Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rolex History Puzzle Piece: Abraham-Louis Perrelet


...Rolex History Puzzle Piece...

Abraham-Louis Perrelet
Inventor Of The Self-Winding Watch
1729-1826

This is an absolutely fascinating vintage Rolex ad, which I believe is from the 1950s. It pays homage to Abraham-Loius Perrelet and discusses how Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex was inspired to perfect Abraham-Louis Perrelet's automatic movement.

This Rolex ad says:

"As simple as it was hard to find, the Rolex 'Rotor' the invention that solved the self-winding problem, owes its existence to the inspiration of Mr. Hans Wilsdorf of the Rolex Watch Company, and his brilliant technical Chief-Director M. Emil Borer."

This is a significant historical piece of the Rolex history puzzle, because nobody ever knew who M. Emil Borer was, since his name appeared on the Rolex patent application, but nobody knew who he was.

I just added this Rolex ad to The Complete History Of Rolex. Part 1: The Hans Wilsdorf Years, which is absolutely fascinating if you have not read it!!!



Abraham-Loius Breguet
1747-1823

It is fascinating to note that Abraham-Louis Perrelet sold several of his watches to a younger watchmaker who happened to have the same first and middle name, Abraham-Loius Breguet.

Breguet, as mentioned in the ad above, attempted to improve upon Perrelet's automatic watches and named his attempted design improvement "Perpetuelles." Perpetual is a French world for automatic. Breguet's "Perpetuelles" were never reliable and he stopped making them in 1800.

Abraham-Loius Breguet was a watchmaker apprentice in Versailles, and during the French Revolution (1789-1792) he went into exile in Geneva, Switzerland, and when he returned to France he became the principal watchmaker of the French Empire. Breguet was a profuse inventor and in particular his innovative improvement of the balance spring was later incorporated into many watches.

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