Breguet’s Reine de Naples: Pink Mother-of-Pearl and Diamonds for Valentine’s Day
The historic archives of Maison Breguet – one of the world’s oldest legacy watchmakers founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775 – documents the creation of the world’s first known wristwatch ever produced.
Watch for A Queen
The Registers of Commissions, and Manufacturing pin the dates of commission to be 8 June 1810; production onset to be 11 August 1810, and completion to be 21 December 1812. The order was placed by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, a loyal patron of the Maison, and youngest sister of Napoléon Bonaparte. A team of seventeen were involved in the manufacture of the timepiece. Based on the Registers, it was to be a:
- quarter repeater watch,
- with an oblong (oval) shape,
- featuring a Guilloché silver dial with Arabic numerals,
- bearing number No.2639, and
- “mounted on a wristlet of hair woven with gold thread, simple key”, with a “second wristlet, also woven with gold, in a red leather case”.
The Register of Repairs reaffirms the watch description on two occasions (in 1849 and 1855), and the last known owner (who sent the watch for repairs) to be Countess Rasponi, also known as Louise Murat, the fourth and last child of Joachim and Caroline Murat. Since the last sighting of the watch, where the “pivots were polished, thermometer reset, repeater restored to working order, dial overhauled, parts cleaned and watch adjusted”, it was never to be found, up to today.
The Reine de Naples Homage
The House created the Reine de Naples collection in 2002 to pay homage to this very wristwatch that Abraham-Louis Breguet made for the Queen. The design references the archive descriptions, and is distinguished by the curved oval, and slightly elongated case. This refined watch has won the heart of many, with collectors seeking to add special renditions of this iconic watch to their collections.
Valentine’s Day Reine de Naples 8905
This Valentine’s Day, a new creation adorned with iridescent pink mother-of-pearl encircled by diamonds on the bezel and dial flange joins the collection.
Limited to only 28 pieces (each bearing a unique number from 01/28 to 28/28), the Valentine’s Day Reine de Naples 8905 features the iconic original dial display with small off-center seconds, and a moon phase where the moon and stars in white gold are set in a deep pink indicator. The pretty and romantic composition include the pink cabochon-cut sapphire set on the crown, and mauve-coloured alligator leather strap.
Hours and minutes are displayed in Roman numerals on a glossy circular hours chapter around an engine-turned Clous de Paris pattern. The small off-center seconds feature an engine-turned flame design. Each timepiece bears its individual number, Breguet signature blued hands, and a power-reserve indicator at the top of the dial.
The oval white gold case is fitted with he 537DRL2 self-winding manufacture movement, with 45 hours of power reserve. Each of the 246 components forming the caliber visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback is carefully finished and decorated.
Owners of this limited edition collection can have their names recorded in the archives – kept since the late eighteenth century – alongside the names of the House’s most prestigious patrons.
Images courtesy of Breguet.