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Thread: Breguet in San Francisco at Legion of Honor

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    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    Breguet in San Francisco at Legion of Honor

    I just saw a poster today for an amazing exhibit at one of the more quiet museums in San Francisco (California), celebrating the history of Abraham-Louis Breguet with 75 of the watches in the collection of the Breguet museum. A quick bit of online research makes this look like a really good exhibit for us watch lovers in northern California. It's here from September 19, 2015 to January 10, 2016

    https://legionofhonor.famsf.org/exhibitions/breguet

    Watch Insider has an interview with the 7th generation Breguet grandson and historian for the company.

    http://www.watch-insider.com/news/br...nuary-10-2016/


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    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this!
    I was recently at the Hougoumont museum on the Waterloo battlefield
    They had a room on the importance of time in a battle, from synchronising attacks, to rates of infantry fire.

    There was a panel on Breguet and his recent (for 1815) technical achievements. A list of his officer clients at the battle included Wellington and Napoleon, and there was this quote:

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    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhDark30 View Post
    Thanks for posting this!
    I was recently at the Hougoumont museum on the Waterloo battlefield
    They had a room on the importance of time in a battle, from synchronising attacks, to rates of infantry fire.

    There was a panel on Breguet and his recent (for 1815) technical achievements. A list of his officer clients at the battle included Wellington and Napoleon, and there was this quote:

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    This prompted me to look for Wellington's Breguet. Unfortunately I couldn't find the one he wore at the battle but I did find this:

    http://www.nam.ac.uk/waterloo200/200...post-waterloo/

    A watch commissioned by Napoleon's brother Joseph, it was Wellington who ended up buying it after marching into Paris after Waterloo. Originally engraved with a map of Spain (Joseph was appointed King of Spain by Napoleon) Wellington had an extra cover made with a portrait of a lady named Marriane Paterson he was infatuated with. Unfortunately it seems to be in private hands so probably not part of this exhibition.

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    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    In my mind, all of us watch aficionados can learn a lot from the history of watchmaking. I find it beautiful and fascinating. My wife and I are making plans to see the Breguet exhibit in the next month or so.
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywatch View Post
    In my mind, all of us watch aficionados can learn a lot from the history of watchmaking. I find it beautiful and fascinating. My wife and I are making plans to see the Breguet exhibit in the next month or so.
    I'm jealous! I am quite literally almost on the antipode, the other side of the world from California, as far as I could be. I'll have to make do with a book I suppose. I just recently received a copy of George Daniels' Art of Breguet.

    Interestingly I saw this video recently, about the recreation of the no.160 Marie Antoinette pocket watch (the recreated 1160 is going to be on show of course!!). This was before the stolen original was recovered so they had to depend on drawings and photographs to recreate it. You can see some of the materials around the 5:16 mark and Daniels' book appears to be THE main reference that helped them recreate the watch.

    While the scene might be staged for the video along the lines of Der Amf's recent thread, it is revealing that the pictures are from Daniels and they also show a cad overlay on top of one of Daniel's pictures. Several of the technical drawings in that scene are also from the book as Daniels drew some detailed outlines of individual mechanism within the Queen's watch when he photographed and inspected it before it was stolen.

    Last edited by tempocalypse; Sep 18, 2015 at 05:23 AM.
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  10. #6
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Breguet in San Francisco at Legion of Honor

    Thanks for the story of the Joseph Bonaparte/ Wellington Breguet, tempocalypse!

    This hobby of ours has opened so many doors of geography and history (mainly Russian) to me.

    (eg recently, a Pobeda showing a monument to the Scuttled Ships of Sevastopol in the Crimean War 1854:
    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showpost.php?p=175288
    An unexpected plus :-)
    Last edited by OhDark30; Sep 18, 2015 at 07:10 AM.
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    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    I will going to see it this weekend. Can't wait!
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

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    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    Reviving my old thread, because Mrs. skywatch and I were able to go see the Breguet exhibit while puttering around San Francisco on her decade birthday two weekends ago. I finally pulled the photos off my iPhone to show here. The exhibit is very hard to photograph, because the low ambient light, plexiglass cases and very shiny gold surfaces. Plus, my old iPhone3 imparts a bit of a sheen on everything. I must say, the level of engineering in these old watches and clocks is stunning, almost miraculous. I also developed more appreciation for the unusual asymmetries such as the sub-seconds dial at 4:30-5:00 region, among other things.

    One of the earliest "subscription watches"

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    beautiful enamel casework

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    Here's the uncentered seconds on a tourbillon (hidden mechanism)

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    Marine chronometers for the French navy

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    the largest of four rooms in the exhibit, carriage clocks in center

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    Mrs. skywatch through the glass

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    Some of our favorites

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    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

  15. #9
    Thanks for sharing, Skywatch. Beautiful time pieces in all their variety. Must have been great to see.

    Jane

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  17. #10
    A very interesting thread, which I somehow missed the first time around. Terrific information and photos!
    Eterna | Tudor | Seiko | Casio | G-Shock | Orient | Swatch | Mondaine | Zodiac (pre-Fossil) | Rolex | Wenger | Pulsar Time Computer | Omega | Timex | Bucherer | Citizen | Bulova | Glycine

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