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Live from Time to Move: Manufacture Breguet

by Peter Chong on May 14, 2019

The second brand we visited is Breguet in Le Brassus.

Breguet now comprise of five buildings totaling 21,000 sm about 800 employees.

We started at the machining room. Full of multi axis CNC machines making the movement blanks and plates.

We next went to the beveling specialist. The raw piece is filed to beveled each part. The filing tool becomes smaller with each iteration. Especially the sharp inward angles.

Because every part is hand anglaged, Breguet maintains a team of 25 Specialist’s for anglage.

Next, hand engraving.

The engraving department. A total of 15 stations. About 20 artists working on 30 stations work on the guillocage.

Next, the largest guillocage room I have ever seen.

The technical artisans operating these machines require much more training than anglage and engraving.

Next the assembly of the movements. The department is well organized with strict schedules on the workflow.

As an example, torque screwdrivers are used to ensure proper torque.

Then casing dept where hands, dials and cases are fixed.

Assembly of grand complications:

We did a quick workshop on the tourbillon.

And finally the Restoration Departement. The department restores any Breguet watch from any time in her history.

We saw a piece from 1798 back for restoration to bring it as close as possible to the original. They use archives and other pieces that have been recovered. This was a souscription watch with only 1 hand, and Breguet had imagined it to be a series production watch. Making it lower.

Oxidation is removed. The original plate was made by a process with mercury, so they have to use a different method but with results as close as possible.

Pieces are also remade because it was broken. And the movement reassembled.

And a reproduction of the Marie Antoinette first shown in 2008. Also just restored.

The general impression is the scale of operations is massive.

Regards,
Peter Chong
Live from Le Brassus

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