"He drew out the most delicious thin watch that Breguet had ever made. Fancy, it is eleven o’clock, I was up early."
Honoré de Balzac
Eugenie Grandet, 1833
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), a dazzling chronicler of contemporary society, was well aware of the cultural implications of the name of Breguet. In two other novels of his Comédie Humaine he endows his characters with Breguet timekeepers, explicitly attributed to the great watchmaker:
'He turned towards the mantelpiece, noticed a little square box on it, opened it and found inside it a piece of paper covering a Breguet watch.'
Honoré de Balzac. Le Père Goriot, 1834.
'A fine gold chain hung from the pocket of his waistcoat, where a flat watch could just be seen. He toyed with the "ratchet" key which Breguet had just invented.'
Honoré de Balzac. La Rabouilleuse, 1842.