The Wonderful History of Breguet WatchesBack to News & Exhibitions
The Swiss are renowned for their high-quality, beautiful watch design; Breguet watches are no exception. The Swiss watches are exquisite, as can be seen in their range of captivating, modern, high-end watches. Below we take you through the innovative history of Breguet watches.
Who was Breguet?
Abraham-Louis Breguet is the owner of the Swiss-owned brand of luxury watches founded in Paris in 1775. He became an indispensable watchmaker to the military, scientific, and diplomatic elites of the generation. His timepieces ruled the courts of Europe and he designed exceptional timepieces for his most celebrated clients.
In the beginning…
From its beginnings in 1755 in Paris, Breguet has advanced fantastic technical developments such as the first wristwatch, the self-winding watch, the repeating mechanism and, of course, the tourbillon. The tourbillon was a revolutionary movement that neutralized the negative impact that gravity had on pocket watches.
Breguet played a major role in the history of watchmaking by creating finely made watches that were a pleasure to use and handle.
Prestige on the rise
The ingenuity, reliability and portability of its watches mean that Breguet began to form a reputation as creators of objects of great prestige. This was reflected in their wear by the most elite and powerful people in Europe, including Queen Victoria and Napoleon Bonaparte.
The most famous timepiece by Breguet linked to a European monarch is the world-famous “Marie-Antoinette” pocket watch. This breath-taking piece took 44 years to make and was the most complicated watch of its time.
During the 19th century, the brand expanded business beyond France, supplying beautiful timepieces to customers in Russia, Europe and the USA.
Even after his death, the watch-making continued and he was replaced by accomplished descendants: The Brown family. They led Breguet for the next 100 years, and produced high-quality, Swiss-made luxury watches, whilst also supplying military wristwatches to the French air force, and aviation instruments to Breguet Aviation.
Enter the modern age
After some failed dealings, Breguet caught the eye of watch master Nicolas Hayek and his rapidly growing Swatch Group. He acquired the brand in 1999 and quickly realized that it could be his ticket to take on the industry’s most exclusive high-end watch brands.
Today, Breguet is known worldwide for its fantastic timepieces and offers 5 collections which span across the classic dress, ladies, and the Type XX sport-watch lines. Prices can range anywhere from $17,800 to $734,000.
We will continue to expect to see more cutting-edge materials in a new line of aviator watches in the future which of course draws on the aviation heritage of the brand. However, regardless of line, all watches produced under the Breguet brand ooze quality and sophistication.
If you have the honour of owning a Breguet watch, then hold on tight, as this is a timepiece that will never go out of style.