History of Perrelet Watches

Several historical documents reference Abraham-Louis Perrelet’s work in developing some of the first watches to “wind themselves”. For this reason, the talented watchmaker is considered the inventor of the self winding movement. His grandson, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet, born in 1781, was appointed watchmaker to the King of France. In 1815 he exhibited his astronomical clock three years after designing it and exhibited it at the Universal Exhibition. Over a decade later, the patent for his "fly-back chronograph counter" was applied for, winning him four gold medals.

It was not until 1995 that the Perrelet watch brand was relaunched. When it resurfaced it paid homage to its founder and his pioneering work in developing the self winding mechanism. To celebrate this revival, the company launched the Perrelet Double Rotor equipped with a single rotor on the dial side and a second one lying underneath. It enabled the wearer to see the mechanism in motion through the front of the watch, while the double rotor design increased performance. Over the next decade, Perrelet suffered financial difficulties and would be revived once again in 2005 with a line of edition watches equipped with a retrograde second mechanism and double parallel rotor.

Previously Perrelet had always used ETA base movements for its timepieces. One of its most popular wristwatches, the skeletonized double time zone chronograph, is powered by the Valjoux 7750 base. When the company relaunched again in 2005, owner of the H5 group (of which Perrelet is a member of), Miguel Rodriguez, purchased the STM holding group, giving Perrelet links to the movement manufacturer, Soprod.

As mentioned, the Double Rotor watch is Perrelet’s most famous timepiece and was a result of a collaborative effort with AHCI master watchmaker, Paul Gerber. Its innovative design enabled the weight of the oscillating parts to be more evenly distributed across the two rotors on a shared shaft. A retrograde regulator, moon phase, 5 minute repeater, big date chronograph, tourbillon, retrograde second, alarm, GMT and jumping hour model would follow in the footsteps of the successful Double Rotor, enabling Perrelet to develop and grow a range of varied timepieces that were met with resounding success compared to the initial relaunch of the brand in the 1990s.

The Double Rotor mechanism can be found in two of Perellet’s most popular lines to date, the Titanium collection and the Classic collection. One thing that all Perrelet watches have in common is an automatic movement (adorned with the brand’s distinct “tapestry” decoration and a glass cover) and a fluted caseband with a coordinated fluted deployment clasp.

The first Perrelet Turbine watch was launched in 2009 and was revived a decade later with a new take on the Double Rotor. The Turbine is an aviation timepiece portraying the turbine mechanism (inspired by a jet engine turbine) through a concave shaped case with luminous markers and a sleek, streamlined aesthetic. The 12 titanium blades rotate to imitate the jet turbine, creating a striking visual display that illustrates Perrelet’s unwavering approach to dynamic watchmaking.