Abraham-Louis Breguet was born on January 10th 1747 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He
arrived in France in 1762, where he served his apprenticeship and studied in Versailles
and in Paris.
His marriage in 1775 with Cécile L’huillier, from a Parisian bourgeois family, coincided
with setting up his own workshops on the quai de l’Horloge (Ile de la Cité).
In 1780, he sold his first automatic perpétuelle watches and subsequently introduced a
number of other innovations that were both technical (gongspring, escapements), and
aesthetic (hands, numerals, engine-turned motifs).
In 1793, Breguet left Paris with his family to escape the turmoil of the revolution and,
after a brief stay in Geneva, moved to Neuchâtel and then Le Locle.
Upon returning to Paris in 1795, he distinguished himself by a new series of inventions,
patents for the constant-force escapement and the Tourbillon, the introduction of “tact”
watches, sympathique clocks, etc…
Breguet dealt with all aspects of horology and exported his models to a number of
countries, even creating a subsidiary company in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1808. Official
Horologer to the French Royal Navy, and a member of the French Academy of Science, he
exercised a considerable influence on the entire horological profession in France,
Switzerland, and in all countries reached by examples of his art.
He died in Paris on September 17th 1823. His work was pursued by his
only son Antoine-Louis (1776 –1858) and by his grandson Louis-Clément
From 1870 onwards, the Breguet watch company experienced several changes of
ownership and in 1976, the workshops were relocated from Paris to the Vallée de Joux in
In 1999, Nicolas G. Hayek took over Breguet, a Fine Watchmaking treasure lying
somewhat dormant at the time. Fired by a genuine passion, he was to breathe vibrant
new life into a brand with a legacy and an exceptional expertise acknowledged by its
most prestigious peers.