In 1775, the reign of Louis XVI just took place and ushers in a new wind over France. The King is favorable to the arts, and Breguet takes advantage of it to start its own business. He is successful up until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. The unstable climate in Paris forces him to flee his adopted country, and he returns to Switzerland. When he comes back, Abraham-Louis Breguet sets out to rebuild his business and find a new clientele.
Strip spring wrapped around the movement, which the striker of a repeating watch hits to make a gonglike sound. Breguet invented the gong spring in 1783, and it was a turning point in the history of watchmaking. Replacing the traditional bell, it considerably reduced the thickness of chiming watches. Soon adopted by the majority of watchmakers of his time, the gong spring sounded the death knell of the earlier bulbous “turnip” watches.
Breguet quarter repeating watch No. 4270, grande sonnerie in passing. Sold on July 9, 1825 to Mr Suzanne de Bréauté the Elder. The gong-spring can be seen along the inner edge of the caseband.