The History of the Montres Breguet ‘Pare-chute’

Montres Breguet Pare Chute Watch

Breguet timepieces not only boast a refined and legible design, a trademark for the House, but inspired the aesthetic and trends of many timepieces today. Celebrated as the initiator of neo-classical style in watchmaking, it was also Breguet’s innovative spirit that not only captivated numerous personalities, but continues to surprise and appeal to this day.

A scientist and technician, Abraham-Louis Breguet was the genesis behind some of the most important, desired and influential inventions in horology that remain prevalent today.

In his quest to improve precision and reliability to timepieces, one of Breguet’s most celebrated inventions was the shock protection system known as the pare-chute, created in 1790 and a fore-runner of all modern shock-absorbing devices today. He observed that the if the watch suffered a blow, the pivots of the balance wheel were the most vulnerable, so Breguet decided to give them a cone-shaped form and to hold them in place with small dishes, mounted on a strip spring. Breguet started testing this invention, which was to make his watches infinitely less fragile and thereby enhance their reputation even further. Legend has it that Breguet demonstrated the validity of his invention to a passionate crowd, by throwing his watch on the floor – as a deathly hush descended – the watch is picked up and passed around, allowing everyone to admit if it still worked as well as it did before. With his sardonic wit, Breguet enquires, “Does this devil Breguet always have to go one better?”.

Having perfected this system, from 1792, Breguet equipped all of his watches with the pare-chute, the modern “incabloc” and shock protection mechanism.

The Tradition 7027, avant-garde in its aesthetic, celebrates this invention via the beautiful positioning of the central barrel as well as the symmetry of the gear trains and balance, all designed by a brilliant pioneer of both techniques and design.

Discover the Tradition collection and the pioneering spirit of the brands founder here.