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How It’s Made: Inside The Breguet Castle Of Complications - Reprise | Quill & Pad

How It’s Made: Inside The Breguet Castle Of Complications – Reprise | Quill & Pad

Few will look at Breguet’s plant from the inside, and the individuals who do by and large don’t will take photos of what they see. This modernized processing plant in the core of the far off Vallée de Joux with its many added foyers, mysterious entryways and interesting manufacturing capacities has for some time been an enviously monitored secret.

Entrance to the Breguet manufacture

Perhaps a piece of the explanation is that when you walk through the fantastic entryways of Breguet, you may not understand that this area used to be called Nouvelle Lémania. Lémania, established in 1883 by Alfred Lugrin as an unadulterated development creator in L’Orient, was purchased by similar gathering of investors who possessed Breguet in 1992 (who rebranded it Nouvelle – “new” – Lémania SA).

Nouvelle Lémania continued to create developments for different brands – especially with Swatch Group-claimed Omega, with whom it shares a long history – yet turned out to be straightforwardly connected with Breguet in the advanced time by righteousness of its chain of proprietors. At the point when the Swatch Group bought Breguet in 1999, it likewise took over Nouvelle Lémania.

Commemorative plaque in floor outside new addition to the assembling: “The first stone laid on September 28, 2001 by Monsieur Nicolas G. Hayek and his child Nick”

In 2001, Nicolas G. Hayek added an excellent new extension to the building presently housing his gathering’s crown gem and renamed it Breguet Manufacture. This is commemorated by a plaque implanted into the floor of the production line that peruses, “The principal stone laid on September 28, 2001 by Monsieur Nicolas G. Hayek and his child Nick.”

Breguet started extending buildings again in 2011 because of increasing interest and growing space needs. One more 8,000 square meters are intended to be finished around the finish of 2014 to house cutting edge offices and employees.

Movements from crude materials

Much ado has been made over the course of the years about the revival of the handcrafts, for example, guilloche that have now discovered a home at Breguet Manufacture. Subsequently, one effectively fails to remember that this huge production line with many representatives additionally integrates all the means expected to make a development from the beginning/p>

This begins on the ground floor in the materials office, where we find reels of metal and steel required for the CNC machines to plant and bore plates and bridges.

Even the crude development materials are of the greatest quality, as the head of development creation once advised me. Indeed, once upon a time, he was explicitly requested by Hayek Sr. to “make the most delightful items on the planet and to secure the climate at the equivalent time.”

Beveling at Breguet

It has the look

The look of a Breguet watch is maybe the main piece of its branding on account of ideas and goals set somewhere near Abraham-Louis Breguet directly toward the beginning. The littlest trademark subtleties put the whole history of one of these watches in plain view, ensuring that the customer comprehends it is of the greatest nature of the Swiss specialty of watchmaking.

Therefore, the rooms housing the experts for finishing techniques are among the biggest in the entire industrial facility. Anglage is vital to very good quality finishing, and Breguet gloats at any rate 40 representatives capable in the specialty of it, all working in an incredibly enormous and sufficiently bright room.

Blued hands, a mark component of Breguet watches, happened through Abraham Louis actually la for Breguet “address basic” (“simple reading”). Blue, instead of gold, hands are basically simpler to peruse against the setting of a light-shaded dial.

While in Breguet’s time, and indeed even today in some little workshops, steel hands were tempered over an open fire, in the Breguet industrial facility today they are blued in a broiler to guarantee the predictable cornflower blue coloring.

The guilloche office at Breguet


And then there is the guilloche, which is maybe the single most unmistakable component of a Breguet watch. All Breguet watches have some type of ordinary guilloche on their dials aside from the Type XX and Type XXII models and some adorned with mother-of-pearl. And all Breguet dials are made of strong gold with the exception of the Réveil (caution) models, which need metal to speed up resonance.

Breguet consequently expected to train its own skilled workers in the specialty of guilloche since the sheer numbers it required surpassed the limit of Switzerland’s solitary experts and dial producers back in the early “noughties.” The quartz crisis, obviously, caused a large number of these high quality artworks to almost become extinct.

Breguet guilloche dial on a Marine model

Today, there is a room in the Breguet processing plant looking out on the rolling slopes of the Vallée de Joux that holds not just a few vintage rose engines and straight cutters, yet in addition in any event eight new machines made by Breguet’s own toolmakers.

The hand-worked machinery required for guilloche has not been produced for around 50 years. The formation of each dial can require as long as eight hours depending on the picked example, and Breguet’s necessities actually surpasses its own ability, so the production line continues to get some made by outside craftsmen.

Each Breguet dial is additionally set apart with what Breguet calls the “single number.” This is the number that ensures the watch’s origin and provenance.


Breguet tourbillons being ready for get together into movements


Abraham-Louis sold around 30 tourbillons during his lifetime; normally an outstanding number of them in the mid 1800s.

Therefore, it should scarcely come as an amazement to discover that Breguet is the biggest maker of tourbillons in the western present reality. The Swatch Group doesn’t communicate numbers, yet industry insiders gauge that this brand produces somewhere in the range of 1,000 and 2,000 tourbillons per year.

The tourbillon office thusly utilizes twelve watchmakers who collect the developments using pre-amassed subgroups. A straightforward tourbillon requires every one three days to complete, the greater part of which is spent exclusively on the reglage. Half of these talented watchmakers are women.

One measurement that may knock your socks off: Breguet uses seven diverse tourbillon cages in an incredible 21 distinctive tourbillon movements!

Innovative products

In the previous decade, around 95% of the assortment has been supplanted with new models, and in any event one completely new development is introduced each year. One of these from 2013 was La Musicale, which you can hear playing its music in the short video above. Within this time span the quantity of workers has likewise increased from 250 to more than 1,000, despite the fact that Breguet produces less pieces each year than, say, Patek Philippe. Also, in excess of 100 licenses have been registered.

Marc Hayek has revealed to me a few times over the recent years that the forward push toward perpetually innovative items outside the tourbillon is completely in keeping with the original inventive soul of Breguet. Furthermore, I’m certain it is.

* This article was first distributed on March 19, 2014 at How It’s Made: Inside The Breguet Castle Of Complications .

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