Breguet: Art and Innovation In Watchmaking
Let’s put this in perspective: Breguet is to timepieces as Lamborghini is to cars, Balenciaga was to fashion, or Van Cleef and Arpels is to jewelry. In fact, the brand of Breguet is really not so much about timepieces at all as it is much more about horology, which is defined as the science of measuring time or the art of making instruments for indicating time.
Authors Breguet and Chapman offer the reader a written history of the fabled and legendary brand as well as providing an amazing catalog of products that bear this name. Included in the history is literal laundry list of innovations and discoveries that this company pioneered including the crown, which replaced a key wind, as well as a specific spring which enabled an entire industry to reduce the thickness of a wristwatch.
Breguet is a brand with astounding collectability as well as incredible cache for owners as well as collectors. As an FYI, opening price points for a timepiece/watch is over $10,000 and ascends to the six figures depending on many factors such as rarity, enhancements, complications, and age. Again, this is not a watch brand that you equate with Timex or Bulova; this is a brand only for the discerning rich—and that would mean a percentage of the 1%.
While reading the book, the reader is made aware that the brand wasn’t as interested in being flashy or attaining a high level of visual recognition as they were about creating amazing works of art that could either be displayed or worn by those who could afford the luxury of owning a piece of their artistry. So, yes, royalty from around the world was their clientele as well as moneyed international aristocrats.
The Breguets provide a lesson in branding that so many of today’s tops shelf brands could benefit from if they were as aware or as savvy. There is no question that methodically and quite logically Breguet built a mini empire that only focused on a microcosm of the world’s population. So if your interests lie in collecting, family legacy brands, or just old watches, this is a must read and must own.