KINGDOM OF MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND DIAMONDS
The new, majestic and elegant Reine de Naples watch was first presented a few months ago. It features all the femininity of the Breguet collections with an oval body and a mother-of-pearl dial delicately enhanced by two rows of diamonds.
In 1808, Caroline Murat, nee Bonaparte (1782-1839), the younger sister of the Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821), became Queen of Naples (Reine de Naples in French). Two years later, she commissioned her official watchmaker, Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823), to make one of the world’s first wrist watches. The timepiece was paid for in 1811 and delivered to the queen in 1812, according to the carefully preserved archives at the Breguet Museum in Paris. It was oblong in shape and included a strap plaited with golden threads. Although the watch itself disappeared sometime in the 19th century, a description of it inspired the brand based in L’Abbaye, Switzerland, to create a collection in 2002. The Reine de Naples 8908 has been added to the collection this year.
The new model, like its illustrious predecessor, has an oval silhouette made of rose gold and measures 36.50 by 28.45mm. As in many Breguet models, the watch case is lined with fine fluting. A winder crowned with a cabochon ruby could be found at 4 o’clock. Two rows of diamonds, with a total of 129 gems, cover the bezel and chapter ring. This is the precious for the calibre 537DRL2, an automatic movement providing 45 hours of power reserve and partially visible through the sapphire crystal.
The watch dial is also oval in shape and covered in Tahiti mother-of-pearl, beautifully reflecting the rows of sparkling diamonds. A golden guilloché disc takes up a large part of the dial and includes hour markers featuring black Roman numerals and a couple of Breguet blued steel “moon” tip hands. Near 6.30 is a small seconds sub-dial, decorated like a nautilus shell. The upper part of the dial opens onto a fan-shaped moon-phase counter, along with a power reserve indicator with a fine blue hand.
Price: 35,200 CHF breguet.com
By Sharmila Bertin