Breguet is a high-end luxury watch brand established by one of the most famous watchmakers ever, Abraham-Louis Breguet, in 1775. Today, Breguet (Groupe Horloger Breguet) is a subsidiary of The Swatch Group, producing some of the most complicated mechanical watches with designs ranging from traditional to contemporary.
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Breguet is a company that was founded in Paris, France by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775. Since 1999, it has been a subsidiary of The Swatch Group, a conglomerate comprising several luxury watch companies. Breguet opened his watchmaking business at 51 Quai de l'Horloge on the Île de la Cité in Paris. He quickly earned a reputation for the quality of his pocket watches and was soon introduced to the French court. Queen Marie Antoinette grew fascinated by Breguet's unique self-winding watch, Louis XVI bought several of his watches, and Breguet became the go-to watchmaker of the wealthier nobles and businessmen of the time.
Breguet is one of the most important names in the history of watchmaking. Among other things, Abraham-Louis Breguet is credited with inventing the first-ever automatic watch with the Perpétuelle in 1780, the tourbillon in 1795 (the tourbillon was patented in 1801), the Pare-chute shock-protection system, the hairspring with a Breguet overcoil, and the keyless works in 1830. Today, the Breguet watch manufacture continues to innovate by introducing wristwatches with dual escapements (like the Tradition 7077), complex perpetual calendar displays (such as the Classique Complications 3795), chiming mechanisms (like the Répétition Minutes 7637), and double tourbillons (such as the Double Tourbillon 5349).
In its modern history, Breguet has made the news with the theft of the Marie Antoinette pocket watch, considered to be the most valuable timepiece ever produced in human history. The brand’s president at the time, Nicolas G. Hayek, ordered the company’s best watchmakers to try and replicate this historic pocket watch through available photos and archived notes. The Breguet Marie Antoinette pocket watch was successfully recreated and introduced at BaselWorld 2008 — shortly after the original piece had been found.
Watch enthusiasts collect Breguet watches today for their rich heritage, their traditional design that can be traced back to the manufacture’s founder, the beautifully handcrafted guilloché dials, and the brand’s recognition as one of horology’s all-time greats.