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.
Production of the first “touch (à tact) watch”.
Breguet equipped these watches with mechanisms that enable their wearers to tell the time by touch alone. A pointer on the outside of the case mirrors the position of the hour hand of the watch. By feeling the position of the pointer, the wearer can deduce the time from its position in relation to studs aligned with the hours. Available for purchase starting in 1799, the touch (à tact) watch (sometimes known as the "watch for the blind") lent itself to a great wealth and variety of embellishment, including enamel, pearls, and diamonds. With a few exceptions, the touch system was confined (for obvious reasons) to simple, nonstriking watches.
Small (médaillon) touch (à tact) watch No. 611 sold in February 18,1800, to Mrs. Bonaparte, later Empress Josephine.