve this problem, Abraham-Louis Breguet conceived the idea of rotating the entire balance and escapement in a coaxial rotation every minute, balancing the errors of the watch in different positions by rotation. On June 26, 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet was granted a patent by the French Minister of the Interior for this new alignment mechanism, named the tourbillon. After the master’s death in 1823, his successors continued this exceptional expertise to this day, and the tourbillon is recognized as one of the greatest inventions in the history of watchmaking for its ingenuity and precision. While there are other ways to ensure the accuracy of a watch as technology advances, the complex workings of the tourbillon and its inventive concept remain fascinating today. For most watch enthusiasts, the tourbillon shines as the scientific light of the European Age of Reason.
Here are a few of Breguet’s wonderful watches to enjoy.
- BREGUET 5930BA12986-SD CLASSIQUE Men’s Watch
Inspired by the design style of Abraham-Louis Breguet, the Classique watch collection is an example of perfect watchmaking technique – precise timing, clear displays and elegant lines. Whether equipped with a hand-wound movement, a self-winding movement or a complication, this slim watch collection is faithful to Breguet’s philosophy of technical excellence, craftsmanship and traditional values. The Classique collection brings together the best of Breguet’s original features, some of which are made of historical and precious materials, with enamel dials with Arabic numerals that will surprise Breguet fans. The vintage style of the Roman numerals in precious metal is an example of watchmaking perfection – precise, clear and elegant in its lines.
- BREGUET 5178BA299V6D000-SD CLASSIQUE Men’s Watch
“Grand Feu” enamel dial
When you think of Breguet’s Classique, you tend to think of a slim case with a guilloche or Grand Feu enamel dial with blued steel Breguet hands, which is not only gentlemanly and easy to read on the wrist, but also ideal for men’s formal wear. The case of this watch is made of 18k yellow gold and measures 39 mm in diameter and 9 mm in thickness. The clean “Grand Feu” white enamel dial and the large three-hand indication continue the classic Breguet simplicity of the design. 39 mm does not pursue the current trend of so-called large diameters, but is more suitable for Asian men and is very slim. The bezel is set with 84 jewels, approximately 0.634 carats.
The Breguet numerals are elegant and clear, with a diamond-shaped scale next to the hour markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The minutes scale is a subtle and chic snowflake, while the 5-minute markers are accompanied by the classic Breguet lily scale. The delicate blued steel skeletonized off-centered moon-shaped blued steel hands depict Breguet’s deep-rooted elegance, and the slender seconds hand ends with a skeletonized off-centered moon-shaped embellishment for added refinement. The trapezoidal date display at 3 o’clock is immediately recognizable.
Breguet Cal. 777Q self-winding movement
The caseback is made of a full sapphire crystal, giving an unobstructed view of the exquisite movement. Self-winding movement Breguet Cal. 777Q with 26 rubies. Power reserve up to 55 hours. 18-carat gold guilloche rotor with rhodium plating. Linear lever escapement, flat balance spring in silicon. Frequency 4 Hz. Adjusted in 6 directions. The slender case flanked by the usual and classic Breguet coin motif shows the brand’s stylistic mastery of watch details. The curved bezel is polished with a light luster unique to gold, a noble and elegant touch. A simple 18-carat yellow gold pin buckle, more suitable for daily wear, simple and practical not easy to fall off.