Perrelet Watches

Watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet was a watchmaker extraordinaire in the 1770s. In 1777, he invented the automatic movement that works via a rotating rotor— the basis for all automatic watches today.  Perrelet was re-established in the late 20th century, and in 1995 released its Double Rotor caliber with two rotors, one on the dial side. That was followed by the Turbine model four years later, which has become another signature for the Perrelet. The watch features turbine-like blades, and a lower dial spins around revealing itself through the blades.

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History of Perrelet

Abraham-Louis Perrelet was born in 1729 in Le Locle, Switzerland. He was fascinated by watchmaking at a young age, and as a teenager, he devoted himself to the construction of precision instruments used in watchmaking. His commitment and talent would make him one of the greatest watchmakers of his time.

From the 1770s, Abraham-Louis Perrelet dedicated himself to finding a system in watchmaking whereby one single initial impulse would enable the system to keep going indefinitely. By 1777 he had developed what we know today as the automatic or self-winding movement. He is credited in the history books as the inventor of the self-winding movement.

Abraham-Louis’s grandson, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet, was born in 1781. It was soon evident that he had inherited his grandfather’s watchmaking skills. He had a strong affinity for both mechanics and mathematics. He first trained with his grandfather and, after that, at Breguet in Paris, before becoming an independent watchmaker.

Perrelet Relaunched

The Perrelet name was revived in 1995, and to celebrate the brand presented the Perrelet Double Rotor. This timepiece featured a single rotor visible on the dial side and a second one lying beneath it, enabling the wearer to see the mechanism in motion through the front of the watch. The Double Rotor model is Perrelet’s most famous timepiece and resulted from a collaboration with AHCI master watchmaker Paul Gerber.

Over the next decade, Perrelet suffered financial difficulties and was relaunched one more time in 2005 by the Festina Group. Perrelet introduced a host of complications following the unique double rotor, which met with resounding success compared to the initial 1995 revival.

The Perrelet Turbine Watch

The first Perrelet Turbine watch was presented in 2009. It took its inspiration from the aviation world. The successful double rotor movement was reused with a bit of a twist – the oscillating weight on the dial side is a propeller, like a jet engine turbine. The 12 blades of the “propeller” rotate just like a jet turbine, creating a striking visual display. 

Who Owns Perrelet?

The Festina Group, a private company, based in Barcelona, owns Perrelet. The group also owns L. Leroy, Candino, Festina, Lotus, Jaguar, and Calypso. Perrelet is based in Bienne, Switzerland, and produces an estimated 10,000 watches a year.

Fun Fact

The grandson of the founder of Perrelet, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet, was appointed watchmaker to three kings of France – Louis XVIII, Charles X, and Louis-Philippe.

Perrelet Collections

  • Turbine

  • Turbine Lady

  • Weekend

  • First Class

  • Diamond Flower