The latest additions to the legendary Reines de Naples collection feature a flexible minute hand that appears to magically change in shape as it ticks.
Instantly recognisable by its distinctive curves, the Reines de Naples collection celebrates femininity and inherent originality while flaunting Breguet’s exceptional watchmaking prowess. The innovation and dedication to the soul of the collection comes alive in every iteration presented over the collection’s two-decade history. Inspired by the first-ever wristwatch – made for Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat, the Queen of Naples – in 1812, the latest editions 9835 and 9838 continue to astound in make and mechanism.
Catching the eye at once is the flexible minute hand gracing the dial on both models. Employing an ingenious mechanism patented by Breguet, the minute hand is made up of two arms that are linked on one end and yet remain independent of each other. A clever set of gears allows the shape of these arms to change as they move across the dial, appearing more stretched at 12 o’clock and more rounded at 6 o’clock. An oval cam that corresponds to the Reine de Naples’ oval silhouette is behind this; with the passing of every minute, each of the arms moves at a different speed, its dimensions constantly adapting to its path and tracing the characteristic shape of the watch.
Besides the magical minute hand, the two new additions differ in character and aesthetics. The Reine de Naples 9835 is a 20-piece limited edition that exudes an air of mystery with its midnight blue mother-of-pearl dial and matching alligator leather strap. With every move of the wrist and as the light changes, the subtle hues on the mesmerising dial entrances. The 18K white gold case forms a perfect contrast to the deep shade and sets a tone of brilliance for the flange, bezel and lugs set with 161 diamonds. The theme of diamonds follows through to the crown with a briolette-cut diamond and the folding clasp adorned with 28 diamonds. The subtly offset numerals demarcating the minute are powdered silver-toned, and in a font evoking a hand-drawn style.
The Reine de Naples 9838 plays with contrasts in its own way. Its clean white lacquered dial is paired with a midnight blue alligator strap, while the 18K white gold case features blue sapphires set on its bezel, flange and crown. What stands out the most, is how the elements on the dial appear to be dancing – an effect achieved by the offset Arabic numerals that seem to extend and contract alternately as the flexible minute hand changes its shape as it moves across the dial.
Beyond their visual allure, the heart of the movement within the Reine de Naples 9835 and 9838 are impressive. 252 components drive the 78A0 self-winding movement with an oscillation frequency of 3.5 Hz under the 36.5 x 28.45 mm oval case. This movement is equipped with a balance spring and an in-line Swiss lever escapement – both made of silicon. The use of silicon increases its durability and resistance to corrosion, while ensuring it is not affected by magnetic fields and maintains its precision. Along with all components of this calibre, the gear trains of this complication are carefully finished by hand under the Breguet tradition.
That’s not all. Admire the movement’s platinum oscillating weight along with the Côtes de Genève motif and bevelling through the sapphire case back. The finishing touch is the individual watch number engraved on the gold rim and recorded in the Breguet archives that have been faithfully kept since the end of the 18th century.
Images courtesy of Breguet, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.