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The incredible story of Breguet, an icon of horology

The story of the brand who’s whole ethos is built around its passion for the beautiful and the iconic

Since Breguet, one of the world’s most iconic watchmakers, first opened its doors in the mid-1700s, the brand has been one step ahead of the rest. Strong, bold designs, classic colours and distinct shapes are all elements that can be found in each of Breguet’s designs, from the first model in 1775 to its newer, more contemporary pieces. Manufacture Breguet have earned the distinction for impeccable technique in creating some of the most stunning, flawless pieces out there. But where did it all begin?

The incredible story of Breguet, an icon of horology
Breguet's founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet

Abraham-Louis Breguet, the founder of the brand, fell in love with watchmaking at a young age and, in the mid 1770s, left the comfort of his home in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, for Paris and Versailles to take on a watchmaking apprenticeship. Breguet was a gentleman who paid constant attention to the finest details; it wasn’t enough to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and stick to the ordinary – he wanted to make a difference.

The incredible story of Breguet, an icon of horology
The iconic Breguet Tradition

Intent on making a proper name for himself as the Godfather of watchmaking, he set out to exceed all limits and expectations, and in doing so came up with inventions that are commonplace in watchmaking today. Namely pare-chute shock protection, the raised terminal curve (overcoil) of the balance-spring that takes his name, and of course the tourbillon (a regulator designed to counteract the effects of gravity on a mechanical watch’s functionality.).

The incredible story of Breguet, an icon of horology
Breguet Classique tourbillon quantième perpétuel 3797

Producing creations that went above and beyond what the world was used to was an intention that Breguet first set out with, and one that remains at the centre of the brand today. Success has always come with prestige, and prestige is something that has always come hand in hand with Breguet. Some of his early clients were as iconic as the brand he created, and included Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte, which in and of itself speaks leaps and bounds about the brand.

The incredible story of Breguet, an icon of horology
Tradition Automatique Seconde Retrograde 7097

Above everything else, Breguet was intent in his quest for both precision and perfection – something that the brand constantly adheres to in its design today. Breguet has gone against the grain and has broken free from the various taboos of the world of horology by breaking boundaries, using unusual materials and constantly being open enough to explore new possibilities rather than rely on old faithfuls.

The aforementioned Breguet inventions are present in almost every timepiece the brand creates, whether that’s a traditional masterpiece or something that’s been created in the last decade. Investing in a piece of this much stature, with this much history and into a brand who’s whole ethos is built around its passion for the beautiful and the iconic is something that we cannot recommend more highly to gentlemen all over the world.

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Further Reading