Collecting Breguet Watches

-- Tuesday, 04 April 2006

Unique Breguet timepieces bear the name of the most prominent watchmaker of all times – Abraham-Louis Breguet. Nowadays, Breguet watches are found among the most desirable items sought after by numerous watch collectors and connoisseurs.

Monsieur Breguet devoted himself not just to developing innovations in the area of timekeeping – he was also interested in such things as telegraphy and made significant contributions to the progress of science and technology in general. Breguet watches have drawn interest in personalities who were overwhelmed
by the same quest for novelties.

Sir David Lionel Salomons was one of the most passionate and successful collectors of Breguet timepieces. The English collector and the watchmaker were united by their humanistic ideals and firm belief in progress. The estate belonging to the Salomons family in Kent, southern England, became the first residence to be fully wired for electricity. Sir David Lionel was an eager collector of automobiles at a time when the automobile industry was still in its infancy. He also organized a photo studio in the house where he lived. The mechanical creations of the French watchmaker aroused deep admiration in Sir Salomons who worked as the director of the City of London Electric Lighting Company. However, his horological collection was started just in the last decade of his life.

The first timepiece for the collection caught Salomons’s attention when he was passing by the window of a merchant’s shop in Regent Street of London. The Marie Antoinette watch, the most complicated timepiece developed by Breguet, was highly distinguishable among other timepieces on display. It gave the start for an impressive collection of about 100 watches. After Sir David passed away in 1925, his wife inherited the part of the timepieces, but according to the collector’s will the Jerusalem Museum housed the more important part of the collection. The watches, including the famous Marie Antoinette, should have remained on public display at the museum, if they had not been stolen by some culpable thieves who penetrated into the Jerusalem Museum in 1983. We may draw the conclusion that the thieves were fulfilling the task of some mad collector. If they had tried to resell the watches, the Breguet creations would have been immediately recognized by any appraiser.

The part of the collection which belonged to his widow was auctioned in 1964 and the timepieces were acquired for extremely high prices worth the precious artworks. Edgar Mannheimer, a dealer form Zurich, purchased a large selection of Breguet watches for collector Thomas Engel. Mr. Engel received patents and honorable prizes for his numerous bright ideas, including below-the-turf heating pipes developed to keep soccer fields free of snow. The inventive personality of Mr. Engel was fascinated by the unique gift of master-watchmaker reflected in every Breguet creation. The collector continued to acquire Breguet timepiece and soon was dreaming of establishing and supporting the museum to offer his collection on public display. But the negotiations with one Swiss and three German cities led to no results except for collector’s disappointment. So in 2001 Engel auctioned a part of his collection, disabling Breguet’s passionate admirers to witness his matchless collection.

Fortunately, there are also successful stories about collectors of Breguet watches. At present, the largest English private collection of horological items was accumulated by Lord Harris (1889-1984.) the collector was particularly interested in French watches dating back to the time of the French Revolution with Abraham-Louis Breguet timepieces being the real stars of this period. The beautiful collection of watches elaborated by French masters may be witnessed by the public.

Breguet replica watches join the rich world of reliable timekeepers created by a very talented master watchmaker. Anyone may try building one’s own collection of replica watches as their price makes it possible to own numerous timepieces to wear on different occasions.

Article source: http://www.watch-clone.com/replica-breguet.html

About the Author

About the author: Anastasia writes articles about different watch brands and watch collections
for sites offering information about timepieces or involved in selling
watches on-line http://www.watch-clone.com.
Being a passionate watch enthusiast, the author enjoys researching into the field and sharing her own
experience.

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