Breguet Chronograph, Ref. 3237, Yellow Gold

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This Chronograph reference 3237 was one of the first models introduced after the rebirth of Breguet under the Chaumet Brothers and master watchmaker Daniel Roth. The watch combines a classic gold case with a hand-finished guilloche dial, and is powered by the Lemania 2310 ebauche.

The Origins

In the midst of the Quartz Crisis, the brothers Jacques and Pierre Chaumet wanted to restore the brand to its former glory and were looking for a Master Watchmaker who could help. When applying for the role, Roth made a rather unusual choice – he sent a two-page CV, one page detailing everything he knew and another detailing all the things he had yet to learn. This brazen honesty clearly impressed the Chaumet brothers and François Bodet, the Director of Breguet at the time, as they decided to hire him.

Evidently dedicated to his craft, Roth decided to go back to school to further study Breguet’s archives and techniques, a decision he made entirely by himself, rather than it being a requirement imposed by his new employer. During his year of further education, he learnt everything he could about Abraham-Louis Breguet, a watchmaker who had pioneered significant technical and aesthetic innovations throughout his career. Breguet spearheaded a number of inventions, including the overcoil hairspring and the tourbillon, which he first invented in 1795 and patented in 1801. At the end of his year of study, Roth produced a perpetual calendar pocket watch, which was then sold to help offset the cost of his studies in Le Sentier. Finally, in 1973, he was ready to take-on the task of reviving one of the most storied names in horology. No small task.

At this time, Breguet was still very much a French brand. Their production took place in France and their only store could be found, as expected, in Paris. Unfortunately, the centre of watchmaking had moved away from the French capital, and now firmly resided within Switzerland, where the finest watchmakers and suppliers were based. Roth knew that if he was going to bring the Breguet name back, he would have to move their watchmaking operations to the Valleé de Joux. As such, he helped the brand establish a workshop in Le Brassus in 1976.

During his fourteen years at Breguet, Daniel Roth and François Bodet 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 became signature features of these pieces. From perpetual calendars to tourbillons, they embraced the high-end complicated watchmaking first personified by Abraham-Louis Breguet.