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Breguet is a luxury watch, clock and jewelry manufacturer founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in Paris, France in 1775. Since 1999, it has been a subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group

Breguet is one of the oldest surviving watchmaking brands and a pioneer of numerous watchmaking technologies such as the tourbillon. The most expensive Breguet timepiece ever sold at auction, fetches 6.80 million US dollars in New York on 2012

How Did Abraham-Louis Breguet Revolutionize Watchmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries?

Breguet is a luxury watchmaking brand founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775 in Paris, renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and precision timekeeping.

Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775 in Paris He was renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and precision timekeeping

Born in 1747 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Abraham-Louis Breguet honed his craft in France, apprenticing in Versailles for a decade before establishing his own business in 1775 on the Île de la Cité in Paris, at 39 Quai de l’Horloge. In 1780, he revolutionized the world of horology with the creation of the first “perpetual” self-winding watches, which were wound by the movement of the person wearing them. This propelled his fame to international levels.

Breguet became a master watchmaker in 1784, but was forced to flee France during the French Revolution, seeking refuge in Switzerland for three years before returning to Paris in 1795.

He invented several groundbreaking horological innovations, including the gong spring “le ressort-timbre”(1783) for repeating watches, the Breguet hands (“Aiguilles Breguet”), the “Breguet key” ratchet (1790), the “pare-chute” (1790), the Breguet balance spring “Spiral Breguet” (1795), and the tourbillon regulator (invented in 1801 but publicly revealed in 1806). He enriched the science of horology with a multitude of chronometers, astronomical clocks, marine chronometers, and metallic thermometers.

Breguet - classic ultra-thin tourbillon skeleton

Breguet introduced the world to the wristwatch in 1812, selling his design to Queen Caroline Murat of Naples. In 1815, he was admitted to the Academy of Sciences, mechanical section, and was awarded the Legion of Honor.

He passed away in 1823 and was buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. 

In 1882, the company was renamed “Maison Breguet” and since 1976, the manufacturing facility has been located in Vallée de Joux, in the Swiss Jura Mountains. 

In 1987, the brand was acquired by Investcorp before becoming the property of the Swatch Group in 1999.

Breguet - the Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597

Today, Breguet continues to produce timepieces of exceptional quality and elegance, blending traditional craftsmanship with modern technology.

Who are the most famous owners of Breguet watches?

Breguet’s notable clients included King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette, the Duke of Orleans, Napoleon Bonaparte, Talleyrand, Empress Josephine, Queen Victoria, and Winston Churchill.

Marie Antoinette ordered Breguet a watch with all the complications and refinements

Marie Antoinette was fascinated by her work and ordered him a watch with all the complications and refinements, without time or price restrictions.

What are the primary inventions of Breguet?

1780, the self-winding watch (known as the “perpetual watch”)

The objective was to create a system where a watch could wind itself, without the need for a key or external intervention. The movements of the wrist wind the mainspring via an oscillating weight or a freely rotating balance wheel. The device reacts to the body’s movements, even to the simple act of walking by the wearer.


The oscillating weight, equipped with a spring that returns it to its initial position after every movement, winds two barrels and stops once the springs are fully wound. 

This invention brought great fame to Abraham-Louis from the 1780s onwards, at the court of Versailles and throughout Europe.

1783, the Breguet hands (“Les aiguilles Breguet”)

Breguet hands

The eccentric apple or crescent-shaped hands are designed with a hollowed-out tip, resulting in an extreme finesse.

They have adorned the brand’s creations for more than two centuries.

1783, the gong spring (“le ressort-timbre”)

The first repeating watches chimed on a spring blade instead of the bell previously used.

Breguet gong spring

They significantly reduced the thickness of chiming watches while emitting quieter and more harmonious sounds. As both the bell and watch case are made of gold, they share the same acoustic impedance.

1790, the pare-chute (a protection  against shocks)

It is a small cup mounted on a spring blade, providing effective protection to the balance pivot against shocks.

The Breguet pare-chute is a protection against shocks

1795, the Breguet balance spring (“Spiral Breguet”)

The balance spring is a small spring that, through its elasticity, ensures the oscillations of the balance wheel, providing the rhythm and regulating the timekeeping accuracy. It is the key to the precision of a watch. The silicon balance spring is immune to magnetic fields, lighter than traditional springs, and less subject to deformations caused by Earth’s gravity.

The Breguet balance spring is adopted by all major watchmaking houses who continue to use it to this day for highly accurate pieces.

Breguet balance spring

More info about Breguet

What makes Breguet unique?

Breguet combines tradition with the latest technical skill to become an unmistakable trademark. Unique numerals, secret signatures, silver or gold dials have characterized the overall Breguet aesthetic for over two centuries.

Where are Breguet watches made?

Breguet watches are handmade in Switzerland. The brand’s workshops are located in the Vallée de Joux, a region known for its expertise in watchmaking. Breguet watches are made by highly skilled artisans who use traditional techniques, such as hand-engraving and guilloché, to create timepieces of exceptional quality and beauty.

What is the advantage for Breguet of belonging to the Swatch group?

Acquired by Nicolas G. Hayek in 1999, the Breguet brand experienced a new boom thanks to the Swatch Group’s commercial and industrial strength. A new movement is created that includes a double tourbillon. New models appeal to the most demanding enthusiasts.

Where is the main Breguet store?

Breguet is a luxury watch brand that can be found at authorized retailers around the world. The brand has flagship boutiques located in major cities, such as Paris, Geneva, and New York, as well as authorized dealerships in over 70 countries. When you purchase a Breguet watch, you can expect exceptional quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, along with a personalized buying experience.

As a luxury watch owner, it’s important to keep your Breguet watch in top condition with regular service and maintenance. Breguet has authorized service centers located around the world, where you can receive expert care and attention for your timepiece.

Breguet releases limited edition watches each year, which are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. These watches are often exclusive to Breguet boutiques or authorized dealerships, and may only be available in limited quantities. To find limited edition Breguet watches, you can check the brand’s official website or inquire at a Breguet boutique or authorized dealer near you. Some limited edition Breguet watches may also be available for purchase at exclusive watch auctions or events.

What is Breguet’s official website?

Visit official website