On June 14, 2013, Breguet celebrates the official opening of its largest store yet. Located at the Langham Hotel in the Xintiandi area in Shanghai, this exclusive 598 m2 space symbolises the brand’s ambition. Breguet intends to offer its growing number of demanding customers in Shanghai a boutique every bit as exceptional as its watch creations. Breguet’s President & CEO Marc A. Hayek made ??a special trip to China for the occasion to inaugurate this unique boutique, the brand’s 33rd worldwide, during a ribbon cutting ceremony. The third Breguet Museum, located on the store’s second level, is also exclusively revealed to the Shanghai public. In parallel, Breguet has put on a preview for China of its traveling exhibition “Breguet the innovator. Inventor of the tourbillon.” Launched in Geneva in January 2013, this retrospective looks back at the history of one of watchmaking’s most significant inventions.
Breguet makes it a point of honor to select the most prestigious locations for its boutiques. The Maison is keen to establish its presence in places imbued with symbols that reflect its rich history and identity, perpetuating its amazing cultural heritage while pursuing technological innovation.
Breguet lost little time deciding to open its new Chinese outlet in the Xintiandi area, where tradition rubs shoulders with modernity. At the crossroads of Chinese and Western cultural influences, this famous district of the city of Shanghai is full of upscale establishments and shops, now complemented by the new Breguet space.
The Breguet boutique at the Langham Hotel is an architectural gem. Its 598 m2 space on three levels is discreetly hidden behind a full freestanding glass façade. Its radically novel design features a unique LED technology that allows light beams to propagate through the glass over a distance of 8 metres. The façade is also decorated with a delicate guilloché-worked “Clous de Paris” pattern extending onto the stone part of the building as a three-dimensional impression. The fine guilloché work creates unity across the different materials used in the store’s design.
The shape of this magnificent setting has not been left out of the equation. For the first time, Breguet welcomes customers in an ovoid space, echoing the shape of the first wristwatch in history, created by Breguet between 1810 and 1812. No detail is left to chance and visitors who enter the premises are immediately transported into the world of the brand. Throughout the course of the visit, the Breguet boutique at the Langham Hotel offers the public a magical journey through time and continents.
On the first level, the well-rounded furniture perfectly follows the lines of the building. It showcases the Manufacture’s collections that everyone can admire, with a look back at the old masterpieces made by A.-L. Breguet for such figures as Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte.
The second level of the shop houses the third Breguet Museum in the world after Paris and Zurich. Antique timepieces belonging to the Maison’s legendary historical heritage are on display, in testimony of its brilliant past. Some twenty outstanding pieces – pocket watches, carriage clocks, subscription watches and marine chronometers – covering some 200 years of history, are offered for public view. Among these masterpieces, pocket watch No 2667 is one of three watches made by Breguet with two movements to illustrate the phenomenon of resonance. The other two, sold respectively to King George IV of England in 1818 and King Louis XVIII of France in 1821, are conserved in a museum in Jerusalem. Dating from 1814 and purchased in May 2012 by the Breguet Museum, this piece of incredible rarity is the most expensive antique Breguet watch sold at auction to date.
Finally, the last level of the shop transports visitors to Switzerland. Through interactive thematic films, Breguet lovers are invited to discover the work of artisans who work in the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux. The art of guilloché work and the fine bevelling, polishing or chasing operations are some of the disciplines to be explored there.
Maintaining the ancestral know-how which has made each Breguet watch unique since 1775.