Breguet Tourbillon, 3350, White Gold

£33,000
Watchdrawer

First introduced in 1988, the reference 3350 is the first tourbillon wristwatch ever produced under the historic Breguet name. The movement was developed by Daniel Roth, whilst he was Master Watchmaker at Breguet, working closely with the Lemania movement manufacturer. Years later, Roth would use the same ébauche in the tourbillons he produced under his own name, as an independent watchmaker.

The origins of Breguet

Born in Neuchâtel, Abraham-Louis Breguet would go on to pioneer significant technical and aesthetic innovations during his career, with his influence carrying through to the present day.

The watchmaker spearheaded several inventions, including the over-coil hairspring and the tourbillon, which he first invented in 1795 and patented in 1801. It is no coincidence that he remains the most cited reference point for accomplished watchmakers centuries later, from George Daniels to François-Paul Journe.
The brand bearing his name enjoyed success during the 18th and 19th century, producing pieces for distinguished European figures, from King Louis XVI to Queen Marie Antoinette.

As its moved into the 20th century, the brand dramatically changed its focus, principally producing pilot’s chronographs for the military. Though they occasionally made more classical timepieces - such as one of only three retrograde perpetual calendars from the 20th century - their focus was decidedly more utilitarian than Abraham-Louis Breguet had initially intended.

In 1970, Jacques and Pierre Chaumet took over Breguet, in the hopes of reinvigorating the brand and renewing the connection between the Breguet name and high-end watchmaking. Shortly thereafter, the brothers closed the French factory and moved production to the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland, the epicentre of Swiss watchmaking.

In order to restore the brand to its former glory, Jacques and Pierre would need a Master Watchmaker to help. They approached Daniel Roth, who’d demonstrated his talent over seven years working at Audemars Piguet, which he’d joined as the only watchmaker who didn’t come from Le Brassus, the brand’s historic home. Inspired by the work of the famous watchmaker, Roth agreed to help resuscitate the manufacture, though only after going back to school to further study Breguet’s archives and techniques.

François Bodet, the director of the brand, and Roth worked together to define the Breguet aesthetic in wristwatch form, as well as introduce a range of new models and complications to their collection. The engine-turned dials, coin case and distinctive Breguet hands have become signature features of these pieces. From perpetual calendars to tourbillons, they embraced the high-end complicated watchmaking first personified by Abraham-Louis Breguet.