Historical Figures of Maison Perrelet

Abraham-Louis Perrelet

Since its foundation, Perrelet has constantly innovated in the field of watchmaking, demonstrating a courage firmly rooted in its DNA and its values. Inventor of the automatic watch almost 250 years ago, Perrelet has faithfully cultivated its pioneering and avant-garde spirit, as well as its impressive mastery of watch development. Key values such as rigorous technical standards and extreme precision are put at the service of a vision: perpetuating the watchmaking legacy of the legendary founder of the brand, Abraham-Louis Perrelet, as well as his successors, such as Louis Frédéric Perrelet.


Abraham-Louis Perrelet was born in Le Locle, a Swiss village in the mountains of Neuchâtel, in 1729. Fascinated by the watchmaking trades, since adolescence he dedicated himself to the construction of a certain number of precision instruments. Mastery of his art, his recognized skills, and his creative genius would make him one of the greatest watchmaking references of all time.

Starting in the 1770s, Abraham-Louis Perrelet dedicated himself to perfecting a system that, from a single initial impulse, would continue to function indefinitely. It was in 1777 that he developed his completely revolutionary invention: the automatic movement. To this day, no one has managed to improve it to give life to mechanical calibers, and his invention continues to leave its mark on the history of watchmaking.

Abraham-Louis Perrelet didn't stop there, and through his own research, in 1780 he developed the first pedometer in history, once again measuring human movements and how they influence his developed mechanisms. He also became the first person to create watches with cylinder, duplex, calendar, and equation escapements. He worked to further perfect gear trains and improve pinions, gears, and escapements, as well as continuously enhancing his exclusive automatic winding mechanism.

Louis-Frédéric Perrelet

Heir to his grandfather's watchmaking genius, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet was born in 1781. Demonstrating a predisposition for mechanics and mathematics, he received training from his grandfather before moving to Paris to study and develop his skills in the most famous workshop in Paris, Breguet's workshop. Thanks to his talent, he quickly demonstrates his skills as an independent watchmaker.


His growing interest in astronomy, physics, and science led Louis-Frédéric Perrelet to design what are known as "smart" watches. He designed an astronomical clock, which was presented in 1815 at the 1823 Paris Universal Exhibition. This creation resulted in Louis-Frédéric Perrelet becoming the mechanical watchmaker to three French kings and thus creating the most luxurious watches of the time.

At the French Industry Products Exhibition, he presented a chronograph counter for physics and astronomy with a flyback needle. This model, whose patent was officially registered in March 1828, earned him a medal from the Academy of Sciences in 1830.

An honorary proof of his reputation throughout Europe, as well as his talent and perseverance, in addition to multiple gold medals, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet received in 1834 the rank of Knight of the French Legion of Honor, an honor shared by personalities such as Giuseppe Verdi, Victor Hugo, Louis Pasteur, or Pierre Auguste Renoir.

More about Maison Perrelet

Discover the essence of innovation at Perrelet, where our unwavering commitment to excellence is embodied in our unique vertically integrated manufacturing process. From the meticulous selection of the finest raw materials  to the meticulous craftsmanship that brings each exquisite piece of haute horlogerie to life, we precisely control every step of the process.



Since its foundation in 1777, Perrelet has been a pioneer in watchmaking innovation. From the creation of the first automatic mechanism to the current exclusive Perrelet designs.



A Perrelet watch stands out from all the rest. Luxury in motion and specific features in each piece that make them unique and exclusive.