Why owning a Breguet is like owning a piece of history

From royals to horologists, the intricate craftsmanship of the brand’s timepieces have captured the imagination of one and all


Anamika Chatterjee

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Published: Tue 2 Jan 2024, 5:54 PM

The French court of 1780s was a site of opulence. As the royal consort to Louis XI, Marie Antoinette came to be known for her extravagance and finer tastes in life. It is in this court that Abraham-Louis Breguet found his ardent supporter — in Marie Antoinette herself. She not only took a keen interest in Breguet’s creations but was an active supporter of his timepieces. Inspired by her, many noblemen in the court became curious about Breguet’s timepieces and many turned into admirers. The watch, stolen in 1983 from a museum in Jerusalem, was later recreated on the basis of archival pictures and descriptions, and is considered to be the fifth most complicated watch in the world.

Such has been the legacy of Breguet, the brand founded by Abraham-Louis Brequet. To own a Breguet timepiece is to own a piece of history itself. From royals to avid horologists, everyone has had a special place for Breguet’s timepieces for the historical imprint the brand has left. It is this imprint that is evident in the pop-up at Mall of The Emirates, which will continue till January 7. As we enter, the gaze automatically is directed towards a Type 20 Breguet that was delivered to the French Air Ministry on November 16, 1955. Instead of the front branding, it is engraved at the back of the watch and only 1,100 pieces are believed to have been made. Next to it is a vintage timepiece with Type XX chronograph, which was sold to the Moroccan Air Force on July 10, 1975. (The real difference between a Type 20 and Type XX, we are told, is in the layout of the dial and the functions that determine if the watch is meant for aviation or civilian use).

Photo by Rahul Gajjar
Photo by Rahul Gajjar

The intricate craftsmanship is evident even in the brand’s newest offering — Breguet 2057 and 2067. While there is a resemblance with the military-style watches exhibited, these come with notable enhancements. At 42 mm, the models may seem fairly humongous but the craftsmanship is visible with calibre 728 and 7281, which allow the timepieces to be more sophisticated while maintaining the look and feel of vintage pilot’s chronographs. The lug ends blend seamlessly and the finishing of the bezel is is almost flawless. As Abraham Koshy, COO of Rivoli Watches, says, “We take immense pride in launching the Breguet Type XX collection with a specially curated exhibition at Mall of the Emirates (MoE) showcasing the precision craftsmanship of the watches. The special activation at MoE stands as a bold initiative of creating a unique, first-hand opportunity for our customers to immerse themselves in this exceptional collection. Breguet Type XX collection through its Type 20 Chronographe 2057 military line and the Type 20 Chronographe 2067 civilian line, epitomises innovation while still retaining its brand heritage. We invite all our customers and watch aficionados to explore and experience the highest standard of luxury that defines the Breguet legacy with Rivoli.”

Check out the vintage and new collection by Bregeut at the brand’s pop-up at MoE that will continue till January 7.

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