Mr. Katiraie (BS. BA. MBA) is the original inventor of all Back Up Sensors in cars, trucks and buses.

A spiritual basis for creativity, happiness, a new way of life, reasoning, and thinking.

Learn How To Be Creative!

Start being intrinsically motivated and inspired!

Kamyar Alexander Katiraie Virtual Mentoring Is Available

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    Happiness requires creativity as the fundamental component. We believe everyone is creative. What’s important is to cultivate the creative spirit from the inside out. We’ll show you how.

    Practice 1

    Please adhere to the guidelines for the illustration below. This is neither a trick or an attempt to deceive your mind. Looking at it scientifically, your brain uses your intuition to identify the appropriate pattern. We’ll explain why and how.


    1) Take a moment to unwind and focus on the four little dots in the center of the image for around 20 seconds.
    2) Next, look at a nearby wall (or any other flat, one-color surface).
    3) A circle of light will start to form.
    4) Start blinking your eyes a few times, and a figure will start to appear.
    What can you make out? Additionally, who do you see?


    What creates the right image?

    Once you realize the correct image by blinking, your peripheral vision, and the power of your intuition have already processed the image. You are intrinsically motivated since this feels like a riddle. Curiosity comes from within.

    When you blink or close your eyes, your mind is relaxed and you are no longer focused but instead engaged. You transfer the correct image to your mind using your intuition. This is how intuition aids in the creative process. In this practice, practically every part of the creative process is engaged. It addresses everything from concentration and focus to being engaged in the activity while yet reaching creativity. The key to creativity is concentration, followed by mental relaxation and absorption so that intuition can do its job. The above practice exercises a variety of mental processes, such as attention, awareness, intuition, curiosity, the subconscious mind, and lastly the creative mind.

    Do the exercises in the following video. This is the exact opposite of the first practice you just did. In the video below you must focus on the + sign between the two images. The Guidelines are at the start of the video.

    These practices involve peripheral vision. In our first practice all of the patterns of the picture were present but jumbled. We didn’t add any irrelevant pattern to the picture. We allow your peripheral vision to correctly concentrate on the image and put it together properly. Even though it was jumbled, we provided accurate information (but jumbled) to your peripheral vision. In essence, we altered the reality of the patterns rather than changing them. This is significant, which is why I’m highlighting it. Have you ever played with jumbled words? This is kind of the same. Next time you play with jumble words, close your eyes and check to see if you can solve it better.

    In the second video, we fed (or coerced) extraneous or irrelevant information into your peripheral vision by the speed of the video. Your peripheral vision didn’t have any issues in our first practice. However, in the second, your peripheral vision was unable to appropriately interpret the patterns. In other words, your intuition will not be able to properly assist you once you have given your brain information that is unclear or irrelevant.

    So in real life what do you need to do? Get rid of the information that is holding you back. Most successful people are able to focus on the important facts and avoid letting extraneous information cloud their judgment or cause them to make poor decisions.

    The practices above are commonly known as optical illusions. That’s accurate. But, looking at it scientifically, there isn’t any deceit or trickery going on. Even though they are optical illusions, they have a sound scientific foundation that specifically includes the brain and peripheral vision.

    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

    Lack Of Intuition?

    “You’d better learn secretarial skills or else get married.” Modeling Agency, rejecting Marilyn Monroe in 1944

    “You ought to go back to driving a truck.” Concert Manager, firing Elvis Presley

    “Can’t act, can’t sing, slightly bald, can dance a little.” A film company’s verdict on Fred Astaire’s screen test

    “We don’t like their sound,” Decca Records said in turning down a recording contract with the Beatles.

    “The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union Memo

    “The telephone may be appropriate for our American cousins, but not here, because we have an adequate supply of messenger boys.” A British expert group evaluating the invention of the telephone

    “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.” A Michigan Banker advises investing in the Ford Company.

    Intuition Gathering Strategies

    Once you finish this online book, you will realize why those quotes are relevant.  Just to give you a hint, intuition is the key.

    By pure luck, the manufacturer of the Club anti-theft device (for the steering wheel) approached me in 1992. Club was interested in marketing my patented invention, the famous Ultrasonic Blind Spot Back-Up Alert that is installed in almost every car today. Of course, they had to wait 17 years for the patent to expire. The club sold it for $79.99. I received $7.99 in royalties. We sold approximately a million backup alarms worldwide between 1993 and 2000.

    I, Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, the Beatles and Mr. Ford were lucky!!  I want you to think about this a bit deeper. I wonder how many talented people were passed by companies, bosses or managers who did not have enough intuition to appreciate talent or they were worried to lose their job or replaced by this new talented guy. Think about it!!

    What is intuition? When making a decision, the brain uses intuition to draw from previous experiences, and patterns. When you have an intuitive moment, it happens so quickly that your response is unconscious. We only have a general sense of what is right or bad or how something ought to be.

    The creative process in first practice serves as an illustration of a mind map in which you concentrated, envisioned, discovered virtue, attained creativity, and finally had an Aha! or inspirational moment.

    Creativity and Mind Map

    Here is our mind map:

    Intrinsic Motivation + Concentration/Focusing or a strong form of infatuation, intrigue, or absorption —--> Imagination (Visualization) + Intuition —--> finding Virtue ——-> Strong feelings of inspiration, accomplishments, or the Aha! moment.

    Our approach to creativity is more about enjoyment, inspiration, and inner motivation. It involves setting up the right circumstances so that you can readily inspire your thoughts and feel intrinsic motivation. Everything is achievable once you are inspired, including problem-solving, creativity, self-improvement, intuition, and high levels of performance.

    Don’t you wish you could have a “aha” moment where the solution suddenly appears to you in an original and inspirational way in every challenging circumstance? Our goal is for you to experience the same ease of inspiration, joy, and creativity as you did above.

    If you correctly train your mind and strive to be intrinsically driven, you can be creative in practically any setting. The next Steve Jobs or Picasso could not be you. We didn’t make that promise. However, we guarantee that having little, inspired, and creative experiences will make you happy and successful. We guarantee that you’ll develop a fresh sense of independence and autonomy and find it simple to make new acquaintances. You’ll gain the respect of your coworkers and potentially move on to your next opportunity. We think how much you find what you do noble and virtuous determines how happy and successful you are. In other words, the strength of your intrinsic motivation, the degree to which you see the virtue in what you do, and the reasons behind your actions translate to creativity and success. Finding virtue and passion in what you do is the key.

    Finding virtue is what? Finding virtue does not necessarily equate to “liking”. For the creative process, liking is not profound enough. Steve Jobs wasn’t content to limit his inventions to computers. Steve Jobs believed it was noble and virtuous to make home computers accessible to everyone. Fighting for freedom and equal rights was not just something Mandela and Martin Luther King “liked”. They thought that having freedom and equality was noble and virtuous. John F. Kennedy thought holding public office was a noble pursuit and that civic participation was essential to a flourishing democracy. A generation was motivated to help fix the world both at home and abroad by Kennedy-era initiatives like the Peace Corps.

    The international drive to eradicate the Guinea worm disease has been spearheaded by President Carter.

    By using his position to promote international peace and the fight against disease, President Carter has reimagined what it means to be an ex-president. His greatest achievement to date is the nearly complete eradication of Guinea Worm Disease. The Guinea worm has a significant economic impact. The disease occurs during the planting and harvesting seasons, when there is a strong demand for labor and workers must drink a lot of water, which increases the risk of reinfection. According to one research, rice farmers in southeast Nigeria lost the equivalent of $20 million annually because they were unable to work. According to the same report, more than 60% of students miss school due to guinea worm disease or having to work for relatives who have the disease.

    Since 1986, The Carter Center has taken the helm of the global effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease, collaborating closely with national health agencies and regional populations. Following the eradication of smallpox, guinea worm disease is expected to follow suit. According to a human rights organization, there were just 22 occurrences of the deadly Guinea worm sickness in 2015.

    Introduction to our method

    Our method consists of:

    1) Mindfulness to overcome difficulties and negativity in the mind and to be able to find virtue

    2) Discovering fresh intrinsic motives via independence and observational abilities

    3) Finding virtue leads to discovering creativity

    4) Involving creating innovations

    We go over the value of a mind map and how to create one in the first chapter. We look at a method-based practice in the second chapter.

    The Aha experience might not be feasible without creativity (or originality). The Aha moment might be triggered by the sensation of having produced something original and novel.

    Broad definition of the mind map:

    Finding Virtue (finding virtue with inner truth and passion) + Concentration + Focusing or a strong form of infatuation or intrigue (Intrinsic Motivations) Imagination (Visualization) + Insights + Learning + Intuition ———--> Goal Setting, Hard Work, Determination, Teamwork, and Creativity ——-> Strong feelings of accomplishment, inspiration, and originality

    The power of Intrinsic Motivations and Intuition in the creative process

    In the foregoing exercise, we had no trouble using our intuition. This approach aims to make it easier and more natural to identify intuitive patterns. We will show you how to supplement incomplete information with intuition. You will turn to your intuition once you realize you can’t gather all the data. Your emotions and gut instinct will be added to the creative process. Intuition entails letting up of rational thought and having faith in the unconscious’ perception. You’ll notice that new information, like fresh melodies, readily enters awareness when you’re in an intuitive or mindful state. This novel information might not always make sense and may contain many surprises. The Mind Map’s activities are all connected through intuition.

    When we are not actively thinking about anything, we are more receptive to unconscious mind. Daydreams are quite helpful in the search for motivation because of this. Have you ever heard that for some people, the solution may ultimately come to them in the early hours of the morning or even when they are taking a shower? Now is the moment to let your intuition come up with the solution.

    More on Intuition

    Intuition is a skill that can be learned and developed through life experiences. Here is an example. In an experiment, chess grandmasters and beginners were both given a sample chess configuration (from an actual real-world game) and instructed to duplicate it. With 95% accuracy, the chess professionals duplicated the pattern. The accuracy of the beginners was barely 25%.

    The identical process was repeated in the second trial, except this time the chess pieces were placed at random and not from an actual game. Both experts and novices scored approximately 25% in this second testing for memory accuracy. Why is that? Why did the masters fail just like the beginners?

    Chess grandmasters retain not simply a collection of patterns but also knowledge of the patterns’ importance. Masters get 25% when chess pieces are placed at random since it has no meaning for them. In other words intuition cannot help them. Using random pattern, it becomes irrelevant information as we said earlier in our first practice.

    The vast array of patterns stored in long-term memory is a major contributor to an expert’s intuitive ability. Grandmasters in chess, for instance, save 50,000 real patterns from real games in their long-term memory.

    The ability of experts to quickly connect salient environmental signals to often recurring patterns and react in ways that result in efficient problem solving and decision-making is another source of their intuitive ability.

    Intuitive decision-making involves the use of experience to spot important patterns that suggest the anticipated dynamics of a particular circumstance.

    Experienced decision-makers are able to forecast how the present will change into the future by actively visualizing persons and things and “transforming those objects through several transitions.”

    The goal of this guide is to establish the mental frameworks necessary to make it easier to obtain fresh patterns for creativity in any circumstance.

    How much do we rely on our intuition? Sadly, the answer is not much. It all begins in the classroom. Unfortunately, intuition is not something that is taught in schools. We acquire a kind of absolute knowledge instead. We are taught to search for accurate information or the proper response. However, in real life, there can still be a gap even after you compile all the necessary data. You must next use your instincts. When faced with a gap, most individuals give up. But, ideally not you or you in the future! You come to cherish these gaps after you understand about our strategy.

    “It is through logic that we prove It is by intuition that we discover.” Henri Poincare

    Bach spoke about how musical inspiration flows naturally. When asked where he got his melodies from, he said, “The problem is not finding them; it’s—when getting up in the morning and getting out of bed—not stepping on them.”

    People that are creative either inherently are or learn to be:

    1) Self-learners who are naturally inclined to learn new things, mindful, find the activity to be noble and righteous, and have amazing concentration and visualization abilities.

    2) Possess uncommon, unconventional abilities for observation and focus.

    3) The desire for challenges; the constant quest for virtue and nobility in the work (it must be a noble task). If not, it is not right or noble, and it is not something that should be done.

    4) Refuse to accept “no” as an answer.

    5) Takers of Risks; Intuitive.

    6) Are intelligently eccentric.

    7) Face challenges head-on rather than avoiding them.

    8) Sincere; liberated; inquisitive.

    9) Accepting their vulnerability and not being afraid to show their vulnerability or to feel shame.

    10) Childlike; quickly bonds with like-minded individuals.

    11) Capable of mental reprogramming.

    12) Complete control over what should be brought to their attention (again, observation), as well as how to interpret it properly for creativity.

    13) Imagination and vision make it simple to foster creativity.

    Perhaps the human consciousness functions something like a productive information processing system. You need to grow better at observing and listening (all the inputs) if you want to use your awareness to its fullest potential. As well as rewire the brain’s neural network to produce the proper creative process. We’ll demonstrate for you.

    We want to train your mind to learn to move from the left side to the right side of the illustration above to feel inspired, to get absorbed easily in new tasks, to learn to create new pattern of intuition easily, to innovate and to create.

    Think of a chocolate factory. Input must be chocolate ingredients for this factory to generate chocolate. Correct? Additionally, the equipment has to be set up to make chocolate. Correct? You now need to accomplish two things in order to alter this factory’s output. Change the factory’s input before changing the equipment.  In other words, both input and machinery must change to get a different output.

    In his book Seven Habits, Stephen Covey provides an intriguing example. A guy on a bus notices a group of loud and disruptive children. He becomes angry and furious. Let’s specify the input first. The input is the obnoxious noise made by a group of rambunctious children. Anger is the result of an imbalanced mental region that also perceives children as being unruly and in need of restraint.  Do you see the input and the machinery in this example?

    The man learns from the their father that the mother of the children just passed away. The input is now updated, as you can see. It is now characterized as subliminal disobedience rather than merely annoying noise. It’s amazing how quickly the mind transitions from agitation to tolerating. In fact, the mechanism develops into an instinctively sensitive portion of the brain. He is now employing his empathetic or sympathetic part of his brain. You might argue that the unstable and imbalanced portion of his brain gets taken over by the empathetic portion. But note how both brain regions are driven by intuition.

    When you encounter a similar circumstance in the future, ask yourself, “What is the input I am receiving?” Then, ask yourself, What region of my brain is handling this input? If I do a different analysis of the information, can I intuitively process it in a different manner?

    Our approach focuses on teaching you superior information processing and observational abilities.

    You feel energized and are capable of accomplishing incredible goals if you can shift from the left side of the picture above to the right side in any circumstance. You are now prepared to develop new patterns of intuition, to always trust your gut, and to experiment with your creative side. We’ll demonstrate how this change is doable. I want to underline that in the figure above, our left and right sides are not the same as the left or right hemispheres of the brain. Our example from before just serves to highlight how our awareness typically operates in two modes. Sometimes we process information from the left side based on circumstances from previous lives and our prior observations. We’ll demonstrate that we can put a permanent end to this.

    A virtuous task is one that is produced by an inspired and fully conditioned awareness, whether it be for the sake of improving life (inventions), purely aesthetic enjoyment (arts), or the love of the activity itself (dancing, photography, woodcarving, rock climbing, etc.). We launch a merciless assault on these obstacles as soon as they are established in order to reach the Aha moment. These noble difficulties often produce hard effort, timelessness, and foresight as their outputs or outcomes.

    Once on the right side, a curious mind needs virtuous challenges. You are challenging newly created pattern of intuition to excel itself or to complete itself. It more like: let’s see if I am right.
    Child Like (not childish) Thinking Pays
    Be Authentic, Vulnerable, Let Mindfulness Solve
    Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
    Secret To Creativity: Be Authentic

    Thomas Paine, A True Social Entrepreneur and Inventor

    On July 17, 1980, Ronald Reagan stood before the Republican National Convention and the American people to accept his party’s nomination for president of the United States. That night, Reagan was quoting Paine’s words of 1776 from the pamphlet Common Sense: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again!”!

    Paine was not like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, or John Adams. endowing the American experience with democratic impulses and aspirations

    Contributing fundamentally to the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the struggles of British workers in the Industrial Revolution, Thomas Paine was one of the most remarkable political writers of the modern world. Yet this son of an English artisan did not become a revolutionary until his arrival in America in late 1774 at the age of thirty-seven. Even then, he had never expected such things to happen. However, moved by the spirit and determination of its people to defy British rule and struck by America’s startling contradictions, magnificent possibilities, and wonderful energies, he dedicated himself to the American cause and, through his pamphlet Common Sense and the American Crisis Papers, encouraged Americans to turn their colonial rebellion into a revolutionary war, defined the new nation in a democratically expansive and progressive manner, and articulated Five feet ten inches tall, with a full head of dark hair and striking blue eyes, Paine was inquisitive, gregarious, and compassionate, yet strong-willed, combative, and ever ready to argue about and fight for the good and the right.

    At the war’s end, Paine was a popular hero, known by all as “Common Sense.” Joel Barlow, an American diplomat and poet who had served as a chaplain to the Continental Army, wrote: “Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.” And yet Paine was not finished. To him, America possessed extraordinary political, economic, and cultural potential. But he did not see that potential as belonging to Americans alone.

    Paine frequently referred to himself as a “citizen of the world” despite being born an Englishman, adopted by America, and honored as a Frenchman. But the United States always remained paramount in his thoughts and evident in his labors, and his later writings continued to shape the young nation’s events and developments. And yet, as great as his contributions were, they were not always appreciated, and his affections were not always reciprocated. Paine’s democratic arguments, style, and appeal—as well as his social background, confidence, and single-mindedness—antagonized many among the powerful, propertied, prestigious, and pious and made him enemies even within the ranks of his fellow patriots. (Adapted from Harvey J. Kaye, Thomas Paine, and the Promise of America)

    First proposed seal of the United States, 1776
    First proposed seal of the United States, 1776

    Founding fathers

    On July 4, 1776, immediately after the Declaration of Independence was officially passed, the Continental Congress asked John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin to design a seal that would clearly represent a symbol for the new United States. They chose the symbol of Moses leading the Israelites to freedom. The founding fathers inscribed the words of Moses on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim Liberty through all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof.” (Levit. 25)

    Upon the death of George Washington in 1799, two-thirds of his eulogies referred to him as “America’s Moses,” with one orator saying that “Washington has been the same to us as Moses was to the Children of Israel.”

    Benjamin Franklin, in 1788, saw the difficulties that some of the newly independent American states were having in forming a government and proposed that until a new code of laws could be agreed to, they should be governed by “the laws of Moses,” as contained in the Old Testament. He justified his proposal by explaining that the laws had worked in biblical times: “The Supreme Being… Having rescued them from bondage by many miracles performed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered to that chosen servant, in the presence of the whole nation, a constitution and code of laws for their observance.

    John Adams, America’s 2nd president, stated why he relied on the laws of Moses over Greek philosophy for establishing the Constitution: “As much as I love, esteem, and admire the Greeks, I believe the Hebrews have done more to enlighten and civilize the world. Moses did more than all their legislators and philosophers. Swedish historian Hugo Valentin credited Moses as the “first to proclaim the rights of man.”

    Moses is depicted in several U.S. government buildings because of his legacy as a lawgiver. In the Library of Congress stands a large statue of Moses alongside a statue of the Apostle Paul. Moses is one of the 23 lawgivers depicted in marble bas-reliefs in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives in the United States Capitol. The plaque’s overview states: “Moses (c. 1350–1250 B.C.), Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, transformed a wandering people into a nation and received the Ten Commandments.”

    The other twenty-two figures have their profiles turned to Moses, which is the only forward-facing bas-relief.

    Statue by Michelangelo Buonarotti — in Basilica San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

    Moses appears eight times in carvings that ring the Supreme Court Great Hall ceiling. His face is presented along with other ancient figures such as Solomon, the Greek god Zeus, and the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva. The Supreme Court building’s east pediment depicts Moses holding two tablets. Tablets representing the Ten Commandments can be found carved in the oak courtroom doors, on the support frame of the courtroom’s bronze gates, and in the library woodwork. A controversial image is one that sits directly above the chief justice’s head. In the center of the 40-foot-long Spanish marble carving is a tablet displaying Roman numerals I through X, with some numbers partially hidden.

    In a metaphorical sense, in the Christian tradition, “Moses” has been referred to as the leader who delivers the people from a terrible situation. Among the presidents known to have used the symbolism of Moses were Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, who referred to his supporters as “the Moses generation.”

    Winston Churchill, in his essay “Moses—the Leader of a People”, published in 1931, used the story of Moses to convince the British population of its need for strong leadership and that “human success depends on the favor of God.” He saw Moses as more than a metaphor, however, rejecting as “myth” the assertions that Moses was only a legendary figure.

    He described him as “the supreme law-giver, who received from God that remarkable code upon which the religious, moral, and social life of the nation was so securely founded… [and] one of the greatest human beings with the most decisive leap forward ever discernable in the human story.” Churchill also noted the relevance of the story of Moses to modern Britain: “We may believe that they happened to a people not so very different from ourselves…”

    In his essay, Churchill implied that the Ten Commandments were a primary set of laws: “Here [on Mount Sinai], Moses received from God  the tables of those fundamental laws, which were henceforth to be followed, with occasional lapses, by the highest forms of human society.”

    In subsequent years, theologians linked the Ten Commandments with the formation of early democracy. The Scottish theologian William Barclay described them as “the universal foundation of all things… the law without which nationhood is impossible. … Our society is founded on it. Pope Francis addressed the U.S. Congress in 2015, stating that all people need to “keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation… [and] the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Source: Wikipedia

    My Collection of 10 Commandments

    Gift From Rabbi

    He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

    Abraham-Louis Breguet

    Every story of a great watch house begins with its founder. Abraham-Louis Breguet was born on January 10, 1747, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He was only 11 years old when his father died, but his mother remarried her late husband’s cousin, Joseph Tattet, whose family were already watchmakers with a sales office in Paris. In 1762, Tattet took Breguet to Paris, where he became an apprentice to a watchmaker at Versailles; the identity of this master watchmaker is unknown.

    It is speculated that after Breguet completed his apprenticeship, he may have worked for horological greats Ferdinand Berthoud or Jean-Antoine Lepine, but he certainly studied mathematics at the Collège Mazarin under his mentor, Abbé Marie. Through his role as tutor to the children of the Comte d’Artois, Marie introduced Breguet to the aristocratic families that would later become his clientele.

    You might know that Breguet is famous for inventing the tourbillon, that it was the first watch company to feature the guilloché technique on its dials, or that founder Abraham-Louis Breguet is widely regarded as the best watchmaker of his time.

    But what you probably didn’t know is that Napoleon Bonaparte was a client before he became emperor, Breguet made the most complicated pocket watch ever created for Marie Antoinette (completed, unfortunately, after her execution), and the family was later known for making airplanes and bringing the telephone to France.

    Take a walk down memory lane as we retrace some of Breguet’s biggest historical coups in Paris and beyond.

    1783–1827: Breguet Creates the most complicated pocket watch ever created for Marie Antoinette.

    As is fitting for one of the most infamous royals in history, Marie Antoinette’s pocket watch was the most extraordinary timekeeping invention of its time and remains one of the most complicated pocket watches ever created to this day. It’s also symbolic of her very short and complicated time on this earth. The queen first commissioned the pocket watch in 1783, requesting that the watchmaker create a timepiece with every complication and every refinement known to man at the time. There was to be no limit to its cost or construction time, and gold was expected to be used wherever possible.

    The self-winding watch includes a minute repeater, a full perpetual calendar, the equation of time, a power reserve indicator, a metallic thermometer, an on-command independent seconds hand, a small sweep seconds hand, a lever escapement, a gold Breguet overcoil, and shockproofing. It has been likened to shrinking a cathedral clock into a pocket watch. Unfortunately, it would take 44 years to create this elaborate timepiece—it had to be finished by Abraham-Louis Breguet’s son—and Marie Antoinette would never live to see it. She was beheaded during the French Revolution on October 16, 1793.

    The pocket watch currently resides in the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Arts in Jerusalem.

    Breguet innovated by producing the first automatic wristwatches in the world, delivered to the Queen of Naples, who, at the time, was a relative of Napoleon. The Breguet archives in Paris have meticulous records of the brand’s clients going back to the 18th century. In addition to famous clients such as kings and emperors of France, the Breguet archives have detailed accounts of transactions with more modern figures such as Winston Churchill as well as the romanticized Marie Antoinette, who purchased her final Breguet pocket watch from jail while awaiting the guillotine during the French Revolution. Stories about Breguet products and each of these famed personalities are independent discussions unto themselves.

    Invention of the perpetual watch

    Today, it remains impossible to state with any certainty which watchmaker invented the self-winding watch, known originally as the “perpetual watch”. Louis Perrelet seems to have come up with the principle of the rotor, but Breguet used another kind of moving weight, known as the “masse à secousses“, to power two barrels that supplied a “power reserve” (the term had never been used before) of 60 hours. Breguet worked with two barrels for a long time, even using four towards the end of his career.

    The concept of the oscillating weight eventually won the day, but Breguet had other inventions up his sleeve. For his repeating watches, a particular specialty of Breguet, he replaced the traditional gong that lay across the rear plate with curved gongs wound around the movement. These are still in use today.

    The history of Breguet

    The history of the Breguet brand spans four centuries and is so rich in inventions and innovations that it represents an essential part of the entire history of watchmaking.

    Given the number of relevant events that mark Breguet’s history, we will trace the path from the origins to the present in two articles.

    The brand takes its name from its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, who was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, on January 10, 1747.

    His ancestors were French, and since they were Protestants, they moved to Switzerland in 1685. In fact, following this revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1598), which put an end to the religious wars that had afflicted France during the second half of the 16th century, intense persecution of Protestants took place again in France. In spite of the prohibition to leave the country, around 400,000 protestants, including the Breguet, fled France at risk of their lives.

    When he was just eleven, his father, Jonas-Louis, died. Soon after, his mother, Suzanne-Marguerite Bollein, remarried her husband’s cousin, Joseph Tattet, who came from a family of watchmakers.

    In 1762, Tattet took Breguet to Paris, where, in the meantime, things had calmed down a bit and where he was apprenticed to a Versailles master watchmaker whose name remains unknown.

    After completing his apprenticeship, he worked for two of the most acclaimed watchmakers of their time, Ferdinand Berthoud (1727–1807) and Jean-Antoine Lépine (1720–1814).

    At the same time, having realized that mathematics was essential to success in his work, he kept furthering his education by taking evening classes on the subject at the Collège Mazarin, under Abbé Marie. Impressed by his talent and intelligence, Marie had the important role of introducing Breguet to the French Court and the aristocracy gravitating around it, later to become Breguet’s clientele.

    Although facing a difficult time with the loss of his mother, his stepfather, and his mentor Marie in a very short timeframe, Breguet was able to take care of his younger sister and finally, in 1775, establish his own business at No. 39, Quai de l’Horloge, in the Ile de la Cité, just on the banks of the River Seine near Notre Dame. He was 28. In that same year, he married Cécile Marie-Louise L’Huillier, the daughter of an established Parisian bourgeois family. Most probably, part of the capital required to establish the business came from her dowry.

    I am extremely proud to own a 53 mm Abraham Louis Breguet Quarter Repeater and Music Box. I spent more than $32,000 just to restore and clean the watch. Why? Because you can never place a price on true creativity. (Alexander Katiraie)

    Thanks to Abbé Marie’s introductions, Breguet quickly started receiving his first orders from the aristocracy, including a self-winding watch for the Duc d’Orleans in 1780 and another one for Marie-Antoinette in 1782.

    His self-winding, or perpétuelle,” watches brought him considerable fame both at the court of Versailles and throughout Europe. Although he was not the first to produce a self-winding watch, most experts agree that he produced the first watch of this kind that was truly reliable and effective.

    Just as an example, with regard to the self-winding watches that we mentioned above, we know from records that Breguet sold sixty “perpétuelles” from 1787 to 1823. And while there are no records for the years between 1780 and 1787, we can assume that another twenty or thirty pieces were produced in that timeframe.

    But those were dangerous times, with the French Revolution quickly approaching, especially for a man who was considered too close to the aristocracy and the royal court.

    Luckily, Breguet had become a close friend of revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat, whose sister Albertine made watch hands for the watchmaker. According to tradition, Breguet saved Marat from an angry crowd that had gathered outside the house of a common friend. He had the idea to dress his friend as an old woman, and this way the two could successfully escape.

    When Marat discovered that Breguet was marked for the guillotine, he arranged for a safe conduct pass, which allowed Abraham-Louis to leave Paris and travel to Geneva in 1793. From there, he moved to Le Locle, where he set up a small workshop with only a handful of employees. This way, he was able to continue working for the royal families of Russia and England, and King George III in particular.

    In 1795, the political scene in France stabilized, and Breguet returned to Paris, where he found his factory in ruins. Friends, chiefly the Choiseul-Praslin family, helped him rebuild his business, which he set up again in the Quai de l’Horloge.

    The Army and Navy were in urgent need of reliable timepieces, so Breguet was welcomed back. He was even compensated for the losses experienced during the Terror and obtained that his staff be exempt from military service in order to accelerate the recovery of his factory.

    Although Breguet’s activity was seriously hampered in the years of exile, he used his time to develop many of the exceptional ideas and inventions that were implemented in the following years, quickly achieving great success.

    Breguet’s excellence was not just in technique and style. He was also a great marketer. An example: in 1797, the watchmaker created one of the most famous examples of a single-hand pocket watch, the Souscription.” It was in response to a commission from the Queen of Naples that, in 1810, Breguet conceived and made the first wristwatch ever known, the Breguet watch number 2639, an exceptionally thin, oval repeater watch with complications, mounted on a wristlet of hair and gold thread.

    There are no sketches in the archives to indicate its exterior. Fortunately for us, the watch appears in a register of repairs for what we now call after-sales service. The entry, dated March 8th, 1849, notes that Countess Rasponi, “residing in Paris at 63, Rue d’Anjou,” had sent watch number 2639 for repair. The countess was none other than Louise Murat, born in 1805, the fourth and last child of Joachim and Caroline Murat, who in 1825 married Count Giulio Rasponi.

    It was again brought in for repair in 1855, which is the last trace Breguet has of it. Today, it is unknown if the Queen of Naples watch still exists, as no public or private collection lists it in its inventory.

    Breguet’s success made him wealthy. During his life, his firm produced around 17,000 timepieces. Nonetheless, he always maintained a simple lifestyle. He was known for his kindness and good humor.

    Among the many honors he received during his lifetime, Louis XVIII gave Abraham-Louis Breguet the official title of chronometer maker to the French Royal Navy. This was probably the most prestigious title a horologist could hope to receive, given that the very concept of marine chronometry implied scientific knowledge. It also involved playing a crucial role for the country, as marine chronometers were of capital importance for fleets by making it possible to calculate ships’ positions at sea.

    Breguet became a full member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1816 and received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour from Louis XVIII in 1819.

    After the death of Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1823, his only son, Antoine-Louis Breguet (1776–1858), a highly talented watchmaker himself, took over the company, which kept growing and expanding.

    The brand Breguet maintained top quality standards and kept innovating. Among the inventions of this period, we can mention the first watch with keyless winding and the sympathique clock.

    The watch no. 4952 created for Count Charles de L’Espine in 1830 had a knurled button that served a dual purpose: setting the hands and rewinding the watch. With it, the modern winding crown was born.

    However, Antoine-Louis failed to patent this revolutionary mechanism, and ten years later, a major Genevan watchmaking firm filed a patent application for a similar invention.

    The Breguet Classique Chronométrie, winner of the “Aiguille d’Or”, the highest distinction honouring the finest timepiece of the year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve 2014


    Alexander, born in 356 BCE, was the son of Phillip II (382–336 BCE), the King of Macedonia in northern Greece (and considered a barbarian by the southern Greek city states). Phillip created a powerful, professional army that forcibly united the fractious Greek city-states into one empire.

    From an early age, Alexander displayed tremendous military talent and was appointed commander in his father’s army at the age of 18. Having conquered all of Greece, Phillip was about to embark on a campaign to invade Greece’s arch-enemy, the Persian Empire. Before he could invade Persia, Phillip was assassinated, possibly by Alexander, who then became king in 336 BCE. Two years later, in 334 BCE, he crossed the Hellspont (in modern-day Turkey) with 45,000 men and invaded the Persian Empire.

    In three colossal battles—Granicus, Issus, and Gaugamela—that took place between 334 and 331, Alexander brilliantly (and often recklessly) led his army to victory against Persian armies that may have outnumbered his own by as much as ten to one. By 331 BCE, the Persian Empire was defeated, the Persian Emperor Darius was dead, and Alexander was the undisputed ruler of the Mediterranean. His military campaign lasted 12 years and took him and his army 10,000 miles to the Indus River in India.

    Only the weariness of his men and Alexander’s untimely death in 323 BCE at the age of 32 ended the Greek conquest of the known world. It is said that when Alexander looked at his empire, he wept, for there was nothing more to conquer. His vast empire did not survive his death but fragmented into three large chunks centered in Greece, Egypt, and Syria and controlled by his former generals.

    At its largest, Alexander’s empire stretched from Egypt to India. He built six Greek cities, all named Alexandria. (Only Alexandria in Egypt still survives.) These cities and the Greeks who settled in them brought Greek culture to the center of one of the oldest civilizations in Mesopotamia.

    The Greeks were not only military imperialists but also cultural imperialists. Greek soldiers and settlers brought their way of life—their language, art, architecture, literature, and philosophy—to the Middle East. When Greek culture merged with the culture of the Middle East, it created a new cultural hybrid, Hellenism (Hellas is the Greek word for Greece), whose impact would be far greater and last far longer than the brief period of Alexander’s empire. Whether through the idea of the pitched battle, art, architecture, or philosophy, Hellenism’s influence on the Roman Empire, Christianity, and the West was monumental. But it is the interaction between the Jews and the Greeks and the impact of Hellenism on Judaism that we want to take a closer look at.

    Detour To Israel

    During his military campaign against Persia, Alexander took a detour to the south, conquering Tyre and then Egypt via what is today Israel. There is a fascinating story about Alexander’s first encounter with the Jews of Israel, who were subjects of the Persian Empire.

    In both accounts, the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, fearing that Alexander would destroy the city, went out to meet him before he arrived at the city. The narrative describes how Alexander, upon seeing the High Priest, dismounted and bowed to him. Alexander rarely, if ever, bowed to anyone. In Josephus’s account, when asked by his general, Parmerio, to explain his actions, Alexander answered, “I did not bow before him, but before that God who has honored him with the high Priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very apparel.”

    Alexander interpreted the vision of the High Priest as a good omen and thus spared Jerusalem, peacefully absorbing the Land of Israel into his growing empire. As a tribute to his benign conquest, the Sages decreed that the Jewish firstborn of that time be named Alexander, which remains a Jewish name to this very day. And the date of their encounter, the 25th of Tevet, was declared a minor holiday.

    Jews and Greeks

    Thus began one of the most interesting and complex cultural relationships in the ancient world. The Greeks had never met anyone like the Jews, and the Jews had never met anyone like the Greeks. The initial interaction seemed to be very positive. To the Jews, the Greeks were a new and exotic culture from the West. They had a profound intellectual tradition that produced philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (who was Alexander’s tutor for two years). Their love of wisdom, science, art, and architecture set them apart from other cultures the Jews had interacted with. The Greek language was considered so beautiful that the Talmud called it, in some ways, the most beautiful of all languages, and the Rabbis decreed that a Torah scroll could even be written in Greek.