Breguet was established in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet. He studied mathematics and apprenticed as a watchmaker before creating his first notable works: the development of the successful self-winding perpétuelle watches, the introduction of the gongs for repeating watches and the first shock-protection for balance pivots.
Soon he was given the opportunity to showcase in the court of Louis XVI and both the ruler and Marie Antoinette were captivated by A.-L. Breguet’s workmanship and purchased numerous pieces including the “Marie Antoinette” masterpiece. Breguet became a popular watchmaker for the social, scientific and dimplomatic elite, received awards for many engineering innovations and was accepted as a member by the Scientific Academy.
As the founder of one of the oldest watchmaking manufactures that exists to this day, he created true innovations in several fields; the tourbillon is attributed to Breguet, as is the pare-chute shock protection, the so-called Breguet balance spring or the creation of the first wristwatch.
239 years after the establishment of the company we awaited Breguet’s novelties with the same excitement as the French court must have done all those years ago.
Three new pieces were added to the Classique collection, 2 mens and a ladies model. We can recognize the founder’s legacy in all three: clean, elegant design, the use of Roman numerals and perfect finishing.
The Classique Dame can also be considered a continuation of A.-L. Breguet’s traditions as he created ladies watches for his famous clients from the beginning. Moreover these were not only jewel watches or ladies models, but true complicated creations. The white gold Classique Dame shows the hours, minutes and seconds as well as the dates in a square opening. The bezel and the lugs are set with white diamonds. The dial is also gold, silvered and guilloché dial, with hands in blued steel.
Classique Tourbillon extra-plat automatique
Several watchbrands strive to create the thinnest mechanical watch, but Breguet’s thin platinum watch introduced this year contains several complications too. It has an off-centred self-winding tourbillon in a titanium carriage. Its 3mm thin calibre can reach the frequency of 4Hz and 90 hours power reserve. The Roman numerals are part of the Classique design. The dial is decorated by a “clou de Paris” hobnail pattern edged by a barleycorn motif and the power reserve indicator has guilloché strait chevrons.
Classique Tourbillon QP
This collection has already contained Perpetual Calendars, but in the new model the hours and minutes chapter has been lifted to the foreground to emphasize the essential information. Two subdials show the days and months; the day-subdial at 9 o’clock is guilloche decorated with waves, the dial of the months at 3 has guilloche in sunburst pattern. At its centre a blue sun shows the leap years. The tourbillon’s bridge is curved slightly and in the centre of the regulator a triple hand makes an entire revolution in every 60 seconds.
This timepiece also has a skeletonized version giving a wall-to-wall window to Breguet’s skills and expertise.
Reine de Naples collection
In the Reine de Naples collection Breguet’s visual artistic and technical qualities truly shine. The case houses a movement specially made for the Reine de Naples collection.
Reine de Naples Jour Nuit
In the animated day and night indicator, the sky is a disc of lapis lazuli, the Sun is represented by the Breguet balance-wheel and the Moon is hand-engraved and made of titanium. The blue sky is decorated with mother-of-pearl clouds and gold stars.
The hour-chapter has Roman numerals with open-tipped hands in blued steel. The bezel and case are set with baguette diamonds, the dial and the little ball decoration are adorned with a frosting of diamonds, and the crown is topped by a briolette diamond. The slightly elliptical watch has two dials shaping an 8, a symbol of eternity in many cultures.
Reine de Naples Princess
The Reine de Naples Princesse is a similar shaped watch – in a more reserved version – with an off-centered subdial and guilloché pattern. The whole dial is silvered and anthracite-coloured gold with rose gold hands.
Secret de la Reine
The rose is a recurring motif at the House of Breguet, in honour of Marie-Antoinette (Breguet’s most illustrious client). On this rose gold or white gold secret watch piece, the mother-of-pearl dial is covered by a carved shell cameo rose. When gently pushed, the rose reveals the diamond encrusted dial. The strap is a finely “woven” gold ribbon.
Les Volants de la Reine
Breguet’s high jewellery collection was inspired by the materials and motifs – elegant silks and lace, bows and frills – found on the clothing worn by the aristocracy in the 18th century. The navy satin strap of the watch frames the dial, adorned with mother-of-pearl, billowing diamond “ruffles” and two cushion-cut sapphires. Naturally this piece is also fitted with a mechanical movement.
The watch is perfectly copmplemented by a jewellery set consisting of a ring, a necklace and earrings, each with sapphires and diamonds.
Photo credits: Breguet, Loupiosity.com.
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