This week, with the opening of the latest edition of contemporary art fair Frieze in New York, a new partnership will be unveiled that may not seem modern or innovative at first: the alliance of Frieze and Breguet, the heritage watch The brand was founded in 1775 by the visionary watchmaker Abraham Louis-Breguet.
“The name Breguet carries such seriousness because it is associated with Abraham-Louis Breguet back in the 1700s, when everything he invented was utilized in some way, shape or form,” podcast Scottish Watch’s Co-founder Rikki Daman explained. This includes the brand’s first wristwatch launched in 1810, as well as the tourbillon and many other innovations.
Now, Breguet is enjoying a new moment, driven by interest from young collectors and new timepieces that blend the brand’s signature craftsmanship with a somewhat more casual aesthetic. Dammam said the brand was potentially positioned to be the same as Vacheron Constantin, as he said, “Vacheron Constantin has gone from zero to hero over the past few years. Breguet could be next to do that”.
Today, for example, Breguet debuts a new iteration of its Heritage line of watches, the Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597. It combines the classic elements you’d expect from a traditional luxury watch — like dark guilloché enamel, hand-engraved gold — with modern touches, including silicon parts that protect the watch from magnetism. Essentially, it’s an update to the brand’s so-called order watch, the first single-hand pocket watch introduced at the end of the 18th century, bought with a down payment. “We think that, artistically speaking, the Heritage collection is very consistent with the Frieze collection,” said Lionel a Marca, Breguet’s CEO since August 2021. “It is very modern in appearance, although it has found its roots in the past”.
There’s also the new Marine Hora Mundi, a sporty version of a uniquely styled Breguet first introduced in 2011. It is both rugged and refined at the same time. Its detail is an ornate surface depicting a map of the world, in which the ocean is depicted with more guilloche. With a dark blue dial of 42.9 mm, it is an extremely elegant statement watch; it is also water resistant to 100 meters, can be set to two time zones, and is powered by an in-house movement specially tuned to make it Stronger and with movement in mind.
“There are a lot of good things about this watch: the guilloche, which of course is an anchor from the past, and then there are a lot of technical innovations,” says A Marca.
“It is both present and past,” he added.
While it’s bold on the wrist, the Marine Hora Mundi also has a subtle feel, as it downplays some of the brand’s most unique details, like the gorgeous Arabic numerals and a hollow circle at the pointy corners of the hands. (Their styles are often referred to as Breguet numerals and Breguet hands, which is no coincidence – Monsieur Breguet also invented these, and they are used by other companies as well).