Emanuel Breguet: Carrying The Glory Of Ancestors And Working Hard

Recently, the Breguet Museum has harvested two masterpieces of Breguet that have an important position in the history of fine watchmaking with a record transaction price of nearly 7 million Swiss francs. The two Breguet antique watches purchased at the Christie’s auction in Geneva are by far the highest transaction prices of Breguet antique watches in the auction market. The legendary Breguet family, which spans the aviation and watch industry, has once again become a hot topic. .
Emmanuel Breguet
     Emmanuel Breguet, 50, is the founder of Breguet and seventh of Abraham-Louis Breguet, one of the greatest inventors in the watch industry. Successor, 19 years as the curator of the Breguet Museum at Place Vendôme in Paris. Prior to pursuing Breguet’s family business, Emmanuel focused on historical research, and particularly outstanding research results in military and civil aviation. His book ‘The Century of Aviation’ was recently published. Rigorous and ‘unusual’ Emmanuel is a trait inherited from the ancestors of the Breguet family.
’21st Century’: Can you tell us about the two Breguet antique watches you bought at sky-high prices?
     Emmanuel: The first antique pocket watch was made in 1814. The ultra-thin pocket watch with double movement uses resonance technology and was sold for more than 4 million Swiss francs. Its creator, my ancestor A.L. Breguet’s design philosophy was to use this to prove his theory: two independently oscillating escapements will affect each other in extremely close spaces. What’s special is that it has two independent dials, one with Arabic numerals and the other with Roman numerals, which reflects Breguet’s sophisticated aesthetics and genius’ innovative ability. Another antique pocket watch is a repeater with a time equation (true solar time) display. Its special questioning rule is divided into hour, half hour, quarter clock, half quarter clock (more than half minute clock function than the ordinary minute repeater). The ‘Superbly Complicated Function Table’ made in 1827 was sold for more than 2.5 million Swiss francs. It also has automatic almanac display function and manual perpetual calendar display, mean time and accurate solar time are displayed at the same time. These two masterpieces have been preserved in the Breguet Museum.
’21st Century’: Has the Breguet family been engaged in the watch industry for seven generations?
     Emmanuel: I was lucky to have been born into an interesting family. My ancestors had inventors, artists, and pilots. Three generations since A.L. Breguet are watchmakers, obsessed with the invention of mechanical structures, and invented tourbillons, watches, clockwork and other vital devices in the watch industry. The third generation changed industries and became interested in high-tech communication equipment such as television. When he was grandfather, he suddenly became fascinated with flying machines. It was the most avant-garde thing of that era. Grandfather was a very important pioneer in the aviation field. I was interested in history studies, and when I became a student studying history, I started to really understand my ancestors. I must first become a historian. My personal feelings are not important. Studying my own family is just like studying any other subject. I must be completely objective and neutral.
’21st Century’: To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the first watch in the history of Breguet’s watchmaking, Breguet held an exhibition on the theme of the ‘Queen of Naples’ series at the Swatch Peace Art Hotel Center last month. Why? Will this series focus on?
     Emmanuel: Since the brand was founded in 1775, Breguet has customized watches for many members of the royal family, including the Napoleon family and the Russian tsar. It is a brand steeped in European history and has many stories such as the Queen of Naples. For Breguet, the most complicated watch ever produced was commissioned by a lady, the Queen Marie-Antoinette pocket watch. Breguet also created very interesting watches for Queen Josephine and Napoleon’s wife; Queen Marie-Louise, Napoleon’s second wife, and Caroline Murat, what we call today the Queen of Naples (Napoleon’s sister). Today, the Breguet brand still firmly believes that women have excellent understanding and appreciation of fine watchmaking. Some other competing brands think just the opposite. They believe that complex watches are made for men, and women do n’t have to.