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Breguet

Named after Abraham-Louis Breguet, one of the greatest and most innovative watchmakers of all time, and boasting a rich history that dates back to 1775, Montres Breguet produces some of the finest Swiss-made luxury timepieces money can buy.

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Type XX – XXI – XXII Go To Top

Breguet Type XX 3820
Stainless Steel, Black Dial
Arabic Markers, Luminous

Breguet Type XXII 3880
Black Arabic Dial, 44MM Case
Breguet Box & Papers

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About Breguet Watches

A brand that carries on the rich legacy of its founder, one of the greatest watchmakers of all time, Abraham-Louis Breguet, Montres Breguet makes some of the finest high-end Swiss-made watches in the entire world. During the days of A-L Breguet, his timepiece creations were favored amongst the world's royalty, and the likes of Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Caroline Bonaparte, the Queen of Naples, were loyal clients. Vintage Breguet pocket watches are particularly notable because they showcase many of the inventions and innovations of the founder, not to mention the exquisite artistry and expert finishing that was expected of the watchmaker's prestigious clientele.

Today, most of the Breguet catalog is comprised of classic-styled watches with ornate engine-turned dials like the Classique and Tradition models, many of them boasting high complications, such as the tourbillon, which Abraham-Louis Breguet first invented. However, the brand does offer a few sportier models too like the Marine and Type XX thanks to its history with the French Navy. For ladies, Breguet honors its heritage of making timepieces for royalty with the Reine de Naples (Queen of Naples) collection as well as lavish high-jewelry watches.

By reinterpreting traditional watchmaking techniques and designs for a modern audience and infusing them with cutting-edge innovations, Breguet watches are admired by high horology enthusiasts and discerning watch collectors.

The History of Breguet

Founded in 1775, the early years of Breguet's history were shaped by its founder’s mechanical inventions and design innovations. Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747 – 1823) made several key contributions to horology; for example, he invented the tourbillon mechanism (1801) for pocket watches as a way to offset positional errors caused by the effects of gravity when a timepiece sits in one stagnant position for too long. Before that, however, Abraham-Louis Breguet also developed the “perpétuelle” watch (a self-winding pocket watch) in 1780, a balance spring with a Breguet overcoil (a mechanism still used today by many brands) in 1795, and the shock protection system known as the pare-chute in 1790. Besides technical innovations, Breguet is also behind many classical watch design details such as the hollow circle-tipped Breguet hands (1783) and artistic Breguet numerals.

Breguet also lays claim to the world's very first wristwatch (however, Patek Philippe does too), commissioned by the Queen of Naples in 1810 and delivered in the form of an "oblong-shaped repeater for wristlet" in 1811. Perhaps the most famous Breguet timepiece is the Breguet No. 160 grand complication, more commonly known as the "Marie-Antoinette." Commissioned by an admirer of Queen Marie-Antoinette, Grand Complication No. 160 was only completed after the deaths of both the queen and the watchmaker.

The watch was then stolen from a museum in Jerusalem in the 1980s; and in the mid-2000s, the modern-day Breguet brand set out to build a replica. Valued at $30 million, the Breguet No. 1160 "Marie Antoinette" made its debut in 2008—the very same year the stolen original piece resurfaced.

After many ownership changes taking place in the late-1800s and throughout the 1900s, Montres Breguet joined the Swatch Group in 1999 and remains as an integral part of the watch conglomerate's portfolio today.

Breguet Watch Models

Below are some of the most famous Breguet watch models, which range from traditional timepieces to sporty watches to gem-set creations.

Breguet Tradition

  • To attract a larger audience, A-L Breguet developed the "souscription watch" concept where buyers would pay a down payment to place an order with the balance due upon delivery. Characterized by a large central barrel and a going train symmetrically arranged on either side of the barrel, the souscription caliber powered a single hand on the dial to indicate the time. Although Breguet's Tradition watches now includes both an hour and a minute hand, the collection pays tribute to those original souscription watches by displaying the beautifully symmetrical movement architecture on the dial side.

Breguet Classique

  • Breguet's flagship collection, the Classique line celebrates A-L Breguet's technical innovations and unique design language. Many Classique watches feature the distinct Breguet hallmarks such as fluting around the casebands, blued Breguet hands, Breguet numerals or Roman numerals, and engine-turned guilloché or grand feu enamel dials.

Breguet Classique Complication

  • The Classique Complication line houses Breguet's extraordinary grand complications, often featuring A-L Breguet’s most famous invention, the tourbillon. There are also double tourbillon watches, perpetual calendar paired with tourbillon watches, and minute repeater watches.

Breguet La Marine

  • In 1815, King Louis XVIII of France appointed A-L Breguet as the Chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy. The contemporary Breguet La Marine collection is a modern-day tribute to that marine chronometer heritage but reinterpreted as sportier timepieces.

Breguet Type XX / Type XXI / Type XXII

  • In the 1950s, the French Ministry of Defense released a bid request for military-grade flyback chronographs for its air force, which it called Type 20, and Breguet became a supplier of these military pilot watches. The modern iterations of these vintage aviation timepieces are called Breguet Type XX watches in honor of the original military procurement specifications. Rounding out the collection are the larger Type XXI models and the high-frequency (10Hz) Type XXII models.

Breguet Héritage

  • A departure from the familiar classic round silhouette, the Héritage collection offers watches with curved tonneau-shaped cases while still retaining the familiar Breguet aesthetic.

Breguet Reine de Naples

  • Inspired by a wristwatch designed for Caroline Bonaparte, the Queen of Naples, the Reine de Naples is Breguet's collection of ladies’ watches, featuring distinct egg-shaped cases.

Breguet Price Information

As one of the finest Swiss watchmaking brands in the market, Breguet watches are accordingly expensive. For men's watches, retail price ranges from just under $10,000 for the steel Type XX chronograph to hundreds of thousands of dollars for gem-set grand complication pieces.

How much is a Breguet watch?

Model

Reference  Case Movement  Retail Price (MSRP)
Tradition 7097 7097BB/G1/9WU 40mm; White Gold Cal. 505 SR1; Time Only $33,500
Classique 5711 Grand Feu Blue Enamel 5177BB/2Y/9V6
38mm; White Gold
Cal. 777Q; Time/Date $23,700
Classique 5157 Extra-Plat 5157BR/11/9V6
38mm; Rose Gold
Cal. 502.3: Time Only $18,800
Classique Complication 5367 Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367BR/29/9WU
41mm; Rose Gold
Cal. 581; Tourbillon $147,500
Marine Chronograph 5827 5827BA/12/5ZU
42mm; Yellow Gold
Cal. 583 Q/1; Chronograph $30,900
Type XX 3800 3800ST/92/9W6
39mm; Steel
Cal. 582; Flyback Chronograph $9,500
Type XXI 3817 3817ST/X2/3ZU
42mm; Steel
Cal. 584 Q/2; Flyback Chronograph $13,900
Héritage 5410 5410BB/12/9VV 42mm x 35mm; Rose Gold Cal. 516 GG; Time/Date $27,700
Reine de Naples 8967 8967ST/E8/786 43.75mm x 35.5mm; Steel Cal. 591C; Time Only $21,000

Breguet Partnerships and Celebrity Clients

Breguet does not engage in the same brand ambassador marketing that is typical of other luxury watch brands. Instead, it aligns itself with arts and culture, by cultivating partnerships with opera houses, museums, and symphonies around the world. Breguet also recently established a relationship between its La Marine collection and the Race for Water Foundation.

Although Breguet may not have a roster of celebrity ambassadors, the brand certainly counts many high-profile personalities as clients. Country singer star Luke Bryan wears a Breguet Marine Royale while soccer phenom Ronaldo has been spotted with a Breguet Double Tourbillon Platinum paved with diamonds gleaming on his wrist. NBA player and well-known watch collector, Carmelo Anthony has a Breguet Marine Royal Alarm within his vast timepiece collection. Breguet has also made its mark in movies and television with Ben Affleck sporting a Tradition Tourbillon while playing Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight film, Martin Freeman wearing a Type XX as Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes series, and Robert De Niro wearing a Breguet Classique in the movie Limitless.

Related brands to consider: used OMEGA Watches

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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.