Breguet marked World Tourbillon Day today with festivities in its boutiques in Zurich, New York and Taipei. Revolution’s Swiss Editor, Sophie Furley, joined the celebrations in Zurich and got to see one of the last remaining tourbillons made by Abraham-Louis Breguet’s own hands.

On June 26, 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet patented a revolutionary mechanism that neutralized the effects of gravity providing incredible precision in mechanical timepieces. This invention was an engineering feat that cemented the illustrious watchmaker’s standing as one of the most innovative figures of all time. The date now marks World Tourbillon Day and was celebrated in a number of the brand’s boutiques across the world.

Portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet
Portrait of Abraham-Louis Breguet

Surprising as it may seem, A-L Breguet only made 35 tourbillons in his lifetime, of which only 10 are known to exist today. One of these tourbillons was the star of the show at Montres Breguet’s Zurich boutique World Tourbillon Day celebrations and was in full working order thanks to being meticulously wound by Emmanuel Breguet, descendent of A-L Breguet, Breguet historian and also the newly-appointed Vice-President, Head of Patrimony and Strategic Development for the brand.

This precision pocket watch No. 1188 was sold to Don Antonio de Bourbon, Infante of Spain, in 1808, and is one of the most fascinating pieces in the brand’s heritage collection. It is being exhibited at the Zurich Boutique this summer so if you find yourself in Zurich, we can definitely recommend a detour. In addition to this historical tourbillon, the boutique has also turned its first floor into a museum with numerous Breguet timepieces that retrace the history of the brand and its famous founder. The exhibition is free and is located on 31 Bahnhofstrasse, a ten-minute walk from Zurich’s main railway station.

Historical Tourbillon Nº 1188
Historical Tourbillon Nº 1188
Breguet Tourbillon Nº 1188
Historical Tourbillon Nº 1188

Breguet also owns two other historical tourbillon pocket watches, No. 1176 sold by A-L Breguet in 1809 and No. 2567 sold in 1812, along with original records listing every single historical creation that are in the brand’s archives in Paris.

Breguet No. 1176 (Image: Christie's)
Breguet No. 1176 (Image: Christie's)
Breguet No. 2567
Breguet No. 2567

But if history or World Days aren’t really your thing, the boutique is bursting with modern-day tourbillons such as the Classique Tourbillon Manual Wind Collection, the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Thin Collection, chronograph tourbillons and numerous other Tourbillons à Complications, including the Tourbillon Messidor with its mysterious tourbillon and the brand’s iconic Double Tourbillon.

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra Plat 5367
Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra Plat 5367
Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra Plat 5367
Breguet 5367 mouvement assembly
Breguet 5367 mouvement assembly

So, whether you enjoy historical tourbillons or the more modern-day complication, World Tourbillon Day is well worth the celebration and is definitely here to stay!