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Mid-Victorian French Vidi Type Brass Cased Aneroid Barometer by Breguet Paris


A rare mid-Victorian French Vidi type brass cased aneroid barometer with card dial signed to the famed watchmaking company Breguet.

The barometer is comprised of a graduated brass drum case with a brass knurled edge bezel typical of the early Vidi aneroid barometers. The four and a half inch card dial has a scale reading 62 to 79 cms of mercury (the French used centimetres whilst the English used inches) and with the standard Vidi type weather forecasting predictions in French around the edge. The name “Breguet” is printed to the centre of the dial and words, “Barometre Aneroide” with manufacturer’s signature between and serial number 3507 to outer base edge.  

The Breguet business was founded in 1775 by Abraham- Louis Breguet in Ile De La Cite, Paris and was almost immediately successful after initial introductions to the French Court. With a short departure during the French Revolution, he returned to Paris in 1795 and continued to expand his business, establishing a second establishment in St Petersburg until relations soured between the two countries during the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1825 Breguet’s  son Antoine-Louis Breguet took over the business of his father and with his son Louis-Clement, the business continued to grow, expanding out from watchmaking to include scientific instruments and were the first company to make an aneroid barograph. Louis Clement’s interest in diversification led to an increasing departure from the company’s watchmaking core business and in 1870 he sold the business to the head of the workshop, Edward Brown. It remained under the stewardship of the Brown family until 1970 when it was again sold to the Chaunet brothers and in 1987, it was bought by Investcorp with production switching to Switzerland. It remains a high profile prestige brand today.

This barometer dates to circa 1860 when the company was still under family ownership and is a rare French version of the early Vidi style. The barometer is in good working order. There is slight marking around the printed Breguet signature but nothing that detracts from the instrument overall. A rare aneroid barometer from one of France’s leading watchmaking families.       

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