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Abraham-Louis Breguet’s early years in Paris

Breguet began his apprenticeship and pursued his studies in France from 1762 onward. In 1775, aged twenty-eight, he got married and opened his own business on Quai de l’Horloge in Paris. Not until 1784, however, did he attain the status of master watchmaker.

Breguet forged a personal style by combining straightforward appearance with functional sophistication and meticulous execution. Unlike the fat, richly decorated watches typical of the late eighteenth-century, Breguet made slim timepieces with legible numerals and streamlined hands.

In 1783 he began equipping watches with a gong-spring that served as a chime. He improved the lever escapement and perfected cylinder escapements by using a ruby shell.

In 1786 the French government asked him to study the possibility of founding a Royal Clock and Watch Manufactory in Paris.