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Commemorating Tourbillon Day with Breguet

On the calendar for watch and clock enthusiasts, June 26th is Tourbillon Day. The date marks the moment when Abraham-Louis Breguet patented the regulating device that helped make pocket watches more precise by counteracting many of (though not all) the negative effects of gravity on timekeeping precision.

A portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet

As Emmanuel Breguet explained last year here http://iwmagazine.com/education/20160705/birth-of-the-tourbillon-breguet-and-invention/ despite being patented in 1801, Breguet’s first tourbillon was far from operational in the summer of 1801. After two experimental models (the watch n° 169 gifted to the son of London-based horologer John Arnold in 1809, and watch N° 282 completed in 1800 and sold much later by Breguet’s son), the first Tourbillon would not be commercialized until 1805.

Breguet #2567 pocket watch, circa 1812.

Breguet explained that “only thirty-five examples of the Tourbillon were sold between 1805 and 1823, the year of the maestro’s death, but his successors through to the present day have held it as their duty to perpetuate this exceptional expertise, while enriching it with fresh feats. Simple tourbillons or models equipped with additional complications, no watchmaking enthusiast anywhere in the world can fail to be acquainted with Breguet’s marvelous invention, which was given a second lease on life in wristwatch form in the 1980s, not to mention the many watch manufacturers that currently produce countless tourbillons.”

A Breguet pocketwatch with tourbillon, circa 1907.

To back this claim, and to commemorate A.-L. Breguet’s gift to watchmakers, and now to collectors, below we display several impressive tourbillon wristwatches offered by the namesake company of the man who invented this whirlwind. iW recently reviewed one of the latest Breguet tourbillon watches, the 2017 Marine Equation Marchante 5887, here: http://iwmagazine.com/featured-news/20170412/solar-flair-the-breguet-marine-quation-marchante/

Breguet 3795 with tourbillon and perpetual calendar in platinum.

Breguet 5347 Double Tourbillon with two independent tourbillons affixed by a bridge to a central plate.

The extra-thin tourbillon model Breguet 5377 in platinum.

Breguet 3797 Classique Tourbillon with perpetual calendar

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