Breguet

Company profile:

breguet_portraitThe history of watchmaking includes many brilliant inventors, but no-one contributed more to the craft than Abraham-Louis Breguet. Some of his innovations are routinely referred to using his name – the Breguet overcoil, Breguet hands – and others, such as the tourbillon, shock protection, and the gong in repeater watches, are a fundamental part of watchmaking. Abraham-Louis Breguet was born in Neuchâtel in 1747, and began working in the watch trade with his stepfather, a watchmaker. He served as an apprentice with a watchmaker in Versailles from 1762, when he was 15. 1775 was a crucial year: he married, and set up his company in Paris on Quai de l’Horloge. He received commissions from the French aristocracy and queen Marie-Antoinette, and developed friendships with other watchmakers, principally Abraham-Louis Perrelet in Switzerland and John Arnold in England. In 1793, his friend, revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat, discovered that Breguet was marked for the guillotine, and Breguet fled to Switzerland and on to England, where he stayed for two years before returning to Paris. In about 1807 he was joined in the business by his son Antoine-Louis Breguet. Abraham-Louis died in 1823: by that time, his company had made about 17,000 watches, all individually numbered. Antoine-Louis carried on the business, followed by his son Louis François Clément (1804-1883) and then by Abram-Louis’ great-grandson Louis Antoine (1861-1882), the last Breguet to be involved in the businesss.

Louis Antoine took on English watchmaker Edward Brown to run the company, and after Louis-Antoine’s death, Brown took over the business. He was succeeded by his sons Edward and Henry Brown, who took the firm into the early 1900s.

There is not much information on what the company did during the mid 20th century. In 1976, the company was moved to premises in the Vallée du Joux, Switzerland, and in 1999 Breguet was purchased by the Swatch Group led by Nicolas G. Hayek. At that time the company was “somewhat dormant” (according to the Breguet website), but it soon took on new life, assisted by the commercial and technical resources available in the Group. After Nicolas died in 2010, leadership was taken up by Mark A. Hayek.

Location:

Breguet has two units on the Lac de Joux:
Montres Breguet SA
Place de la Tour 23
CH-1344 L’Abbaye
Tel. +41 (0)21 841 90 90

Manufacture Breguet
Rue Alfred Lugrin 2
CH-1343 L’Orient
Tel. +41 (0)21 841 90 90

http://www.breguet.com/

Personalities:

Mark A. Hayek, President and CEO

New watches:

Breguet Marine Chronographe “200 Ans de Marine” 5823

Breguet Type XXI chronograph for Only Watch

Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077

Breguet Classique 5140BA/29/9W6

Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097

Other posts:

Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727

Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5377 by Breguet

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