The shock protection system known as the pare-chute is one of Breguet’s most celebrated inventions. Starting from the observation that, if the watch suffered a blow, the pivots of the balance wheel were the most vulnerable part because they were so fine, Breguet decided to give them a cone-shaped form and to hold them in place with small dishes of matching shape, mounted on a strip spring. It was about 1790 that Breguet started testing this invention, which was to make his watches infinitely less fragile and thereby enhance their reputation even further.
From 1792, his “perpétuelle” watches were all equipped with it. Soon all his watches were equipped, and he presented the definitive version at the national exhibition of 1806. Also sometimes called elastic suspension of the balance wheel, the pare-chute (or parachute) is the forerunner of the modern “Incabloc” and all other shock protection mechanisms.