History 1729-2014

Ever since its founding, Perrelet has consistently innovated in the field of horology, displaying an audacity firmly rooted in its DNA and its values. The inventor of the self-winding watch almost 250 years ago, Perrelet has faithfully cultivated its pioneering, avant-garde spirit as well as impressive mastery of its timepiece developments. Key values such as rigorous technical standards as well as extreme precision are placed in the service of a vision: that of perpetuating the watchmaking legacy of the brand’s legendary founder, Abraham-Louis Perrelet, as well as his successors such as Louis Frédéric Perrelet.


Birth of Abraham-Louis Perrelet in Le Locle, a Swiss village in the mountains of Neuchâtel. Fascinated by watchmaking professions, as a teenager he devotes himself to the construction of a certain number of precision instruments. The mastery of his art, his renowned skills and creative genius would make him one of the greatest watchmaking references of all time.


From the 1770s onwards, Abraham-Louis Perrelet applies himself to perfecting a system which, from one single initial impulse, would continue to function indefinitely. It was in 1777 that he develops his completely revolutionary invention – the self-winding or automatic movement. To this very day nobody has managed to improve on this to give life to mechanical calibers and his invention continues to make its mark on watchmaking history.


Abraham-Louis Perrelet develops the first podometer and also becomes the first person to create watches with a cylinder, duplex, calendar and equation escapements. He works on further refining gear trains and improving pinions, gears, the escapement as well as his unique automatic winding mechanism.


Heir to his grandfather’s watchmaking genius, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet is born in 1781. Demonstrating a predisposition for mechanics and mathematics, he is trained by his grandfather prior to moving to Paris to study in Breguet’s workshops. Thanks to his talent, he rapidly proves his skill as an independent watchmaker.


His growing interest in astronomy, physics and science leads Louis-Frédéric Perrelet to design so-called “intelligent” watches. An astronomical clock designed in 1815 and presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1823 results in him becoming watchmaker-mechanic to three French kings.


At the Exhibition of Products of French Industry, he presents a chronograph counter for physics and astronomy with flyback hand. This model, for which a patent is officially registered in March 1828, earns him a medal from the Académie des Sciences in 1830.


Honorary evidence of the extent of his reputation across Europe, as well as his talent and his perseverance, in addition to multiple gold medals, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet, is given the rank of Knight of the Legion of Honor.


The House of Perrelet develops, perfects and produces the first so-called “double rotor” caliber: a system unique in its kind, which connects the winding weight of the automatic system to a rotor on the dial side. The Dipteros model thus heralds an important phase for the future of the brand, and paves the way for future new and exclusive developments.


Perrelet presents the emblematic Turbine model. Inspired by the so-called “double rotor” movement, the oscillating weight on the dial side is transformed into a propeller which makes a striking impression with its extreme rotating speed. The Turbine thus opens the door to artistic and horological creations that are both unique and authentic.


Perrelet takes a decisive new step on the path towards autonomy by adopting and equipping most of its timepieces with Caliber P-321, the first Manufacture-made movement entirely developed and produced within its workshops. New horological complications are subsequently added to this base caliber. Perrelet thus acquires complete production autonomy, thereby securing both its creative freedom and its horological legitimacy.


Perrelet presents the Turbine Chrono, thereby demonstrating its creative ability to combine the Turbine effect with a watchmaking complication. That same year, Perrelet also launches his Turbillon model, a clever combination of the Turbine with a Tourbillon caliber, manufactured in its own workshops. Through its two great innovations, Perrelet provides irrefutable proof of its watchmaking expertise and its ability to constantly reinvent its “Turbine” concept.


The Turbine gains height. The company presents the Turbine Pilot: a tribute to the world of aviation which, like its Fine Watchmaking counterpart, is based on a blend of daring and calculation. This collection presents a Turbine combined with an aviation slide rule. That same year, Perrelet presents its Turbine Skeleton model combining the Turbine collection’s signature ten-blade titanium wheel with an entirely in-house made skeleton movement.


Perrelet celebrates the 20th anniversary of its iconic Double Rotor concept. With the First Class Double Rotor Skeleton collection, equipped with a Manufacture movement, Caliber P-481, Perrelet combines the horological tradition of its innovative Double Rotor with its expertise in the domain of skeleton-working.