Breguet At the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
World-renowned watch brand, Breguet, celebrated the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums’ announcement of the curation of “Breguet: Art & Innovation in Watchmaking” to launch in September 2015 at the Legion of Honor. This historic exhibition marks the largest collection of Breguet antique timepieces ever to be shown in the Americas. An exquisite evening gala began with cocktails at the Tourbillon Boutique San Francisco in where VIP Guests were given a preview of the exhibition with a rare look at three historic Breguet timepieces from the Breguet museum in Place Vendome, Paris: Breguet N°2655, Breguet N°3519 and Breguet N°4111. The festivities continued from the boutique in Union Square, San Francisco, to the Legion of Honor, where guests arrived to a sunset view of the Golden Gate bridge to enjoy a private dinner at the museum?the location of the future exhibition. In attendance to mark the occasion of this ground-breaking partnership were members of the Board of Directors of Montres Breguet and representatives of the Legion of Honor. Remarks were given regarding the importance of this collaboration in furthering the mission of the museum, as well as the watch brand’s passion for preservation of arts and culture worldwide.
Spanning fifty years of horological innovations by founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet (often regarded as the “Father of Modern Horology”), the future exhibition will showcase antique Breguet timepieces as well as instruments of measurements. Best known for its marquee innovation, the tourbillon?a device that neutralizes the negative effects of gravity in pocket watches, the expansive exhibition will also feature a wide array of pocket watches, travel clocks, as well as rare prototypes. The collection will educate the viewer on the ingenious mind of a watchmaker who gave the world more than watches?it left a timeless legacy of innovative engineering. In a time before electricity lit Parisian streets to become the City of Lights, the Breguet workshop on 39 Quai de l’Horloge, was creating fashion-forward and technologically advanced timekeeping devices that revolutionized the concept of personal timekeeping.
From Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, to Queen Victoria, to Tsar Alexander I, Breguet was the premier watchmaker to all of Europe’s nobility from the late 18th to early 19th centuries. Most notable of all of his creations linked to a monarch is the Breguet No. 160, better known as the “Marie-Antoinette”?the Mona Lisa of timepieces, which took the House of Breguet 44 years to complete. Today, historic Breguet timepieces can be seen on display at museums all over the world such as London, Saint Petersburg, Milan, and Jerusalem.
Now led by the Swatch Group, under the guidance of President and CEO Mr. Marc A. Hayek, the Breguet brand continues to innovate in the spirit of the founder with high-tech and elegant creations that bring modern watchmaking to the next phase of engineering. Recent collections boasting patented magnetic pivots in the revolutionary Chronométrie wristwatch, and with extensions to ladies pieces in the iconic Reine de Naples collection in tribute to Caroline Murat for whom the first wristwatch was created by Breguet, the brand forges ahead to lead the prestige watch industry.