1780 - Self-winding watches
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.