Breguet, not just a watch brand, but a legend in the world of watchmaking. Back in 1775, while Mozart was composing his early masterpieces, Abraham-Louis Breguet in Paris created a watch brand that would forever define luxury watches. Breguet is not your ordinary fancy watch manufacturer; it’s like the Rolls-Royce in the car world – top-class, exclusive, and with a history that makes other brands pale in comparison. And only about 18,000 watches are produced each year!
When we talk about Breguet, we’re not just in the company of incredibly beautiful watches, but also a host of historical celebrities. Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France from 1804 to 1814, who changed the map of Europe, did so with a Breguet on his wrist. And he was not alone. Queen Marie Antoinette and Tsar Alexander I were also on the Breguet wagon. These were not just random customers; they were some of the most powerful people of their time, and they chose Breguet. And then we have Winston Churchill, the man with the cigar and V-sign during World War II, who was also a proud Breguet wearer. These historical figures, known not just for their influence but also their style, chose Breguet for its elegance and innovation.
So with that in mind, let’s dive into what makes Breguet so unique in the world of watches. First, there’s their design and innovation. They are pioneers in watchmaking – think of the tourbillon, an invention by Breguet himself, that took the world by storm. A tourbillon is a sophisticated clockwork, designed to increase precision by counteracting the effects of gravity on the watch’s movement. This mechanism ensures that the watch’s internal parts rotate at a constant rate regardless of how the watch is positioned, ensuring incredible accuracy. It is a true marvel of horology, combining technical achievement with aesthetic elegance. Each watch is a work of art, a perfect blend of tradition and technology.
Now, when comparing Breguet with other high-end watch brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, or Audemars Piguet, it’s clear that Breguet plays in its own league. While Rolex screams status, and Patek Philippe is all about heritage, Breguet is a symbol of refinement and technological finesse. It’s not just a watch; it’s a statement – proof that you value craftsmanship, history, and innovation. And at the same time, it’s much, much more.
Just a decade ago, owning something like a Rolex Submariner was the pinnacle of luxury watches – a symbol of both status and refinement. But times change, and what was once extraordinary has now become more mainstream. Among Wall Street’s Yuppies in the 1980s, one of the hottest items was a Rolex Datejust, in gold, sure, but still what today is among the entry models in Rolex’s product catalog.
Here, we see a clear upward trend. A Rolex – or indeed any luxury watch – in steel, was once something that got noticed. But as luxury watches became more and more common, it was no longer enough in itself to stand out. Something more was needed – different material on the bracelet. We first saw a movement towards two-tone watches, the combination of, for example, gold and steel, and later watches entirely in gold, rose gold, or white gold. There have been periods where there couldn’t be enough diamonds on the dial, bezel, and even the bracelet, and today it’s even more exclusive materials, like platinum you need to shop for, if you really want your Rolex watch to stand out from the crowd. Owning a platinum watch is not just a matter of money; it’s about showing that you dare to invest in something even more unique and valuable.
And now, in today’s watch world, we are witnessing a further shift. It’s no longer just about the choice of material, but about individuality and uniqueness. Ultra high-end watches priced over 500,000 kr. are no longer just status symbols; they are personal statements. Consumers are seeking something that not only stands out but also carries a deeper story and artistic value. They want watches that not only impress but also tell a story of craftsmanship and unique creations. This shift towards individualized, artistically driven watches is not just a trend; it’s a new era in the world of luxury watches.
When watch enthusiasts reach the pinnacle of material selection options, a new question arises: How can one continue to stand out? The answer lies in choosing even more exclusive and niche-oriented brands. This is where Breguet re-enters the spotlight as a true candidate for this quest for uniqueness.
Breguet is not just a luxury watch; it’s a piece of living history and craftsmanship. Once collectors have explored gold, platinum, and even the rarest materials, they turn their gaze to brands that offer something more than just material value. Breguet stands as a symbol of watchmaking that transcends the ordinary and enters realms of cultural and historical significance.
It’s not only Breguet’s extraordinary quality that attracts; it’s also the brand’s ability to tell a story through each watch. From being on the wrists of historical figures like Napoleon and Winston Churchill to introducing revolutionary technologies like the tourbillon, Breguet offers a depth and richness that goes beyond the purely material.
In a world where material choices eventually reach their limit, the brand’s heritage and its unique contributions to the art of watchmaking become the new distinguishing factor. Breguet stands as a flagship within this category, offering both the technical wonders of watchmaking and an unparalleled historical allure. For the true watch aficionado, Breguet thus becomes the ultimate choice – a symbol of both personal taste and a recognition of the noble craft of watchmaking.
But why is all this interesting for UrHandleren Invest? Isn’t it more of a blog post suited for UrHandleren.dk – our retail watch dealer? Not only… At UrHandleren Invest, we try every day to anticipate trends and tendencies, analyze the market and consumer behavior. Because it’s simple math and basic learning from business school; when the demand for a product increases and is not met by a correspondingly higher supply, then prices rise. And that’s what we predict will happen with Breguet.
Despite Breguet being part of the mighty Swatch Group today and thus in the family with brands like Omega, Blancpain, Tissot, Certina, and many more, and thereby having access to almost limitless resources, Breguet insists on producing most of its works and components in-house. Watchmaking at this level is engineering and craftsmanship at its finest. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t increase production significantly before running out of qualified labor in Vallée de Joux, Switzerland, where Breguet is produced today. And that’s quite simple to explain. Alongside Breguet, in this small provincial town in western Switzerland with just under 7,000 inhabitants, we find exclusive manufacturers like Blancpain, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and about a dozen others. So there is indeed fierce competition for well-trained watchmakers, and they are in every way a scarce resource.
So, back to business school and the first lesson of the subject “marketing”. Supply and demand determine the price. Today, an exclusive Breguet watch can be traded on the efficient market for about half the official list price. So, there is not yet a greater demand than the supply can keep up with, and this is reflected in the price. But as we have argued earlier, we believe we are seeing a shift in the coming years. And when we talk about such small, exclusive, and niche producers like Breguet, it doesn’t take much to push the curve and thus the price.
As mentioned, Breguet is broadly traded at about half the list price. Imagine a scenario where increasing interest means that we see prices on the grey market approaching index 80 of the list price, it effectively means a value increase of 60% compared to current prices. Is it realistic within a couple of years? We actually believe so! And if we dare to look into a situation where we see grey market prices at the level of list prices, we are talking about a 100% return on an investment today!
Does that sound unrealistic? It’s the same situation we have seen with Rolex over about a decade. When Daniel Nielsen founded UrHandleren.dk in 2012 and the years forward, the key product was Rolex watches below list price! Today it is Rolex watches at market price – what they are really worth – without waiting lists. And here we are talking about a manufacturer that produces around 1,000,000 million watches a year. Something significant has to happen on the demand side before it affects the price.
Swatch X Breguet?
And then there’s the Swatch wildcard as the final argument. It has probably not escaped anyone’s notice that the Swatch Group has in the past two years significantly stirred up the watch industry, which in some ways had become stagnant. First, in March 2022 with Swatch X Omega; Moonswatch – a kind of Swatch version of the iconic Speedmaster produced in so-called “Bioceramic,” basically plastic. And later in September 2023 with the launch of Swatch X Blancpain, Fifty Fathoms, also in plastic, but with a mechanical movement.
After Moonswatch became a worldwide sensation, which also helped to raise Omega’s profile and resulted in a significant increase in the sale of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch – the “real” moon watch, Blancpain clearly hoped to raise its own profile by becoming known to a wider audience through its own collaboration with Swatch.
Is it utopian to imagine that the next Swatch X collaboration, if there are more to come, could be Swatch X Breguet, and a bioceramic version of the Breguet XX watch? I very well believe, looking at all the classic producers under the Swatch Group umbrella, that Breguet XX could be the next watch they decide to tackle. And if that happens, an entirely new group of buyers will open their eyes to Breguet, a group of buyers who probably hardly know the brand today. And then we can only speculate about the popularity the brand would achieve.
This thought is not unique to us. Luxurybazaar has also toyed with the idea and made a series of predictions on what Swatch X Breguet XX could look like. I think it looks exciting!
If, after reading this blog post, you find yourself dreaming of owning a Breguet watch, either on your wrist or in your investment portfolio, you won’t have to search for long. We currently have a single Breguet Classique Tourbillon in stock at UrHandleren.dk and UrHandleren Invest. It is a true showpiece with huge investment potential.
The watch is crafted in 18 kt. solid rose gold, characterized by its hand-engraved silver dial with Roman numerals, blue hands, and the transparent back case, which offers a glimpse into the watch’s advanced mechanics. The watch measures 39 mm and is mounted on a leather strap with a folding clasp, also in 18 kt. rose gold. At the heart of the watch, you find Breguet’s own Calibre 587 DR Automatic movement with an impressive 5 days of power reserve.
The current price of the watch, as of the end of November, is 499,900 DKK, which is roughly half the list price. You can see more pictures and a video of the watch here – or you can book a viewing in either Aarhus, Charlottenlund, or privately at your own home here.