(b 1747; d 1823). Swiss watch-maker. In 1762 Breguet left his native Neuchâtel for Paris, where he remained for the rest of his life except for a period in the early 1790s when he fled the Revolution to live in Switzerland and England. Breguet was the greatest innovator in the history of horology, and a long series of technical advancements made him the greatest exponent of the precision watch. His company, Breguet et Fils, continued to make watches and other precision instruments throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1870 the company was taken over and split up, and the watch-making element was bought by the English watchmaker Edward Brown. In 1970 Brown's family sold the company, and after a series of changes in ownership it was bought in 1999 by the Swatch Group, which now manufactures mechanical Breguet watches (the brand has never been used for quartz watches) and maintains a Breguet museum.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.