Breguet unveils the ladies’ Classique 9065, an 18k rose gold timepiece with a stunning black Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial, a sprinkling of diamonds, a ruby cabochon crown and a heart-shaped counterweight: clearly a piece designed to capture the more romantically inclined for Valentine’s Day. However, there is no mistaking the provenance of this elegant, refined time-and-date watch with its ‘unmistakable Breguet signs’ and ultra-thin movement.
Let’s hear it for the girls
Unlike so many brands where women’s watches came as an afterthought, Breguet has cultivated its female clientele from the very start. Founder Abraham-Louis Breguet not only garnered royal favour from Louis XVI with his marvellous mechanical creations but also caught the eye of the influential trend-setting Queen Marie Antoinette. It was for this illustrious royal patron that Breguet set to work on the most complicated pocket watch (no. 160) imaginable at that time. Unfortunately, the Queen never got to see the final product – she lost her head at the guillotine. Following the Reign of Terror in France, his next royal patron was the Bonaparte family including Empress Josephine and her sister-in-law Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, for whom he designed the first-known wristwatch in history in 1810. The oval-shaped wristlet, with a built-in thermometer, would provide the inspiration for Breguet’s current line of women’s watches in the Reine de Naples collection.
It should come as no surprise then that this latest timepiece was also inspired by a pocket watch sold in 1817 to the Duchess of Wellington (Breguet 3023) and on display in the Louvre. Measuring 35mm in diameter, the gold engine-turned case and dial housed a small quarter repeater. A more recent example, also inspired by this pocket watch is the ladies’ Classique 9068 and its male counterpart, the Breguet Classique 5177.
Breguet Classique 9065
The diminutive proportions of this 18k rose gold Breguet Classique Dame 9065, which measures 33.5mm in diameter with a case height of just 7.5mm, exalt its femininity. Like many Breguet models, the case features straight lugs welded with screw bars and one of the hallmark Breguet ‘signs’ in the form of a fluted caseband. The bezel and lugs are set with 88 brilliant-cut diamonds and the crown is set with a ruby.
Black Tahitian pearls
However, what really sets this model apart is the beautiful Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial. Produced by the black-lipped oyster – or Pinctada margaritifera – a native of the warm waters of the South Pacific surrounding the islands of French Polynesia, black Tahitian pearls have an intense colour spectrum and a unique iridescence. Depending on the light, natural black pearls (known as the peacock pearl for obvious reasons) glow with grey, green, blue, pink, violet and even golden overtones.
Against this chameleonic dial, we have other Breguet ‘signs’ like the open-tipped rose gold hands, the Arabic numerals (powdered silver) and the dots marking the minutes/seconds track. If you look closely, you will see that the central seconds hand has a red heart-shaped counterweight and the bevelled rose gold date window has a red background. Obviously, red is the colour of passion and associated with Valentine’s Day. The satin strap is also red with a lovely iridescent sheen to match the mother-of-pearl dial and is fastened to the wrist with a rose gold pin buckle.
The reverse side of the Breguet Classique Dame 9065 Tahitian Mother-of-Pearl offers a generous view of the automatic movement with 25 jewels, a 38-hour power reserve and features a silicon escape wheel and lever. The large 22k gold rotor is beautifully decorated with guilloché and the bridges with classic Côtes de Genève. The model number is marked on the caseback along with the individual number of the watch (01/28 – 28/28), which the owner can add to Breguet’s registers, kept continuously since the 1780s.
Availability and price
The Breguet Classique Dame 9065 Tahitian Mother-of-Pearl Tender Dreams is a limited edition of 28 numbered timepieces and reserved for a selection of Breguet boutiques. The price is EUR 28,300.
More information at breguet.com.