Back in 2001, most ladies’ watches were not yet on the metiers bandwagon, with highly decorated cases and dials. And inside, many were still quartz. There were exceptions, but these were mostly limited editions, rather than collections. Then along came Breguet with the wild idea of launching a collection of high-end, highly decorated timepieces for ladies, with mechanical movements. They named it Reine de Naples in celebration of a watch made by the brand for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, in 1812 – considered by some to be the original wristwatch.
Like the original, the modern Reine de Naples had an egg-shaped case – as does the collection today. The 18k white gold case was ridged with the brand’s signature coin-edge finish, and the bezel was set with 128 diamonds weighing just under a carat. The silvered gold dial was hand-guilloched on the offset hours and minutes dial and inset around that with natural blue mother-of-pearl. The movement was a self-winding automatic caliber, with moonphase indication and small seconds functions, and a 40-hour power reserve with an indicator on the upper dial.
The Reine de Naples set a new standard in ladies’ luxury timepieces, and has increasingly become a platform for Breguet’s complications for ladies, with movements purpose-made to fit the oval shape of the case. Because Breguet makes jewelry as well as watches, there is even a Reine de Naples jewelry collection to match.