The Breguet & Fils Paris 2667 Precision 4 is an exquisite vintage timepiece, It's one of the most expensive watches in the world today. This magnificent watch was crafted more than a century ago, by the highly respected luxury brand Breguet, which has been around for over two centuries. AT the last sale, the value was placed at $4.68 million with the fortunate winner placing the highest bid at an auction held in Geneva on May 14th of 2012. To understand the value and gain a full appreciation of this ultra rare piece, requires a closer look and examination of its history, significance within the history of the brand as well as its place within the sphere of horology as a whole.
The specifications of the Breguet & Fils Paris2667 Precision 4.
This lovely watch is commonly referred to as the Breguet & Fils, Paris, Number 2667 is also known as the ''Montre plate à deux mouvements, sur le principe des chronomètres.'' This example is made of precious metals in an elegant design reminiscent of an age long past. The precise date of manufacture is unknown, but it is assumed to be sometime after the founding of the Breguet watchmaking company in 1770 and the sale date of the watch in 1814.
The case of this watch is a circular four body "forme quatre baguettes styling made of the finest 18k yellow gold. The pocket watch case features an engraved numbering for purposes of distinction with a 2667 and an additional case number by Jean Louis-Joly, indicating 1887. Such attention to detail was a trademark of Breguet, which was known for ensuring that their creations were unmistakably unique and recognizable.
The dial presents a lovely light silver background of machine turned material with a unique pattern that is barely legible, yet it adds the element of slight texturing as a visual benefit. Upon the dial are elegant displays of English numerals as well as Arabic suspended numerals. These are housed within the two sub-dials located side by side at the 3:00 and 9: o'clock positions, displaying the mean time to the left. The hands for the subdial on the left are yellow gold Breguet and the hands to the right are made of blued steel, creating a contrasting theme fo the dial. The width of the dial is 63.7 mm. Radial Roman numerals outline the outer minute track. The dial has a simple appearance which adds to its aura of elegance and sophistication.
The movement is unique, particularly for the era in which it was designed. It is a 26" gilded brass manufacture featuring two entire mechanisms which are housed inside a single plate. It is fully jeweled and each has going barrels with straight line calibrated lever escapements, with bimetallic compensation balances of steel and platinum, fastened with platinum and gold screws, and blued steel Breguet free sprung balance springs, according to Christies. The movement is among the most fascinating attributes of the watch and it has undergone a thorough inspection as a mechanical wonder which was but a step forward in the evolution of such complicated movements. The support of two fully functional subdials wasn't new, but it wasn't standard at the time either.
All things considered, this was quite the innovative timepiece at the time of its manufacture. It was an expensive, one of a kind and extremely rare pocket watch which was born with a badge of prestige for the owner and a high monetary and inherent value as well, particularly to watch enthusiasts, such as Mr. Garcias. It takes a special type of person to willingly make such a large investment in a timepiece when there are so many other less expensive versions available. Watch lovers and collectors are indeed a rare breed who have discriminating tastes. They know what they like and will settle for nothing less.
The history of the signed Breguet et fils number 2667
The Breguet & Fils, Paris, No 2667 Precision 4 was created, so far as anyone knows as a single example, which was sold for the first time to a Mr. Garcias of London for the amount of 5,000 Francs in August of 1814. The next recorded sale occurred on May 14, 2012 at a Christie's auction held in Geneva, where the winning bidder paid an astounding $4.69 million for the privilege of ownership, according to Wiki. The Breguet broke records when it sold for $4.68 million, but it would be surpassed by yet another example from the famous brand.
Breguet has a rich and storied history as a fine Swiss watchmaking company that began centuries ago in 1770, around the time of the American revolution. While still in its infancy, the brand was creating some of the most spectacular innovations in watchmaking design and technology for its age, thanks to the master craftsmen painstakingly researching and hand assembling the complicated movements and intricately designed mechanical workings which were the power sources for the complications of the functions which were so easily accessed on the dials of the pocket and wrist watches they produced. The name of the brand is synonymous with luxury as well as high quality. Breguet has been around for centuries and when an example such as the Breguet & Fils Paris 2667 Precision 4 surfaces, it's a big deal and a media worthy event. Although the precise history is not fully known, what is known is enough to validate the $4.68 million price tag achieved at the most recent Christies auction where this ultra rare pocket watch was sold to the highest bidder. It's an important piece of history and it gives us a snapshot in time that transports us back to an era when exciting things were happening in horological circles.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson