Diameter: 5.930 cm
M&ME CAI 1848
Room 38-39: Clocks and Watches
Silver cased chronometer with tourbillon and spring-detent escapement
London, England, 1774 and Paris, France, AD 1808
Tourbillon watch by Arnold and Breguet
In spite of the troubled times caused by England's war with France after the French Revolution (1789-1792), Abraham-Louis Breguet managed to visit London in the 1780s. He was introduced to John Arnold, one of the leading chronometer makers of the time. The mutual admiration which grew between the men, two of the most inventive horologists of the time, was demonstrated by Arnold sending his son, John Roger Arnold, to work with Breguet. The younger man worked with Breguet at the Quai l'Horloge, Paris for two years between 1792 and 1794.
Such was the
relationship between the Arnold and Breguet families that fourteen
years later, in 1808, Abraham-Louis Breguet sent this converted
piece to John Roger Arnold as a gift. Breguet's work is
based on an original piece by John Arnold (pocket chronometer no.
11). John Roger Arnold probably took the piece with him to Paris,
perhaps as a gift for Breguet from his father. Between 1792 and
1794, Breguet added his new revolving carriage, which he called a
To commemorate the gift to John Roger Arnold, Breguet added a plate inscribed '1ER REGULATEUR A TOURBILLON DE BREGUET RÉUNI A UN DES PREMIERS OUVRAGES D'ARNOLD. HOMMAGE DE BREGUET, A LA MÉMOIRE RÉVÉRÉE D'ARNOLD, OFFERT A SON FILS AN 1808' - 'The first tourbillon regulator by Breguet incorporated in one of the first works of Arnold. Breguet's homage to the revered memory of Arnold. Presented to his son in 1808'.
G. Daniels, The art of Breguet (London, Sotheby, Parke, Burnett, 1975)
R. Meis, Das Tourbillon: Faszination de (Munchen, Verlag Laterna magica, 1986)
A.G. Randall (revised by R. Good), Catalogue of watches in the -1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)