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Breguet Watches

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Discover the world of Breguet watches online

The tourbillon, the hairspring, the keyless winding system for pocket watches - these groundbreaking innovations all go back Abraham-Louis Breguet, the brilliant watchmaker who founded his workshop in Paris in 1775. Today, the world famous company still channels the spirit of its founding father, showing an unstoppable appetite for innovation.

Founded in Paris in 1775, the factory was based in the French capital for many years, but is now located in the Swiss town of Vallée de Joux. Numerous important watchmaking inventions owe their origins to Abraham-Louis Breguet, including the famous Breguet hairspring and the tourbillon. A long list of famous personalities have been Breguet customers. They include Napoleon Bonaparte, the writer Alexandre Dumas and Sir Winston Churchill. The various watch collections from Breguet such as Heritage, Classique and Marine all testify to a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Fine watchmaking since 1775


In 1775, Abraham-Louis Breguet opened a watchmaking workshop on the Quai de l’Horloge in the Ile de la Cité district of Paris. As early as 1780, the workshop was producing watches with an automatic winding mechanism using a flywheel - a huge novelty for that era. Breguet's inventiveness seemed to have been inexhaustible. In 1790, he introduced the “pare-chute”, a forerunner of modern shock protection systems. Around 1820, Breguet created a vastly improved repeat mechanism, which in turn led to a big increase in popularity for watches with hourly and quarterly chimes.

The quality and appearance of Breguet watches won over ever larger number of customers to the brand. But with their growing popularity, counterfeiting quickly became an issue. That's why in 1795 Breguet began to put a secret signature on his dials that was difficult to spot and therefore hard to fake.

Another innovation that goes back to Breguet is the use hands with a hole in the tip, along with Arabic numerals (first employed in 1783). Today these stylistic refinements are imitated across the entire industry, a testament to Breguet's masterful eye for design and proportion.

Breguet tourbillon watches and hairspring mechanisms

Breguet watches in the service of precision

In 1795, Abraham-Louis Breguet added a specially shaped spring to the balance of his watch movements. It was the birth of the Breguet hairspring, which is still used to this day not only by Breguet but by numerous other well-known brands. The introduction of this small but ingenious component led to vast improvements in accuracy. Various other balance spring refinements have appeared over the years, most notably by Édouard Phillips and Gustav Gerstenberger, but in the long term the Breguet spiral has remained the most enduring of them all.

Then in 1801, Breguet received a patent for one of his most famous inventions – the tourbillon. This is a rotating cage which counteracts the effects of gravity on watch mechanism, delivering optimum accuracy. It's still one of the most intricate complications ever devised, and Breguet tourbillon watches are stunning examples of this watchmaker's genius.

From Napoléon Bonaparte to Winston Churchill

Famous people with busy lives rely on Breguet watches

Breguet has always enjoyed a select customer base, including no small number of major historical figures. In the 1790s, the company even made a special pocket watch for Marie Antoinette. Unfortunately, the French revolution intervened before she could receive it, but that doesn't diminish the quality of the piece, which is arguably the most complicated watch ever created.

Napoléon Bonaparte was another of the company's illustrious customers. In 1798 the French general bought three pocket watches and a table clock. In 1812 his cousin Caroline Murat, the Queen of Naples, also ordered a watch from Breguet which she wanted fitted into a bracelet – and with that, one of the world's first wristwatches was invented.

But the fame of the brand spread far beyond the royal court, as the name Breguet became not only a synonym for exquisite timepieces but also a symbol of wealth, refinement and luxury. You see this in countless literary classics of the time. Stendhal, Balzac and Dumas were just a few of the French writers to name-drop Breguet in their works.

The British statesman Sir Winston Churchill was also a loyal Breguet customer, as was the renowned classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein, who regularly visited the Breguet boutique during his trips to Paris.

Famous Breguet watches and models: Classique, Héritage and Marine

Breguet has a special status in the world of fine watches. Each of its models draws deeply on its centuries of experience and savoir faire.

The Breguet Classique collection, for example, takes inspiration from the creations of the company's founder Abraham-Louis. The wristwatches in this collection epitomise timeless style and good taste. Classic Breguet trademarks such as the engraved dial are gracefully woven throughout the Classique range.

The Héritage collection goes one step further, celebrating not only Abraham-Louis Breguet's legacy but also his ingenuity. In this series, there are enough sophisticated complications and cutting edge innovations to delight the most technically minded watch enthusiast.

In particular, the Breguet Héritage collection looks back to the very beginning of the company's history in the late 18th century. It features four watch models that bring a touch of nostalgia to 21st century wardrobes. To this end, they utilise a tonneau (curved rectangle) shape as well as engraved dials and Roman numerals.

The Breguet Marine collection, on the other hand, is inspired by all things nautical. These are sporty leisure watches that show the highest level of quality and finesse. Needless to say, all of these series feature Breguet watches for ladies that make just as powerful a statement of effortless elegance.

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