In 1852 Constant Girard founded the firm Girard & Cie. After marrying Marie Perregaux in 1856, he founded the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. While Abraham Louis-Breguet invented the tourbillon, a device that rotates the escapement in a cage to compensate for timing errors brought on by gravity in a pocket watch, Girard-Perregaux refined it. He turned a technical element into one that also played an aesthetic role. His three bridge tourbillon used three parallel bridges to anchor the barrel, center wheel and tourbillon. This design won gold medals at the Paris World Exhibition in 1867 and 1889 as well as the Neuchatel Observatory prize in 1911.
The detent escapement is one of the most accurate and was often used in marine chronometers. Pierre Le Roy invented the first detached detent escapement, while the pivoted detent escapement was developed in France by L. Berthoud.