The memoirs of watchmaker A.-L. Breguet, timeless pieces of watchmaking history, were auctioned on May 7th for a record sum of 2.3 million Swiss francs to Nicolas G. Hayek, President and CEO of Montres Breguet, just before his unexpected death in late June.
Breguet’s unfinished memoirs disappeared after he passed away in 1823 . In early 2010, some of the nearly completed works were discovered. Seven manuscripts were in this collection, including:
1. The history of Breguet and his philosophy
2. One-hand watches and new repeater
3. Souscription watches and repeater mechanism
4. Perpétuelle watches and their repeaters
5. Equation of time, calendars and tourbillons
6. Marine horology
7. Marine chronometers, longitude watches, Breguet balance-spring
Many specialists consider this to be the most significant body of testimony in the entire history of watchmaking: an account of his career as well as a methodical review of his inventions. The auction process for these priceless documents was chaotic, with each manuscript going for four times its initial estimate, until the entire group of documents was regrouped into one lot and finally sold to the Breguet Museum after an intense competition among various institutions and private collectors. This collection, which may in due course be published, has regained its rightful place within the brand’s stunningly rich heritage.
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