Breguet

Breguet is one of the oldest and most distinguished watchmaking brands in the world. It was founded in Paris by the Swiss-born Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775. Breguet developed pioneering watchmaking technologies including the first self-winding watches and the Breguet tourbillon. He also introduced what are now signature Breguet details, such as the open-tipped Breguet hands, large and flat enamelled dials and Arabic Breguet numerals.

Breguet’s clean and simple lines attracted European royals and nobility, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The magnificent Breguet No. 160, now known as the Marie Antoinette pocket watch, is still one of the most complicated pocket watches ever created. Breguet was also the watchmaker of reference for diplomatic, scientific, military and financial elites.

In 1810, Breguet developed the first wristwatch. It was commissioned by the Queen of Naples and included several complications and a bracelet made of hair entwined with gold thread. Breguet’s extraordinary career earned him several distinctions, including the Legion of Honour and the Official Horologer to the French Royal Navy. In 1820, the first Breguet chronograph was released.

After Breguet’s death in 1823, his only son Antoine-Louis Breguet took over the business. It was his son, Louis-Clément, who expanded the product range by adding physic instruments. The firm remained in the hands of the Breguet family until the workshop foreman Edward Brown took over in 1870. The Brown family led the House for the next century.

During the inter-war years, Breguet further expanded its product range by adding watches with square cases, watches without hands and Art Deco clocks. It also became the official supplier to the aeronautical industry.

In the early '50s, the French Ministry of Defence looked to purchase a large quantity of chronograph wristwatches for its Air Force. Breguet rose to the challenge and in 1954 released the now-iconic Type 20. In response to its success, Breguet also produced a civilian version named Type XX. The Breguet Type XX with a flyback chronograph would go on to become one of the brand’s most recognisable watches.

In the 1970s, Breguet was acquired by the Chaumet brothers and watch production was moved to the Joux Valley in Switzerland. Notable launches included the Breguet Classique line, which exemplified the brand’s watchmaking ideals of precision, clarity and elegant lines. The Breguet Type XX line was reimagined in 1995, and in 1998 the Breguet Marine line was enriched by the smallest self-winding chronograph movement in the world.

In 1999, the firm joined the Swatch Group and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. The brand’s most enduringly popular timepieces include the Breguet Classique 5177, the Breguet tradition 7097 and the Breguet Type XXII 3817.

Today, Breguet watches are known to command high prices at auction. In 2012, Christie’s in Geneva sold a Breguet pocket watch, the Breguet & Fils, Paris No.2667, for CHF 4,339,000, more than seven times the low estimate and the highest Breguet watch price achieved at Christie’s. The second highest price was achieved by a Breguet pocket watch, the Breguet & Fils No. 217, which soared above its estimate before selling for CHF 3,245,000. Also sold in 2012 was a rare 18K white gold, sapphire and diamond-set Breguet Marine Chronograph. It achieved HKD 1,340,000.

Breguet. A unique and historically important 18K white gold tonneau-shaped wristwatch with instantaneous perpetual calendar and moon phases

SIGNED BREGUET, NO. 2516, MANUFACTURED IN 1929 AND SOLD TO MONSIEUR JEAN DOLLFUS ON 28 FEBRUARY 1934 FOR THE AMOUNT OF 11,000 FRANCS

BREGUET, NO. 195/3759. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT 18K GOLD OPENFACE SELF-WINDING MINUTE REPEATING JUMPING HOUR LEVER WATCH WITH FREE SPRUNG HELICAL BALANCE SPRING AND 60-HOUR POWER RESERVE

SIGNED BREGUET, NO. 195/3759, 3RD SERIES ‘MONTRE PERPÉTUELLE’, CONSTRUCTION OF THE MOVEMENT BEGUN CIRCA 1797, SOLD IN 1807, RESOLD ON 28 MAY 1821 TO MONSIEUR HENRY PERKINS FOR THE SUM OF 5'000 FRANCS

Breguet. A very fine and rare 18K gold triple calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases

SIGNED BREGUET, NO. 4538, CASE NO. 300'954, SOLD TO MONSIEUR CARTIER ON 27 DECEMBER 1969

Breguet. A fine and rare 18K gold, enamel and diamond and pearl-set hunter case à tact ruby cylinder watch

SIGNED BREGUET, NO. 1099, CASE NOS. 1865 AND B 1975, SOLD TO MONSIEUR LE DUC DE BEDFORD LE 2 FLOREAL AN II (21 APRIL 1794) FOR THE AMOUNT OF 1500 FRANCS

BREGUET. AN IMPRESSIVE AND VERY RARE 18K WHITE GOLD, SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND-SET AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH DATE, MOTHER-OF-PEARL DIAL AND CERTIFICATE

SIGNED BREGUET, HORLOGER DE LA MARINE, MARINE MODEL, REF. 5829, NO. 5059, MOVEMENT NO. 0149215, CIRCA 2008

Breguet. An impressive 18K white gold, sapphire and diamond-set automatic flyback chronograph wristwatch with date, mother-of-pearl dial

SIGNED BREGUET, HORLOGER DE LA MARINE, MARINE MODEL, REF. 5829, NO. 5077, MOVEMENT NO. 0157187, CASE NO. 5077AD, CIRCA 2008

Breguet. A very fine, rare and attractive 18K gold triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases and champagne dial

SIGNED BREGUET, NO. 1039, SOLD ON 16 DECEMBER 1952 TO MME FERRY, SUM NOT MENTIONED