Every single Breguet watch helps tell the story of a legacy that began in 1775. It was a year filled with revolution, scientific discoveries, and advances in horology. These themes molded the Breguet brand and influenced its timepieces, resulting in imaginative designs and ultimate precision. Each ornate chronograph is refined and traditional and can be easily recognized by its blue pomme hands and coin-edged case.
The company's watches have been mentioned in literary works from Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas and worn by famous customers like Marie Antoinette. The Classique design, the elegant product of precise engineering, reflects the brand's impressive legacy. Another beloved style from Breguet is the feminine Reine de Naples, which usually features an oval face and slender straps.
The Breguet company began with Abraham-Louis Breguet. He opened a workshop in the Ile de la Cité, Paris after completing his watchmaking apprenticeship. French aristocrats were soon drawn to Breguet’s work and he became much sought after by members of the court. This fame captured Marie Antoinette's attention and she became an avid supporter, recommending the horologist’s designs to her entire kingdom and beyond.
Breguet's offerings grew so famous they were referenced by literary legends such as Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. Though revolution and war in France marred the company’s next few years, the next generation took over when peace returned, led by Antoine-Louis Breguet. He went on to sell the company to the Browns, a family who guarded the Breguet name for the next century. Today, Breguet is owned by the Swatch Group.
There are two main innovations that characterize the Breguet. The first was the magnetic strike governor, which uses magnets to drive the system using eddy currents, providing a reliable alternative to the classic friction-based design. Breguet's second big innovation was the patented magnetic pivot, which improved reliability and precision.
Breguet watches are easy to identify through several distinctive markers. Their main trademark is their watch dials, which feature hand-crafted, engine-turned patterns. This process requires a keen eye and a steady hand—one mistake and the watchmaker has to start over. At first, Breguet used only gold and silver faces to craft each timepiece, but now mother of pearl is also used in some collections. This is a challenging material to work with and one that demonstrates Breguet’s continued dedication to craftsmanship.
The most famous watch line from Breguet is the Classique. Embodying clarity and artistry, each timepiece is perfectly balanced and unapologetically elegant, with an emphasis on technical brilliance. Another popular design is the Reine de Naples. This watch draws inspiration from the timepiece Abraham-Louis Breguet made for Napoleon’s sister, Caroline. It usually has an oval face complemented by feminine touches, such as crystal embellishments and slim straps.
Although Breguet celebrates its rich history through heritage-inspired flourishes, it is also always looking toward the future. Breguet has a reputation for creating fresh and exciting new models, echoing the same pioneering spirit that led the company’s founder to reach such popularity in the 18th century. These chronographs are for cultured souls who place a value on craftsmanship and incomparable beauty.