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Breguet’s History of Innovation

Culture Watch
A display from "Breguet, Innovations that Changed History".

Breguet, one of the world’s most innovative horology houses, presents a new exhibition spotlighting some of its most important achievements. The exhibition, “Breguet, Innovations that Changed History,” is on view through February 23 in Geneva after which it will tour various cities in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

The exhibition “Breguet, Innovations that Changed History,” reviews the exceptional contributions that the manufacturer has made to the horology. Breguet has decided to exhibit of these innovations that are especially famed for having transformed the science of time measurement and indeed the entire approach to this field.

The Tourbillon propelled Breguet into an elite circle of inventors in 1801, when the French Interior Minister granted the brilliant watchmaker a patent for this new type of regulator. The latter made it possible to compensate for the disturbing effects of gravity on watches’ performance, thus enabling timepieces to display significantly improved precision.

A few years after this incredible discovery, at a time when pocket watches were the prevailing norm, Breguet responded to a request from Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, with what became the first wristwatch. This oval-shaped complicated model entirely unlike any other was fitted with a wristlet composed of twisted hair and gold thread. With this first innovation, Breguet succeeded in completely redefining the watch.

Breguet tirelessly perpetuates the pioneering spirit of its founder by revolutionizing various facets of horology. The House was notably behind the very first instant dual time-zone device. Breguet reinterprets the travel watch with this function that enables a display of two pre-selected time zones by switching instantly from one to another at a simple press of a pushbutton.

The use of silicon, a material with anti-magnetic properties, also enabled the Breguet engineers to envisage incorporating magnets inside watch mechanism in order to enhance their performance. The Classique La Musicale watch was thus equipped with the first magnetic regulator in watchmaking history. This ingenious mechanism eliminates the characteristic issues of wear, background noise and the need for higher amounts of energy, while also ensuring greater precision.

More recently, in November 2010, Breguet filed a patent for the magnetic pivot. Composed of two counter-pivots incorporating an especially powerful micro-magnet on either end of the balance staff, this technological innovation served to create a dynamically stable system able to keep the balance staff centered and self-adjusting. In 2012, Breguet provided a first showcase for this surprising invention by presenting the Classique Chronométrie, a watch featuring exceptional rating results.

Whether by improving watches’ performances, their precision, their aesthetic or their functional use, Breguet displays considerable ingenuity with each of its creations. Through this exhibition, it takes a look back at over two centuries of inventions and technological developments punctuating its history and shaping its future.


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