One Thousand and One Legends of Breguet Watchmaking

Dmytro Berdyanskyi, the president of the Crystal Group and an international independent watchmaking expert, talks about the formation of the historically important Swiss watch brand.

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantieme Perpetuel 3797, the quintessential Breguet aesthetic
Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantieme Perpetuel 3797, the quintessential Breguet aesthetic

The Breguet Family, Eternal Wanderers

The history of the Breguet brand spans four centuries. It is so rich in inventions and innovations that it is an integral part of the overall history of watchmaking. History, in my humble opinion, is the cornerstone of the watch industry. At least today, when the practical need for a mechanical watch has become the lot of a handful of professionals. In the first place, along with the aesthetic component of the watch, its “legend” comes out. This concept covers the totality of stories that confirm the significance of a person or object in the history of mankind. In this regard, there is no watch more legendary than Breguet.

The Breguet brand takes its name from its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, who was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland on January 10, 1747. His ancestors were French Protestants who migrated to Switzerland in 1685. The Edict of Nantes in 1598 ended the religious wars that engulfed France in the second half of the 16th century. However, after its repeal by the edict of Fontainebleau, the brutal persecution of Protestants resumed in France. Despite being banned from leaving the country, the Breguet family, along with 400,000 other Huguenots, prudently left France.

Neuchâtel in 1642. Engraving by Matthäus Merian
Neuchâtel in 1642. Engraving by Matthäus Merian

When Abraham-Louis was only eleven years old, his father Jonas-Louis died. Soon his mother Suzanne-Marguerite Bollin married her husband’s cousin Joseph Tatte, the offspring of a family of watchmakers. It was Tatte who, in 1762, brought the young Breguet to Paris, where social unrest had already subsided. The stepfather gave the boy as an apprentice to the Versailles watchmaker, whose name remains unknown.

Watchmaking Prodigy

After completing his studies, Breguet worked for two of the most famous watchmakers of his time, Ferdinand Berthoud and Jean-Antoine Lepin. Realizing the importance of mathematics for success in watchmaking, he attended evening classes on this subject at the Mazarin College under the guidance of Abbé Marie. Impressed by the young man’s talent and intellect, Marie introduced him to the French court and aristocrats close to him. All of them later became Breguet’s clients.

Portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet. Photo: www.breguet.com
Portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet.  Photo: www.breguet.com
Breguet's workshop on the Quai de l'Horloge (Quay d'Orloge - Quay of the Clock). Source: breguet.com
Breguet’s workshop on the Quai de l’Horloge (Quay d’Orloge – Quay of the Clock). Photo: breguet.com

Despite the hardships (the loss of his mother, stepfather and mentor Marie in a very short time), Breguet became the guardian of his younger sister and started his own business. In 1775, at 39 Key de l’Orloge (Quay of the Clock), not far from Notre Dame, Breguet opened his own workshop. He was 28 years old.

In the same year he married Cécile Marie Louise L’huillier, daughter of a wealthy Parisian bourgeois family. Probably part of the capital needed to start the business came from her dowry. Thanks to the old recommendations of Abbé Marie, Breguet soon began to take orders. One of the first big assignments was a self-winding watch for the Duke of Orleans in 1780 and another for Marie Antoinette in 1782.

Breguet Conquers the Old World

Breguet’s Perpétuelle self-winding watch brought him fame at the court of Versailles and throughout Europe. Breguet was not the first to produce such a watch, but most experts agree that he made the first truly reliable automatic movement.

Breguet watches have gained success not only due to the quality of the movements, but also to the exquisite design. Take, for example, the watch hands that he designed in 1783. Gold or blued steel, with these wonderful “moon” tips, they gave the watch an irresistible elegance. The solution was so successful that the term “Breguet hands” instantly entered the vocabulary of watchmakers.

Breguet No. 1/8/82, "Perpétuelle"
Breguet No. 1/8/82, “Perpétuelle”

For his dials, he used white enamel plates with characteristic Arabic numerals. Slightly inclined to the right, they are now known as “Breguet numerals”. Characteristic was the use of guilloche – a thin pattern engraved on the dial using a manual lathe. It performed not only a decorative function. Guilloche protected the surface of the material from wear, damage and tarnishing. It improved the anti-reflective properties of the metal, which had a positive effect on the readability of the dial. In addition, different types of guilloche made it possible to make semantic distinctions between dial zones, such as the hours, small second counter, power reserve and various other indicators.

Breguet no. 217, a fine example of contrasting guilloche
Breguet no. 217, a fine example of contrasting guilloche

Breguet’s Mechanical Mona Lisa

In 1783, Breguet received a commission to create a special clock, which was intended as a gift for Queen Marie Antoinette, one of the most enthusiastic admirers of his creations. The watch had to include all the complications and functions known at the time. The order had no restrictions on the term of readiness and payment. It was completed in 1827, 44 years after the order was placed and 34 years after the Queen’s death. However, it is considered by many experts to be the most important watch ever made for technical, aesthetic and historical reasons.

Sentiment plays a big role in the world of watchmaking. Marie Antoinette watch is considered the Mona Lisa of the watchmaking world, the Holy Grail of collectors. Almost as inaccessible as the mythical crusader’s sacred artefact. The order for the watch, which is listed as number 160 in Breguet’s workshop journal, was placed through a soldier in Marie Antoinette’s bodyguard. The name of the real customer is not indicated in the documents, his identity remains a matter of conjecture.

Breguet No.160 "Marie-Antoinette". Источник: breguet.com
Breguet No.160 “Marie-Antoinette”.

According to legend, the Queen herself ordered it, but most historians believe that the watch was ordered by the Swedish Count Hans Axel von Fersen, a close friend of the Queen and her lover, as evidenced by the decipherment of coded letters exchanged in the last years of the Queen’s life. The queen was not destined to see her gift; on October 16, 1793, she fell under the guillotine on Revolution Square. Seventeen years later, von Fersen died at the hands of a lynch mob from Stockholm, who suspected him of masterminding the assassination of Crown Prince Karl August.

The Priceless Watch

And yet, throughout all these years, the development of this exceptional timepiece has continued. With the exception of the period from 1789 to 1795, when Breguet left France, going into exile in Switzerland and England. Work continued even after the death of the master, because Breguet Jr., Antoine-Louis, completed the clock.

The Breguet pocket watch No. 160 had a diameter of 63 mm and was equipped with a perpetual calendar with day, date and month indication, an equation of time function, a minute, quarter and hour repeater, an independent second hand, a jumping hour and a thermometer. It was a self-winding movement with a platinum rotor.

no. The 92 is often considered the most technically advanced Breguet watch after the Marie-Antoinette
no. The 92 is often considered the most technically advanced Breguet watch after the Marie-Antoinette

The total production costs, according to the archive, reached an impressive amount of 17,070 francs. They cost far more than any other Breguet watch produced to that date. In comparison, Breguet’s other early perpetual calendar pocket watch, the famous No. 92, created for the Duke of Praslin, was sold for 4,800 francs. The fate that befell this masterpiece in the future deserves a separate article, if not a whole book. But for now we will talk about other achievements of the ingenious watchmaker.

The Flame of the Revolution

Remarkable inventions of the early Breguet years are the “gong-spring” (1783), used to strike the clock instead of a bell, and the “parachute” (1790), a shock protection system or “elastic suspension” (as Breguet himself sometimes calls it). Breguet worked on his own until 1787, when Xavier Gide, a clock merchant who invested in the business, became his partner. This collaboration was not particularly successful and broke up in 1791. However, it became important to the history of the Breguet brand because it began to keep a log of sales and production costs, providing historians with invaluable information.

Gong-spring in a watch with a minute repeater and on the right "parachute" anti-shock system
Gong-spring in a watch with a minute repeater and on the right “parachute” anti-shock system

The storm of the French Revolution claimed the lives of many people. It could also be fatal for a person who was considered too close to the aristocracy and the royal court. Fortunately, the watchmaker was friends with the revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat, whose sister Albertine made watch hands for Breguet. According to legend, the master had previously saved Marat from an angry mob that had gathered at the house of their mutual friend. He came up with the idea of ​​dressing up Marat as an old woman, and in this way they were able to escape.

When Marat discovered that Breguet was about to be executed, he arranged for the watchmaker to escape from Paris. The master left for Geneva, and from there to Le Locle, where he opened a small workshop with a small team of employees. So he was able to continue the production of watches for Russian and English monarchs, in particular for King George III. In 1795, the political situation in France stabilized, and Breguet returned to Paris, where he found his factory in ruins. Friends, and among them mainly the Choiseul-Praslin family, helped him rebuild his business, which he reopened on the Quay of the Clock.

Breguet, a Tactful Watch

The army and navy were in urgent need of reliable watches, so Breguet’s return was welcome. He was even compensated for the losses incurred during the terror. The staff of the workshop was released from military service to speed up the restoration of the manufactory. Although Breguet’s activities were severely affected during the years of exile, he used his time to develop many outstanding inventions, which were successfully implemented in the following years.

Breguet Souscription No. 3424, app. 1797
Breguet Souscription No. 3424, app. 1797

Breguet’s genius lay not only in his skill. He was an excellent marketer. Proof of this is the creation in 1797 of one of the most famous pocket watches with one hand – Souscription (“subscription”). Equipped with a simplified movement with a large central barrel, it was sold by subscription with a quarter of the price paid at the time of order. The ad was published in a popular advertising brochure. Souscription enjoyed great success. Various models were released with different dials and gold or silver cases.

Breguet No. 1009, médaillon montre à tact
Breguet No. 1009, médaillon montre à tact

In the late 1790s, Abraham-Louis invented the Montre à tact, or “tactful watch”. In addition to allowing the wearer to tell the time in the traditional way by opening the case lid and looking at the dial, the watch also made it possible to check the time in the dark by turning the hand on the case lid until it stopped in the clockwise position inside. Thanks to the small bumps on the case, used as external hour markers, it was possible to feel where the hour hand was and approximately determine the time. This system also made it possible to tactfully check the time in polite society without taking your watch out of your pocket and hiding boredom or haste.

Breguet: How to Cheat Gravity

At the same time, Breguet began work on the invention with which his name is primarily associated today. Being an outstanding inventor with an excellent knowledge of the laws of physics, he understood that the work of the clock is affected by a change in its position. The deviations were especially noticeable when the watch was kept upright. This happened quite often, because pocket watches were mostly kept in vest pockets. The main reason for this behavior was the force of gravity. Although it was impossible to eliminate its influence, he believed that it could be compensated by installing a regulating body and a trigger mechanism inside a movable carriage that makes a complete revolution around its axis once a minute.

Breguet's original application for a tourbillon patent
Breguet’s original application for a tourbillon patent

With this invention, Breguet not only increased the accuracy of pocket chronometers, but also created one of the most popular and sought-after watch complications today. An added benefit was the use of improved lubrication due to the constantly changing point of contact of the balance wheel pivots. To obtain a patent, Abraham-Louis submitted an application, which included a watercolor illustration of the invention and an explanatory letter to the Minister of the Interior. On June 26, 1801 (or 7 Messidor, IX year according to the republican calendar in force in France at that time), Breguet received a ten-year patent for his invention.

The Arrival of Tourbillon

Given the complexity of the device, it took several years to produce the first watch with a tourbillon. After two experimental models (watch No. 169, presented to the son of the famous London watchmaker John Arnold in 1809, and watch No. 282, created in 1800 and sold much later by Breguet’s son), the first “commercial” tourbillon saw the light of the day in 1805. The invention was presented to the public at the National Exhibition of Industrial Goods in Paris in September and October 1806. In the jury’s report, it is described as “a mechanism called tourbillon, by which the clock maintains the same accuracy, regardless of its position, vertical or inclined.”

Particularly precise Breguet No. 1188 sold to Don Antonio de Bourbon, Infante of Spain in 1808
Particularly precise Breguet No. 1188 sold to Don Antonio de Bourbon, Infante of Spain in 1808

Between 1805 and 1823, the year of Breguet’s death, 35 tourbillon watches were sold. Interestingly, more than half of them rotate the carriage at a frequency of once every four or six minutes, although the patent clearly states rotation once per minute. Among the buyers of Breguet tourbillons were monarchs and aristocrats, but a quarter of them were used for navigation at sea and for calculating longitude. Several watches belonged to the leading scientists of the time.

In 1807, Breguet officially made his son Antoine-Louis his partner, and the firm became known as Breguet et Fils (“Breguet and Son”). Immersed in watchmaking from an early age, Antoine-Louis became a master craftsman. No wonder, because he studied not only with his father, but also in London with the great John Arnold.

Napoleon’s Favorite Watchmaker

In these years, Breguet continued to expand his circle of foreign clientele with increasing success. Being especially popular in Russia, he even opened a branch of the workshop in St. Petersburg in 1808. However, it had to be closed three years later, when Tsar Alexander I banned the import of French goods in response to Napoleon’s policy.

Napoleon himself became a good patron for Breguet and bought several watches, including the Pendule Sympathique. Several times he visited the Breguet factory incognito. Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s younger sister and wife of Joachim Murat, King of Naples, was without a doubt one of Breguet’s best clients, purchasing thirty-four watches from 1808 to 1814.

Entry in Breguet's journal about the sale of a travel watch to "General Bonaparte" for 1,500 francs
Entry in Breguet’s journal about the sale of a travel watch to “General Bonaparte” for 1,500 francs

It was on the order of the Neapolitan queen in 1810 that Breguet invented and produced the world’s first mechanical wrist watch. Breguet No. 2639 is an exceptionally thin oval repeater with complications on a wool and gold thread strap. There are no sketches in the archives showing the appearance of this watch. They were, however, entered into the register of what is now called after-sales service.

An entry dated March 8, 1849, notes that the Countess Rasponi, “residing in Paris at 63 Rue d’Anjou,” gave the watch number 2639 for repair. This Countess was none other than Louise Murat, the fourth and last child of Joachim and Caroline Murat, who in 1825 married Count Giulio Rasponi. It was put in for repairs again in 1855, and this is the last mention of the first wristwatch in history. Today it is not known whether time spared the watch of the Queen of Naples, since none of the public or private collections has yet included it in its catalog.

Watch sale record no. 2639, "oval-shaped repeater on a bracelet", the first wrist watch
Watch sale record no. 2639, “oval-shaped repeater on a bracelet”, the first wrist watch

Breguet – Academician and Order Bearer

Portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet from 1816 when he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences
Portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet from 1816 when he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences

Breguet’s success made him rich. During his life, the company produced about 17,000 watches. However, he always led a simple lifestyle. It is believed that he was a kind person with a good sense of humor. Among the many laurels received during his lifetime was the assignment by Louis XVIII of the status of the official manufacturer of chronometers for the Royal French Navy. It was probably the most prestigious title a watchmaker could receive. After all, the very concept of marine chronometry implied broad scientific knowledge. He played an important role in the history of his country. Marine chronographs were of great importance for fleets, allowing them to calculate the position of ships at sea.

Abraham-Louis Breguet became a full member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1816 and received the Legion of Honor from the hands of Louis XVIII in 1819. He died quite suddenly at the age of 77 on September 17, 1823. His only son, Antoine-Louis Breguet, took over the leadership of the company, successfully following in the footsteps of his father and maintaining the high standards of quality for which the brand has become renowned throughout the world. Important inventions of this period include the first Breguet watch with a keyless winding and the Breguet Sympathique table clock.

Breguet Jr. Takes Over

Model 4952, created for Comte Charles de L’Espina in 1830, had a knurled crown. The “crown” served a dual purpose: to feed the hands and wind the watch. This can be considered the first use of a crown in watchmaking. Antoine-Louis failed to patent this revolutionary mechanism, and ten years later another major Geneva watch company filed a patent for a similar invention.

The Sympathique clock was built in 1834 according to the principles developed by the elder Breguet as early as 1793. Their most ingenious mechanism allowed automatic adjustment and winding of pocket watches by placing them in a recess at the top of the table clock.

Half Quarter Repeater Breguet No. 4288, one of the first watches with crown or keyless winding
Half Quarter Repeater Breguet No. 4288, one of the first watches with crown or keyless winding
Interesting

In the first half of the 19th century, Breguet watches were considered a sure sign of wealth and success. An acknowledged status symbol, the name "Breguet" has appeared on several occasions in several masterpieces of world literature. Below I give some examples.

"Breguet makes watches that don't break down for twenty years, and the wretched machine we live by doesn't work properly and causes inconvenience at least once a week."

Stendhal in Rome, Naples and Florence, 1817

"He took out the most elegant thin watch ever produced by Breguet: "Wow, eleven o'clock, I woke up so early."

Honore de Balzac in Eugenie Grandet, 1833

"A thin gold chain dangled from his vest pocket, in which the outlines of a thin watch were guessed. He played with a key with a latch - a recent invention of Breguet."

Honore de Balzac in La Rabouilleuse, 1842

"Danglard's watch, Breguet's masterpiece, which he carefully wound the day before setting out on his journey, rang at half past six in the morning."

Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo, 1844

"One evening, Rebecca mentioned in passing that the watch that Rodon gave her was an English product and was not going well - and the next morning she was sent a lovely Leroy watch, with a chain and a cover decorated with turquoise, and another one - with the Breguet brand, studded with pearls and no larger than a half-crown."

William Thackeray in Vanity Fair, 1848

"The traveler begins to repent that he has taken so much money with him. He looks at the time he has on the shore, and thinks that he sees his watch for the last time. How nice it would be to know that they hang quietly on his fireplace in Paris!"

Prosper Merimee in Letters from Spain, 1857

Breguet Watches as a Status Symbol

no. 4730 signed as Breguet Neveu et Cie
no. 4730 signed as Breguet Neveu et Cie

The British Queen Victoria purchased a Breguet watch on July 17, 1838, a year after her ascension to the throne. It was “a very small and simple watch, without a repeater, very thin, on a ring.” The famous Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini owned Breguet watch number 4604: a simple design, modest size, with a date display. They had a gold guilloché case, an offset silver dial and an anchor escapement. After the composer’s death in 1868, his widow continued to service the watch.

In 1833, at the age of 57, Antoine-Louis decided to retire and settle outside the city, handing over the management of the business to his son. Louis-Clément François Breguet was nineteen years old when his famous grandfather Abraham-Louis died. After completing his apprenticeship with Perrelet, an experienced watchmaker from Versailles, he traveled to Switzerland. There he worked as a watchmaker and learned local production methods. Under his leadership, Breguet began the parallel production of standardized and individual watches. Louis-Clement took one of his nephews as a partner and the firm was renamed Breguet, Neveu et Cie.

Breguet Change Profile

Louis-Clément optimized production processes. During these years, the company produced about 350 watches a year. In addition to them, the factory began the production of scientific and telegraph instruments and electrical devices. In particular, in 1842, Breguet developed an electric needle telegraph to replace the then-used optical telegraph. For this invention in 1845, Louis-Clement was awarded the Legion of Honor. He received the highest awards at many exhibitions, was a member of the Bureau of Longitudes, and was elected to the Academy of Sciences.

Louis-Clément François Breguet, third watchmaker of the Breguet dynasty
Louis-Clément François Breguet, third watchmaker of the Breguet dynasty

Louis-Clement Breguet is one of 72 scientists whose names are written around the base of the Eiffel Tower. The outstanding success in the field of electronics, along with his passion for physics and the fact that his son Antoine shared his passions, led Louis-Clement to devote his full attention to the production of electrical apparatus for telegraphy, railway signal systems and physiology. On May 8, 1870, Breguet’s watch department was sold to the factory director, Englishman Edward Brown. Brown had by then become a partner in the company.

Beginning of the Brown Dynasty

Antoine, great-grandson of Abraham-Louis, was the last of the Breguet family to run the business. And although he left behind two sons and a daughter, they did not run the family business. The Breguet brand went to the watch company. The electrical appliance factory operated under the brand name Breguet FT, or Breguet Fabricant.

By 1881, the watch company was reorganized under the name Maison Breguet. Under Brown’s leadership, it continued to target the international high society as buyers of its premium timepieces. When Edward Brown died in 1895, the firm was taken over by his sons Edward and Henry. After Edward Jr. retired in the early 1900s, Henry became head of the firm.

The First Aviator Chronographs

In 1927, Henry Brown was replaced at the helm of the company by his son George. He expanded the range of watches he produced to include “aviators” such as the legendary Type XX chronograph. The watch was designed to a specification issued by the French Ministry of War in the 1950s for flying watches. Chronographs were to become part of the standard equipment of the Air Force and Navy.

In addition to accuracy (within +/- 8 seconds per day) and reliability, the requirements for the Type XX included a black dial, a flyback chronograph function and at least 35 hours of power reserve. In fact, the history of Breguet is closely intertwined with the history of the development of aviation. Louis-Charles Breguet, great-great-grandson of the legendary founder Abraham-Louis, was one of the early pioneers of the aircraft industry. In 1919 he founded the Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes. That eventually grew into the well-known airlines Air France.

Military Breguet Type 20 ref. 5101/54 1955, without logo
Military Breguet Type 20 ref. 5101/54 1955, without logo

Under the Leadership Chaumet

After several decades of running the company, in 1970 George Brown sold the brand to the Parisian jewelry maison Chaumet. The Browns ran Breguet for 100 years, even slightly longer than the Breguet family.

In 1976, under the leadership of Chaumet, the Breguet workshops were transferred to the Val de Joux in Switzerland. Swiss watchmaking was born here and it was easier to find highly qualified watchmakers than in Paris. The technical direction was entrusted to master watchmaker Daniel Roth. He is well known to watch lovers for creating his own luxury brand in 1989.

Breguet models by Daniel Roth and François Bode
Breguet models by Daniel Roth and François Bode

Breguet and the Quartz Crisis

These were difficult years for mechanical watch manufacturers. The so-called quartz crisis began. Chaumet also suffered big losses after the global drop in diamond prices. As a consequence, in 1987 the Chaumet brand was sold to Investcorp S.A., Bahrain’s leading investment bank.

Investcorp continued restructuring. In 1991 Valdar S.A. was acquired. This Swiss company was engaged in the production and supply of micromechanical components for the watch industry. She became part of the newly created Groupe Horloger Breguet (GHB). In 1992, they bought Nouvelle Lemania S.A., a watch manufacturer known for its exceptional chronograph movements. At that time, Nouvelle Lemania produced all Breguet watches.

The Lemania factory, which became part of the Breguet manufactory
The Lemania factory, which became part of the Breguet manufactory

Groupe Horloger Breguet became profitable in 1998 by operating in the Southeast Asian market. During Investcorp’s tenure, unit sales grew about tenfold. On September 14, 1999, Swatch Group announced the purchase of Groupe Horloger Breguet from Investcorp S.A. Breguet is part of a group of fifteen brands, along with Blancpain, Omega and Longines.

Hayek’s Watch Crown Jewel

Nicolas Hayek demonstrates Breguet No. 1160, replica of the original Marie Antoinette, with two Breguet watches (and one Omega)
Nicolas Hayek demonstrates Breguet No. 1160, replica of the original Marie Antoinette, with two Breguet watches (and one Omega)

Relying on the industrial and commercial strength of the Swatch Group, the brand had all the material and technical resources necessary to develop exclusive models to meet the expectations of brand admirers and the most demanding connoisseurs. Finally, the brand once again had a production befitting its status. The recruitment of highly qualified watchmakers was increased. Rare watchmaking techniques and skills have been passed on to a new generation of watchmakers.

Swatch Group President Nicholas Hayek Sr. considered the brand to be the crown jewel of his crown. Upon learning of the company’s acquisition of the Breguet brand, Omega CEO Jean-Claude Biver immediately called Hayek. Biver wanted to take on the revival of the eminent brand himself, but Hayek decided to personally oversee Breguet. And the creation of the Breguet Museum was a natural step for him. Introduced in 2000, its exhibition includes documents and objects related to the history of the House of Breguet. Now the museum is located on the first floor of the Breguet boutique on Place Vendôme in Paris. It is headed by Emmanuel Breguet, a direct descendant of Abraham-Louis in the seventh generation.

The Breguet archives span over a two hundred year period. Here you can view production logs, repair books, certificates of authenticity, customer letters. In addition, technical annotations written by Abraham-Louis Breguet and his son. The collection of rare watches is replenished every year.

Breguet Sets the Tone

Entrance to Breguet boutique at Place Vendôme in Paris
Entrance to Breguet boutique at Place Vendôme in Paris

An outstanding marketer, Hayek prepared grandiose celebrations on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the patenting of the tourbillon. It culminated in a grand party at Versailles in 2001. Sales of Breguet tourbillons have grown from 150 to over 1,000 in just five years. The renewed interest prompted other premium brands to add Breguet tourbillon watches to their collections.

The brand was imbued with the innovative spirit of the founder Abraham-Louis, as evidenced by the exceptional number of patents. More than 120 patents have been developed and registered by the company since 2002. In 2006, Breguet made a major breakthrough in watch technology. The company introduced a number of critical silicon-based movement parts.

Silicon is immune to the influence of the magnetic field, and also has a high resistance to corrosion and wear. Lighter and harder than steel, it reduces inertia and does not require lubrication. It also provides the ability to create new and complex shapes. The use of silicon for the escape wheel and balance spring made them more precise.

Breguet continues to set the tone for watchmaking, striving for impeccable precision, functionality, reliability and beauty. The brand is not only the most important part of the history of timekeeping, it defines its future. Crystal Group is the official and exclusive representative of Breguet in Ukraine. It is an honor and a great pleasure to work with such an iconic brand.

 

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