Know More About Breguet Watches
History of Breguet
Founder Abraham-Louis Breguet, noted as one of the most undisputed celebrated watchmakers of his time, introduced Breguet in 1775. The brand not only becaome famous for coming up with the guilloche feature on its dials but gained a worldwide reputation for introducing the tourbillon. Back in those days when technology was evolving at a turtle’s pace, the founder pushed the boundaries and manufactured the most complicated watch of that time. Made for Marie Antoinette, the watch included a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and equation of time, unheard of in any watch until then. Breguet’s mastery became so popular that he was later said to be the Leonardo da Vinci in the world of horology. Even if not invented all, this man can be considered as a significant contributor to many technologies used in watchmaking. The automatic Breguet watches, the tourbillon, the chronograph, the minute repeater and the equation of time are hailed as Breguet’s contributions in the world of watches.
Time Travelling with Breguet
The illustrious journey of the watch to its zenith of success is filled with royalty. The brainchild of Abraham-Louis passed through many glorious years in its way of climbing to the top.
Breguet creates a severely complicated watch for Marie Antoinette. The queen had wanted a timepiece involving even the tiniest bit of complexity known to mankind at that time, and Breguet had complied with her wish.
Napoleon Bonaparte’s name gets associated with the brand. He made his first purchase from Breguet after becoming a General in the French Army. he bought the carriage clock, which featured an overcoil, an eight-day movement, a moon phase indicator and a quarter-repeating calendar clock. This invention has made its mark in the world of watches as the predecessor of modern travel clocks.
Breguet designs a tactful watch to honor Empress Josephine. This ‘touch watch’ was created in a way that allowed the queen to read the time with a soft touch of her fingers.
Considered as the year of the first wristwatch, the Queen of Naples had ordered Breguet to make a watch that can be worn on the wrist. He, with the help of seventeen workers, took two years to achieve the feat. After that, the queen made the purchase of 34 clocks from the watchmaker.
Types of Breguet Watches
Retracing Breguet’s footsteps would take you down the memory lane of some of the most creative watches ever made, namely Breguet type XX. Most of the watches come with perpetual calendars, flyback chronograph functions, moon phase indicators and several other features. Take a look at some of the most significant horological contributions of Breguet:
The Self-Winding Watch
Breguet first made a breakthrough with this type. In 1780, he invented a complex system that had a weight swinging front and back like a pendulum. As he put the system in a pocket watch, the pendulum pushed the strings, thereby powering the watch. This invention freed the royalty from manually winding the time, which was the case back at that time. The swinging weight inside the watch powered up the timekeeping technologies and enabled the watch to self-wind itself.
Minute Repeater Gong
The watches that would ring out the time audibly were known as minute repeaters. These existed before 1783, but as the watchmakers would put actual bells inside the watches, it would become quite heavy to be carried around. Breguet found an alternative and stuck a coil to the gong inside. This created a much lighter and sweeter sound. This invention is persistent even today as the watchmakers use a gong to create the sound. Apart from this, Breguet also paved the way for the blue moon tip hands which remains a signature of the Breguet transatlantique watches even today. Thus, it can be said that 1783 was a breakthrough year for the watchmaker.
In 1790, the celebrated watchmaker decided to come up with a shock absorption system that proved beneficial for some clumsy owners. Even if they dropped the watches frequently, it would survive the shock of the fall and function as before. The para-chute invention came into being when he positioned the delicate parts at the end of the spring in order to guard it against damage. It is said that Breguet even hurled his watch at the ground to prove his point, and it is needless to say that he had emerged as a winner!
Breguet, in the early years of the 1800s, wondered if gravity might have any adverse effect on the functions of a watch. In those days, pocket watches were in vogue and would remain pointed in one direction all day long. This led to the rise of the tourbillon, a cage capturing the movement and doing a full rotation every minute so as to prevent it from hanging in one direction. The Breguet type XXI is a perfect example of this kind.
The Queen of Naples wanted something to wear on her wrist. In accordance with her wish, Breguet invented a documented wristwatch in two years and delivered it to Her Majesty. The watch had an oval shape and was tied onto the wrist with the help of a bracelet. In the later years, this example was considered as the closest rendition that was made of the current wristwatch.
Buying a Breguet Watch
Breguet watches will always hold a special place for connoisseurs who are willing to pay a higher price for luxury watches. Any vintage Breguet piece is an excellent prized possession to splurge on, and you would feel like the owner of something royal. Known for their designs and finishes, the Breguet watches are even sold at auctions where antique collectors wait eagerly to lay their hands on them. Currently, the Breguet Sympathique Clock No. 128 & 5009 remains the most expensive timepiece ever sold at an auction. Buying a Breguet watch will give you the opportunity to hold a true piece of horological art.