Abraham-Louis Breguet is one of the most prolific watchmakers of all-time. Even though he was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1747, he lived in Paris, France for much of his life, which is also where he died in 1823.
Breguet invented the perpetual winding
rotor, the tourbillon, and many other horological innovations – at a time when CNC machines did not exist – and these inventions are still widely in use to this day.
From Marie Antoinette to Napolean Breguet to Louis XIV, Abraham-Louis Breguet was the watchmaker to nobility. And once you see many of the key points of interest where Breguet left his mark, it becomes easier to understand the impact that he made on
horology – and the incredible legacy he left behind.
Please enjoy the 70 captioned images we created during a week-long trip from France to Switzerland dedicated to Breguet.
Breguet Marine Chronometer Palace of Versailles Vintage rose engine lathe used to perform guilloche-work on dials, cases, and other watch components Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa on display at the Louvre, which also houses multiple Breguet timepieces A view of the Vallée de Joux from inside Breguet’s L’Orient manufacture (formerly Lemania) Viewing Paris from Eiffel Tower Eiffel Tower at Night One-of-a-kind Marie Antoinette Number 1160 pocket watch (the only recreation of the original) The caseback of the one-of-a-kind Marie Antoinette Number 1160 pocket watch (the only recreation of the original) Original ledger showing the purchase of the Marie-Antoinette pocket watch A peek inside the safe at the Breguet Museum of Paris Emmanuel Breguet, a direct descendent of Abraham-Louis Breguet, who is the Breguet Museum of Paris curator, speaking with a journalist from Worth magazine View of Eiffel Tower at sunset The ceiling at Napoleon’s tomb Beautiful scene in Zurich, steps from the Breguet boutique Bust of Abraham-Louis Breguet at the Breguet Museum of Paris Centre seconds watch, T.U. type, Marine Nationale Aéronautique Navale 0124A, 50 mm chromium plated case, 24-hours black dial, straight-line lever escapement. Sold on June 17, 1958, to the “Service Hydrographique de la Marine” (ref. 1775ALB.3732) Type 20 wristwatch chronograph, first-generation, 38 mm stainless steel case, black dial, 30-minute and 12-hour recorders, fly-back function, lever escapement. Sold on November 23, 1959 to Société Aérotechnique in Algiers (ref. 1775ALB.3495) Type 20 wristwatch chronograph, second-generation, 38 mm polished stainless steel case with black rotating bezel, fly-back function, black dial with 15-minute recorder, lever escapement. Sold in 1973 (ref. 1775ALB.21122) As the watchmaker to Royalty, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Breguet timepieces shown here are on display at the Louvre Louis Charles Breguet was the great-great-grandson of Abraham-Louis Breguet. He was not associated with Breguet watchmaking but fascinatingly, like his great-great-grandfather, he built machines that were ahead of their time. In 1907 he built a gyroplane, which was a forerunner to the helicopter. And in 1911, he built the plane shown Jim Morrison’s grave at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris which is also where Breguet is buried Lake Zurich a short walk from the Beyer Museum and Breguet boutique Lake Zurich a short walk from the Beyer Museum and Breguet boutique Breguet Pendant watch on display at the Breguet Museum of Paris Applying perlage by hand at the Breguet factory in L’Orient, Switzerland Inside Palace of Versailles Grounds of the Palace Versailles Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles Petit Trianon located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles Louis XIV statue at the entrance to the Palace of Versailles Petit Trianon located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles Inside Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles Grounds Grounds of the Palace Versailles Grounds of the Palace Versailles A Royal Clock inside the Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles Gardens The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that crosses the Seine in Paris Avenue des Champs-Élysées “Breguet” is emblazoned on the Eiffel Tower along with engineers, scientists and people important to France Walter Uebelhart, head of technical training at Breguet, speaking to our group about engraving Looking on as a master engraver performs guilloche-work on a vintage rose engine The one-of-a-kind Breguet Marie Antoinette Number 1160 pocket watch Breguet Marine Chronometer seen in Breguet Museum of Paris Breguet No. 1176 Montre garde-temps à tourbillon pocketwatch seen in the Breguet Museum of Paris Breguet No. 1176 Montre garde-temps à tourbillon pocketwatch seen in the Breguet Museum of Paris Walter Uebelhart, head of technical training at Breguet, showing us the early stages of a watch design This tree was Marie-Antoinette’s favorite oak tree. It was struck down by a storm and Nicolas Hayek Sr. used it to make the box for the reproduction of the Marie-Antoinette watch, Breguet 1160 Hall of Mirrors in The Grand Gallery at Versailles Grounds of the Petit Trianon Walter Uebelhart, head of technical training at Breguet, explaining how thousands of different bits are used to manufacture many of the CNC components used to make a timepiece Montres Breguet donated 7 million Euros to the Chauteau de Versailles foundation to restore Petit Trianon, Marie-Antoinette’s home, including beautiful Royal clocks in almost every room Breguet donated 7 million Euros to the Chauteau de Versailles foundation to restore Petit Trianon, Marie-Antoinette’s home, including beautiful Royal clocks in almost every room Our tour guide at Breguet Manufacture in L’Orient, Switzerland wearing his personal Breguet Breguet No. 180 Gold Ring Watch A magnificent clock just off the Qvai De L’Horloge, where Breguet started his first workshop Chapels of Versailles A furnished room in Marie-Antoinette’s Petit Trianon which was revived with Breguet’s support Private theater built for Marie-Antoinette inside the Petit Trianon Beginning of the private tour at the Petit Trianon The Kitchen inside the Petit Trianon Breguet’s gravesite Breguet pocket watch Clock in the Palace of Versailles A plaque that recognizes the 7 million Euros donated by Breguet to support the renovation of the Petit Trianon where Abraham-Louis Breguet’s most famous Marie Antoinette lived
The original workshop of Abraham-Louis Breguet on the Qvai De L’Horloge in Paris