Hands-on with Breguet’s Thinnest Ever Tourbillon…
On June 26, 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet patented the Tourbillon, changing watchmaking forever. As a testament to the complexity of his invention, Breguet sold only 35 timepieces in his lifetime. Just recently, Breguet’s third ever tourbillon, the No. 1176, sold for almost $1 million (purchased by Breguet, for its archives). Over two centuries later, the Breguet watch brand carries on A.L. Breguet’s legacy by producing 32 different tourbillon models, more than any other watch brand.
To mark today’s anniversary of the heralded tourbillon, I thought we should take a look at one of Breguet’s more recent tourbillon models, the 5377. The 5377 is in fact Breguet’s thinnest tourbillon watch ever produced, a mere 7mm thin. The 5377BR in gold case was introduced in 2013; a platinum reference, the 5377PT, debuted this year.
What was until now essentially an unknown dive watch made by Breguet in the 1960s, a rare Breguet Ref 1646, has been discovered. The authenticity of the watch initially unknown, an inquiry directly to Montres Breguet revelaed the No. 1646 was indeed authentic, and furthermore, was just one of 60 pieces made. What a find! In today’s highly canvassed vintage watch market, we don’t often see stories like this. The remarkable story of this Breguet No. 1646 dive watch, with lots of pictures, can be read at Passion Horloger>>>
The Breguet No. 1176 Regulator Four Minute Tourbillon Pocketwatch — Abraham-Louis Breguet’s first four-minute tourbillon — was sold today by Christie’s for $929,548 (821,000 Swiss Francs). It was purchased by Mark Hayek (President & CEO of Montres Breguet), which is not surprising — Breguet is known for scooping up pieces of historical importance such as this Four Minute Tourbillon. This is about dab smack in the middle of the forecast price range, so all in all not too bad for the Breguet collection. Please see my original report (April 24) for high-res images of the watch and detailed background information.
(821,000 Swiss Francs)
Purchased by: Mark Hayek (President & CEO of Montres Breguet), which is not surprising — Breguet is known for scooping up pieces of historical importance, this Four Minute Tourbillon being just one such example!
Offered at the upcoming Christie’s Important Watches Including Property from an Important European Collection, this Breguet No. 1176 pocketwatch circa 1809 is Abraham-Louis Breguet’s very first four minute tourbillon and only his third tourbillon watch ever made. As a Breguet aficionado whose blog was directly inspired by Breguet (his perpetuelles!), I am excited to see this piece — with its well-documented provenance and noble lineage — come to market. It is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of Breguet’s work to appear in public in recent years and will likely fetch more than the high-end estimate of $1,133,694 (it first sold to a Polish nobleman in 1809 for 4,600 Francs).
Below I’ll touch upon some of the highlights that I gleaned from Christie’s lot notes; I’ll also provide the official link for those of you who would care to partake in more of the details of this piece.