More than 7,000 refined and distinctive models have been created in the Breguet’s headquarters in the Vallee de Joux in Switzerland. Included in this list are watches whose movements contain inventions that have redefined watchmaking - like the tourbillon, invented by Breguet himself in 1801. A Breguet watch is a statement, a heritage and a technical masterpiece. It is the epitome of haute horlogerie.
Luxury watchmaking has always been defined by innovation: and the brand that defined it first is Breguet. Its founder was horology’s original rock star, a creator of extraordinary complications for the most famous and beautiful people of his day. Dukes, sultans, emperors and kings were numbered among Abraham-Louis Breguet’s clients. It is said that Marie Antoinette commissioned his masterpiece by sending a member of her personal guard to the watchmaker in secret. Breguet reference 160, a grand complication incorporating every horological technology possible at the time, remains one of the most important and valuable luxury watches ever made.
Every luxury watch made by Abraham-Louis Breguet was an innovation: a completely new movement, which built on Breguet’s inventions and the inventions of others to create unique pinnacles of watchmaking achievement. That spirit has never left his company, which can claim a staggering measure of influence on the way we view time.
Breguet invented the self-winding watch, the perpetual date calendar, the tourbillon. His watches are mentioned in novels. They were worn by artists and composers. They even found their way into the pages of world history. Breguet reference 365, originally bought by the Duke of Marlborough in 1890, was used by Winston Churchill to co-ordinate Operation Overlord.
Modern Breguet watches house classic complications in modern settings. Principles of elegance and clarity inform every design, from the most complicated to the slimmest. And on every piece, the signature Breguet hands remind you that you’re looking at a masterpiece.
Other brands have to create a personality, through advertising or association with high-profile practitioners of exciting sports. But not Breguet. The partnerships chosen by horology’s most famous manufacture don’t define the watches. Instead, Breguet’s partners are themselves defined by the watchmaker’s influence.
Performing arts. Concert halls. Orchestras. Museums. High priests of precision, respecters of history, creators of complex and beautiful art. All are aligned with Breguet not to raise the profile of the brand, but to complement it.
Consider a Breguet sports watch. Ruggedly constructed, equipped with unique complications, it is nonetheless a classic Breguet timepiece, from its open hands to its welded lugs. Younger luxury watch manufactures may seek to define their sports timepieces with heavy modern lines and outlandish technical materials. But Breguet simply refracts the sport through the lens of its centuries-old sense of style.
For Breguet, watchmaking is always about the new. But it is definitely never about the vulgar.