Many watch companies have long and prestigious histories, with the development of their timepieces spanning not just decades, but centuries. Horology is an area of craftsmanship that requires complete focus and dedication, and although many have garnered excellent reputations and praise for their watches, there are only a few makers that have truly embodied the essence of luxury in timekeeping.
Breguet is quite possibly the ultimate example of first-class watch manufacturing. Started in 1775 by A.L. Breguet, the company’s mission has been to create each watch as a model of supreme horological art. Not only has it provided revolutionary advances in watch mechanics, such as the first wristwatch in 1810, and the first successful self-winding perpetuelle watches, Breguet has also captured the hearts and minds of great individuals throughout modern history.
The list of patrons is veritable, and some of the most prominent figures in modern times have taken advantage of this superior product, with Louis XVI, Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Marie-Antoinette being early adopters of the timepieces. In fact, the Queen’s timepiece, famously stolen in 1983 from a museum, was recently recreated by the company in honor of their loyal patron. Along with French royalty, the Breguet line was also preferred by Tsar Alexander I, George Washington, Winston Churchill, Queen Victoria, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Leo Tolstoy.
The manufacturer has continued its tradition of uncompromising quality to this day, becoming a part of the Swatch Group in 1999. This newly found industrial and commercial strength provided by the conglomerate has allowed Breguet to thrive by offering their extensive resources and reputation to advance the art of watchmaking and develop outstanding models which meet and exceed the staunch expectations of customers and connoisseurs alike.
The Swatch Group has amassed an impressive collection of watchmakers in addition to Breguet, including Blancpain, Glashutte Original, Jaquet Droz, Leon Hatot and Omega. Having one of the greatest groupings of watch companies sets Swatch apart, but it is Breguet that puts the Switzerland-based corporation in the upper echelons of international watchmaking.
Some may wonder why a huge company would acquire a niche watchmaker that has a limited customer base, but when looking at the value that Breguet brings from a craftsmanship standpoint, this question is quickly answered. Being a smaller scale operation that focuses on quality and not quantity, Breguet is known as one of the best options in the world for buying watches that are extremely well made and rare. With only 30 points of sale in 20 of the world’s most prestigious cities, the company limits exposure, which increases value. For Swatch, the high-end is what allows margins to grow, and Breguet is an easy path to higher profits and greater prestige.
Not only does Swatch now have their game-changing “investment grade” watch subsidiary, they also have access to Breguet’s unyielding evolution. Their perpetual dedication to advancing the art of horology has allowed them to continue the march of progress with recent revolutionary advancements like the Type XXII, a first-series mechanical chronograph equipped with an escapement, which operates at a frequency of 10Hz through the use of silicon.
Swatch understands the significance of this brand and are very proud of their flagship line. As the legends of those who wore Breguet’s continue to brighten, the watches themselves will share in this glow, giving Swatch and the owners of these immaculate timepieces the joy of being part of something truly special.