The Breguet firm was founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775. His first location was at 51 Quai de I’Horloge in Paris. He was able to open his first workshop because of the dowry earned from the wedding of the daughter of a wealthy French bourgeois to his son. He became known in the circle of scholarly people and mathematicians.
Queen Marie Antoinette became interested in the new self-winding watch and ordered a watch with all the functions available at the time. The watch became known as the Marie Antoinette (No. 160). Louis XVI also purchased several watches.
In 1807, the firm became known as Brequet et Fils when the firm took on Louis Antone as his partner. Abraham-Louis Breguet died in 1823 and the firm continued under the leadership of Louis Antoine. When he retired in 1833, the firm was taken over by his grandson, Louis Clement Francois. Abraham-Louis’ great grandson was the last family member to run the firm. He had two sons and a daughter that did not have an interest in joining the business so watchmaker Edward Brown took over the Paris factory. After Breguets death, Brown took over the leadership of the business until his death in 1895. At that time, his sons Edward and Henry took over. In 1900, Henry Brown became the head of the firm when his brother, Edward, retired.
Popular watches were the Classique, the Marine, the Heritage, La Tradition and the Type XX, XXI.
Some of the company’s most well-known clients besides Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were Napoleon Bonaparte, Tsar Alexander of Russia, Leo Tolstoy, Victor Hugo and Aristotle Onassis.