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The Breguet Tourbillons

2004.04.12

THE ART OF PERFECT TIMINGA.-L. Breguet’s invention of the Tourbillon revolutionized the art of watchmaking in 1801 and set a new standard for timekeeping.For centuries, scientists and philosophers had used the term Tourbillon to refer to the regular rotation of planets around the sun, despite the world Tourbillon, or whirlwind, being somewhat of a misnomer for the ordered regularity of the universe. Like astronomy, watchmaking has precise and structured systems, so it was unsurprising that A.-L. Breguet borrowed the term to name one of the most significant advances in the industry’s history. In fact, Breguet had created his own little whirlwind, a mechanism that “shook up” the ordered components in a watch to ensure perfect timing...