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.
The Perpétuelle, the watch of kings par excellence.
The Perpétuelle is the name used by Abraham-Louis Breguet to describe his self-winding watches. The perfection of this system was the first major success of his career, at a time when several of his contemporaries were engaged in work on the problem without achieving any convincing results. Breguet became the first to discover, through his oscillating platinum-weight watch, a formula that would produce a reliable result. His first Perpétuelle was sold to the Duc d’Orléans in 1780, and from this time his self-winding watches were to bring him considerable fame both at the court of Versailles and throughout Europe. Unique in its time, both technically and aesthetically, the Perpétuelle – the watch of kings par excellence – remains today one of the most powerful symbols of the phenomenal creative genius of its inventor. The earliest of Breguet self-winding watches to have survived, the Breguet perpétuelle repeating watch no. 1/8/82, was completed in 1782. The oscillating platinum weight rewinds the watch automatically.