Abraham-Louis Perrelet was a watchmaker and the inventor of the automatic winding for pocket watches (1770). He was born on January 9, 1729 in Le Locle during a long, unusually severe winter. His father, Daniel Perrelet, was a farmer and carpenter. During the interminable winter months Daniel Perrelet made tools, some of which, especially fine worked out, were determined for watchmakers. So it was not surprising that Abraham-Louis since his youth was busy with the making of tools. His career wish seemed clear from the start: He wanted to become a watchmaker.
Abraham-Louis Perrelet invented and developed a range of new functions to optimize the timepiece. He was the first in Le Locle, who made watches with cylinder gear and duplex inhibition, with perpetual calendar and equation of time. He created the ebauche movement and perfected the gear train, the pinion gears, the escapement and the winding mechanism. There are several historical evidences that the authorship of the self-winding watch can be contributed to Abraham-Louis Perrelet.
Despite his young age, he was soon known everywhere and was often asked for advice. He was one of the most popular master watchmakers of his time. Abraham-Louis Breguet came to his workshop, just like his grandson, Louis-Frédéric Perrelet, who later became official watchmaker to the Kings of France and in 1827 received a patent for a rattrapante mechanism invented by Abraham-Louis Perrelet.