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Basel World 2011 - Breguet: a never-ending quest for technical innovation

23/03/2011

Despite the crisis that struck the entire watchmaking industry in 2009, the Swatch Group and Breguet – its flagship Fine Watchmaking brand – stayed the course as they succeeded in not laying off a single employee while continuing to invest in research and development. This proactive policy enabled them to introduce in 2010 a number of technically innovative pieces such as the Réveil Musical or the Type XXII watch, the first mass-produced mechanical chronograph with an escapement operating at a frequency of 10Hz – thanks mainly to silicon. These two models are the product of advanced research on the use of new materials that add real value in watchmaking. For example, Liquidmetal® was employed to create the Réveil Musical’s membrane, a component that transmits the pin barrel’s vibration to the combs and transforms it into sound audible to the human ear. This membrane also ensures that the watch is water-tight to a depth of 30 metres, despite the openings in the caseback that allow optimal propagation of the sound while the music is playing.

This ambitious investment policy has enabled Breguet to file over 100 patents during the past decade, since its purchase by the Swatch Group. It is also thanks to this policy, as well as to continual innovation, that the company is able to proudly present a revolutionary new model in 2011: the Classique Hora Mundi, the first mechanical watch with an instant time-zone display and a memory featuring synchronised date, day/night and city indications.