Breguet is really the father of time. Their innovations, complications, influence and history and legacy has carried on since the late 1700’s which is revered and adored by the best brands till today.
Last month on 10/11/14, Breguet’s CEO, Mark Hayek, recently acquired two very important historic Breguet gold pocket watches from the early 1800’s.
The first being the ref# No. 1576, s a medium-sized souscription watch . was originally sold on September 8th, 1809 to Mr. Moreau, Breguet’s agent in St. Petersburg. Indicating the hours and minutes using a single hand, it is distinguished by its simple and elegant design. The rarity of the piece is furthermore enhanced by the presence of a gold cuvette, a feature hardly found in this type of watch.
In 1794, during the French Revolution, Abraham-Louis Breguet launched a new model of timepieces equipped with a special movement of great simplicity. It was marketed on a subscription basis, with a down-payment of a quarter of the price with each order and the balance due upon delivery. Reliable and affordable, the subscription watch enjoyed great success and attracted many new clients. Some 700 examples were made, with either gold or silver cases.
The second Breguet pocket watch is No. 1135. This timepiece is an important discovery both from a technical and historical provenance. According to the archives, its manufacture took nearly four years. The most noteworthy and interesting aspect is its échappement naturel, the first example ever made of Breguet’s form of free escapement.
Like the detent escapement, it did not require oil on the impulse surfaces and was Breguet’s ultimate solution to the problem of a free escapement with natural lift. The House produced only thirty watches and clocks incorporating this system. Its production was quickly abandoned due to the costly development work and difficulty of its production. Making this invention was not within reach of all watchmakers, and only the finest proved capable of producing one.
Sold in 1806 to Pedro de Alcantara Alvarez de Toledo (1768-1841), 13th Duque del Infantado, the watch No. 1135 went for 500,000 Swiss Francs.
Both of these watches were acquired for 519,000 Swiss Francs. These historical pocket watches are home at the house of Breguet where they belong and will be available amongst their vast collection of antique’s throughout Brequet Museums.