Breguet Baselworld 2013 Expo Tourbillon 986 1

Baselworld 2013: Breguet - From the tourbillon to Chronometry, more than 200 years of inventions

By René Giroud

Since its beginnings in 1775, Breguet has made every effort to extend the scientific boundaries of time measurement and to make mechanical movements ever more precise. Therefore, the name stands for creativeness, innovation and exceptional finish among all horological enthusiasts. Such early inventions as the pare-chute shock protection, the raised terminal curve of the balance-spring that takes Breguet’s name, and of course the tourbillon, have not only made their mark on horology, but have also had a lasting influence on watchmaking methods.

From April 27 to April 28, Breguet holds an exposition at the Swatch Group Plaza to present Baselworld visitors an overview of these fabulous creations, from the tourbillon to the Classique Chronometrie. Watchonista offers you a glimpse of this exposition were the creativity is clearly notable on each piece.


The exposition starts with some examples of the early creations of Breguet, allowing visitors to grasp Breguet’s inventive approach of the watchmaking field. The learned watchmaker applied the breadth of his astronomical and mathematical knowledge to his vocation, quickly inventing a variety of ingenious devices that won him the recognition of his peers. Through the next pictures, you can see one of his first creations featuring the tourbillon which at that time, remained hidden.

Tourbillon N° 1188 from the Breguet Museum collection

This watch was sold in 1808 to Don Antonio of Spain. After his death, the watch came into the possession of a Turkis collector who ordered the current enamelled dial with Turkish numerals that we can see from the Breguet company in 1841.

With those pocket watches, you can see that many of the finishing details that still remain as a signature of Breguet’s design where already present.

Tourbillon N° 2567 from the Breguet Museum collection.

This watch was sold to Mr. Bigot in 1812. It already shows the engine-turned silvered dial, the roman numerals as well as the Breguet hands in blued steel.

Today, Breguet walks in the footsteps of its founder : the Manufacture maintains its pioneering approach by incorporating new technologies in its watches. In 2006 the brand presented the results of several years of research by unveiling the first silicon components. Silicon’s low weight and other ideal horological properties enabled Breguet to present the Type XXII model, the first series-produced mechanical chronograph with a 10Hz frequency. The use of non-magnetic silicon led to the creation of the Classique La Musicale and the first magnetic regulator in watchmaking history, opening new horizons. Those steps led to the unveiling in 2012 of the Classique Chronométrie, a watch that incorporates a magnetically pivoted balance in a 10Hz frequency movement.

The exposition doesn’t only focus on celebrating those innovations but tries to explain them. Here, you can see one of the explanation devices for the tourbillon.

In order to present the major innovation that belongs to the Classique Chronometrie, Breguet has built a great scale replica of its balance with magnetic pivots.

The balance with magnetic pivots is a new solution based on the use of two endstones incorporating powerful micro-magnets, one at each end of the balance shaft, thereby improving pivoting, rotation ans stability.

Latest result in Breguet’s research, the Classique Chronométrie represents another milestone in the history of watchmaking.

The following picture may help you to feel the spirit of the exhibition.

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