Churchill was just one of many high profile figures to select Breguet as his preferred watchmaker. A lifelong patron of the brand, Sir Winston Churchill wore his beloved Breguet No. 765, affectionately known as “The Turnip”, all his life. A replica of this exceptional rattrapante chronograph was made specifically for the film ‘Darkest Hour’ by the House of Breguet, and worn by Gary Oldman as the Prime Minister. Both the film and Mr. Oldman have been nominated for an Academy Award, taking place on Sunday, March 4, 2018 in Los Angeles.

The original Breguet No. 765, sits proudly on view at the Churchill War Rooms in London, as part of the Imperial War Museum, still in perfect working order. The replica created for the film is on display at Breguet Beverly Hills Boutique during the pre-Oscars week and will be exhibited at the Breguet booth at the Baselworld Watch & Jewellery Show in Switzerland from March 22-27, 2018.

Breguet recreates Churchill's pocket Watch No 765 for 'Darkest Hour'

Breguet No. 765 © Breguet

The Breguet No. 765, with minute repeater and split-second seconds hand, was commissioned in 1890 by Churchill’s grandfather, John Spencer-Churchill, the 7th Duke of Marlborough. It became Churchill’s favourite timekeeper but it was not his only Breguet. Churchill was a frequent visitor to the House, sometimes to make purchases and other times to have his pieces serviced. Like many men of his stature, the pocket watch was favoured over the wristwatch, which was becoming fashionable and considered the more practical choice by today’s standards; yet as a testament to Abraham-Louis Breguet’s keen eye for refined aesthetics, the unmistakeable Breguet style codes engineered in the 18th century continue to be honoured today. His design aesthetic is undoubtedly timeless as demonstrated by the current collections and notably the Classique Collection – the modern gentleman’s wristwatch of today. 

The Classique Collection exemplifies the watchmaking ideals of precision, clarity, and elegant lines; while Churchill’s pocket watch was laden with a heavy gold waistcoat-chain and a secondary small case for holding gold sovereigns, today’s pieces are ultra-thin, modern and sleek. Remaining true to the technical principles, artistry and the traditional values of the House, today’s wristwatches continue to showcase the revolutionary inventions of Abraham-Louis Breguet.   

Hailed for anticipating the modern chronograph (an invention that dates back to 1820) it can been seen today on a variety of models including: the Classique 5287, Marine 5827 and the Heritage 5400. 

Another important Breguet invention and movement that can be found in the Breguet No. 765, is the minute repeater. Having invented the gong spring in 1783, Breguet has continued to develop this movement in the constant pursuit to perfect this invention. An exceptionally useful invention, it was adopted immediately by most contemporary watchmakers who admired Breguet’s multiple striking mechanisms for repeating watches, in particular for the quarters, half-quarters and minutes. 

Today’s wristwatches not only showcase the historical artistry of the House of Breguet, but simultaneously epitomise the style of the modern gentleman. 

Breguet recreates Churchill's pocket Watch No 765 for 'Darkest Hour'

In September, 1999, the Swatch Group bought Breguet Watches Fake Replica in an investment group. It was the fantasy of the late Nicolas G. Hayek to own the brand. Hayek has been known to be absolutely obsessed with Breguet and often referred to his favorite new as the “Jewel of the Swatch Group.” Then he decided to generate a replica of the first solely predicated on written descriptions and drawings made through the pocket watch’s design and structure. Reproducing the 160 pocket watch into what’s the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette using just written and visual guides is among the most talked accomplishments in modern watchmaking. Remember the romance of the original? It had been commissioned by a fan of Marie Antoinette for her, back in 1783. It was finished afterwards she (and Breguet himself) died, and it represented what many argue was the pinnacle of Breguet’s lifework: to unite complications with everlasting beauty and mechanical fascination.The video further above is from the 2008 Baselworld watch trade show event where Nicolas G. Hayek is personally presenting the watch. It is just a few months following the 160 made headlines after being discovered again in late 2007. Even the wooden box produced for it was a marvel, using wood from a special tree made famous by Marie Antoinette that Breguet reportedly bought for something like 7 million Euros. If I recall correctly, the tree fell over naturally, but the condition upon which Versailles would sell the shrub to Breguet was whether it “donated” money for its restoration of the famed French palace.At 63mm broad in 18k gold, the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette attempted to replicate the initial 160 in every way possible from the complications into the crystal made of natural rock crystal. Along with the time and incorporating automatic winding, the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette pocket watch has a perpetual calendar, chronograph, minute repeater, thermometer, power reserve indicator and much more special technical characteristics which even today stay remarkable; all with a skeletonized, dial-free design.