Breguet’s archives, kept in Switzerland and in Paris, record the developments that have sustained Breguet watchmaking for more than two centuries. The firm is committed to remaining ahead of its time with a flow of inventions and improvements.
As a brand that represents a great historical and cultural heritage as well as avant-garde technology, Breguet has always had a fascinating ability to innovate. It owes its place in European cultural history to its prodigiously inventive founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823), and its position as a benchmark of Fine Watchmaking to its astonishingly skillful master watchmakers of today.
At a time when everybody - companies as much as individuals – seems keen to explore their roots, Breguet’s countless treasures illustrate the most beautiful history that any watchmaking brand could wish to have.
Born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1747, Abraham-Louis Breguet spent much of his life in Paris where many of his important creations were produced. He worked simultaneously in all the areas of watchmaking, beginning his career with a series of masterly inventions: the automatic watch, referred to as “a perpetual”, the gong spring for repeater watches, and the first shock-absorber device, the “pare-chute”.
Breguet was admired in all the royal courts of Europe and became the principal watchmaker of the elite in the worlds of diplomacy, science, finance and the military. Breguet watches contained original movements, with lever or cylinder escapements, that were constantly improved.
At his death in 1823, he was eulogised as a man whose genius had revolutionised every aspect of timekeeping. But that is not the end of the story…
In 1999, the late Nicolas G. Hayek took control of Breguet, a jewel of fine watchmaking. His genuine passion breathed new life into the brand whose exceptional heritage and expertise was recognised by all the great names in the industry. He had the vision to restore Breguet to greatness by reviving its cultural and emotional dimensions.
Nicolas G. Hayek placed great emphasis on research and notably initiated work on new materials with the application of silicon in watchmaking. Under his leadership, Breguet developed and filed a remarkable number of new patents and it continues to do so under its new President, Marc A. Hayek.
The Manufacture also achieved the feat of developing a new movement every year, several of which were truly revolutionary. Its ability to innovate has firmly established Breguet as a benchmark in contemporary Fine Watchmaking, in addition to the unique position it already held as part of Europe’s cultural heritage.