The History of Breguet

All the splendour of truly exceptional horology

A symbol of historical and cultural heritage and technological avant-garde, Breguet has consistently exercised a powerful fascination through its capacity for innovation. From the tourbillon to the gong spring, a number of inventions by A.-L. Breguet have made an indelible imprint on the history of Fine Watchmaking.

To this day, and even more so since it was acquired by Swatch Group in 1999, the Manufacture faithfully perpetuates the exceptional heritage bequeathed by its founder, as it continues to offer ever more fascinating timepieces combining technical complications and pure, refined aesthetics. By way of example, in 2010 Breguet launched the Type XXII, the first series-made mechanical chronograph equipped with an escapement operating at a frequency of 10 Hz thanks to silicon. In 2011, the Manufacture presented the Classique Hora Mundi, the first mechanical watch in horological history to feature an instant-jump time-zone display. 2012 brought the launch of the Tradition 7067, equipped with a GMT complication, which thus joined the ranks of the brand’s masterpieces.

An absolute benchmark in the field of Haute Horlogerie, Breguet is further reinforcing its position as an essential stakeholder in the watch industry, particularly through pursuing the vertical integration of its entire range of production activities. 2011 thus saw the incorporation of the Favre et Perret watch case manufacturer which was duly renamed Montres Breguet, Manufacture de boîtes. Moreover, the brand is steadily extending its network of boutiques currently comprising around 30 points of sale located in over 20 of the world’s most prestigious cities.

1775

1775

A.-L. Breguet sets up his own business on Quai de l'Horloge, Ile de la cité in Paris.

1780

1780

Launch of the first self-winding watches known as "perpétuelles", with an oscillating weight and two going-barrels.

1783

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Invention of gong spring for the minute repeater.

Design of the famous open-tipped hands known as “Breguet hands” and the Breguet’s Arabic numerals.

1786

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First guilloché dials (hand-engraved on a rose engine).

1789

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Invention of the ratchet key known as the 'Breguet key'.

Escapement working without oil.
 

1790

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Invention of the 'pare-chute' anti-shock device, to reach its final form 1806.

1795

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First description of the sympathique clocks in a letter to his son.

Development of perpetual date calendar, the Breguet balance-spring and the ruby cylinder.

1796

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Development and production of the first single hand watch known as the subscription watch.

1798

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Patent of the constant force escapement (March 9).

Invention of the musical chronometer, the clockwork mechanism that acts as a metronome.

1799

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Sale of the first 'tact watch'.

1810

1810

Development of the first wristwatch, ordered by the Queen of Naples, completed in 1812.

1976

1976

Transfer of the Breguet workshops to the Vallée de Joux. Henceforth, the entire production is based in Switzerland.