Width: 17.400 cm
Depth: 17.400 cm (box)
Height: 12.550 cm (box)
M&ME CAI 2066
Room 38-39: Clocks and Watches
Marine chronometer no. 2741 by Breguet et Fils
Presented to Monseigneur Belmas, Bishop of Cambrai
Towards the end of the eighteenth century improvements in the timekeepers used for finding longitude at sea were, to a large extent, achieved by English chronometer makers, particularly John Arnold and Thomas Earnshaw. Nevertheless, the great French clockmakers were also striving for the same goal and makers such as Ferdinand Berthoud, Pierre Le Roy and Henri Motel all played their part. One of the most celebrated of French clock and watch makers was Abraham-Louis Breguet and although his workshops were primarily concerned with the making of watches, he also made a number of marine chronometers.
This example was completed in 1813 and used as an experimental piece by Breguet himself until 1822. It was presented to his friend Monseigneur Belmas, Bishop of Cambrai to whom it was inscribed:
'Premiere Piece ou la Comunication du Rouage au Régulateur S'Opère Sans Frotement. Executée en 1813 par Breguet No 2741 Pour Mr Belmas ami de l'auteur.'
machine itself has a
E. Breguet, Breguet: watchmakers since 177 (Paris, Alain de Gourcuff, 1997)
G. Daniels, The art of Breguet (London, Sotheby, Parke, Burnett, 1975)
A.G. Randall (revised by R. Good), Catalogue of watches in the -1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)