Breguet are celebrating an iconic anniversary; a feat remarkable not only for the company, but for the entire world of watchmaking. Two hundred years ago, the company’s founder Abraham-Louis Breguet designed the first ever wristwatch, in a commission for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples.
This month Breguet returned to the birthplace of that first timepiece, in the Gulf of Naples, where the company had much to celebrate. Not only does this year mark the bicentennial of the creation of the first watch, it also marks the 10th anniversary of Breguet’s Reine de Naples ladies collection. The company celebrated in grand style, inviting guests to Reggia di Capodimonte, the home where Caroline Murat (pictured below in a painting by Vigee Lebrun) lived when she occupied the throne of Naples. Festivities continued on to the Isle of Capri, where Marc A. Hayek, CEO of Montres Breguet, unveiled the Reine de Naples special anniversary model and an exclusive jewellery set at a VIP gala. The anniversary edition timepiece and the jewellery set were both designed specially to highlight this double anniversary.
The Reine de Naples anniversary edition (pictured at the top of the post) is simply stunning, with a sapphire crystal back casing featuring a hand-engraved image of the Mediterranean garden pavilion at Reggia Di Capodimonte. In a fitting tribute to the Queen of Naples, this 38.45mm x 30.40mm ovoid-shape 18-carat white gold timepiece is awash in precious gems. The silvered gold dial and its flange are paved with 233 brilliant-cut diamonds and 303 blue sapphires, with a diamond-heart rose indicating the engagement of the hour striker. The folding clasp on the alligator strap is embellished with a further 26 diamonds. A Cal78SO mechanism powers this automatic timepiece, which has a 65 hour power reserve.
The Reine de Naples Jewellery Set is an equally fitting tribute for a Queen. The set comprises a ring, a pair of earrings, a necklace and a tiara. The central theme of the set is the oval-cut blue sapphires which feature in each 950 platinum piece. In each case, the sapphire is surrounded by two ovoid rings paved with baguette-cut diamonds, in an echo of the case of the first ever wristwatch, which had an oblong shape.
To learn more about the history of the first ever wristwatch, or for locations to purchase the limited-edition Reine de Naples anniversary edition watch or Reine de Naples Jewellery Set, please visit the company’s website.
Source courtesy Breguet press release, and photos courtesy Breguet’s Facebook page.