Abraham-Louis Breguet was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1747 but moved to Paris in 1775. A peerless technician, Breguet invented mechanisms that constituted wonderful advances in watchmaking, notably the tourbillon regulator, an astonishing device that corrected the effect of gravity on the balance wheel.
Watches, clocks, and measuring instruments, accompanied by portraits, archive documents and patent applications, shed light on the developments pioneered by Breguet from his early years in Paris to the period when he handed the business over to his son, Antoine-Louis.
TIme pieces on view include, for example, a Turkish Watch (image at left)
This name was used to denote watches produced specially for the Turkish market by Breguet. Turkish watches have enamel dials and very distinctive numerals in Turkish characters. The cases are also highly distinctive: sometimes double, enameled throughout and richly decorated with floral motifs and landscapes. The last watches and clocks with Turkish numerals date from the late nineteenth century, when the firm still had a representative in Constantinople.
A catalogue of the exhibition, Breguet and the Louvre, An Apogee of European Watchmaking, edited by Marc Bascou and Emmanuel Breguet, has been co-published with Somogy, € 39
Musée du Louvre Website