As the leading watchmaker of his day, Abraham-Louis Breguet hobnobbed with France’s royalty and aristocracy. Apart from his commissions for gentlemen, his celebrity client list also included Queen Marie-Antoinette, Empress Josephine, and Caroline Murat, Napoleon Bonaparte’s youngest sister, aka the Queen of Naples. A keen collector of Breguet’s revolutionary timekeepers, in 1810, Caroline Murat placed two orders: a grande complication carriage clock and an oblong-shaped minute repeater that could be attached to the wrist, considered one of the first purpose-built wristwatches. Although the original was lost, its oval shape was the muse for Breguet’s successful Reine de Naples collection, launched in 2002. With the year drawing to a close, Breguet gets a head start on Valentine’s Day 2024 with a dainty Reine de Naples model glowing with passionate red rubies and white diamonds.
The egg-shaped 18k white gold case has petite feminine dimensions with a diameter of 24.95mm, a length of 33mm and a slim height of 8.5mm. The fine fluting on the caseband is a distinctive feature of Breguet’s watches and follows the contours of the oval shape that is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. The crown, placed at 4 o’clock – so as not to interfere with the oval case shape – is set with a bright red cabochon-cut ruby, while the distinctive round-shaped attachment covering the strap at 6 o’clock is set with diamonds. Underscoring the tapering egg-shaped case, the 45 hand-set diamonds in the bezel follow the contours beautifully.
Compared to the complex model created for the Queen of Naples with a minute repeater, a moon phase complication and a thermometer, the Reine de Naples 8925 is a lavishly decorated but straightforward time-only model.
Moving to the shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial, the highly stylized Breguet numerals are graduated in size, with the Arabic numeral 12 commanding most of the upper half. The slanted Breguet numerals emphasize the egg-shaped case’s diminishing size as they reach the lower half of the dial. As a watch designed to celebrate the most romantic day of the year, the flange is set with 66 rubies, and there are twelve red heart-shaped hour markers on the off-centred sub-dial. Finally, the classic Breguet open-tipped hands are varnished red.
The Reine de Naples 8925 is equipped with the automatic in-house calibre 586/1 with a silicon balance spring, a 38-hour power reserve and a 3Hz frequency. As is Breguet’s tradition with the Reine de Naples series, each movement and each case is individually signed and numbered. A sapphire crystal window on the caseback reveals the platinum rotor with its guilloché decoration and the Côtes de Genève and bevelling on the mechanism.
Unlike Caroline Murat’s wristwatch, attached by a bracelet made of hair and intertwined gold threads, women will be pleased to note that the Reine de Naples 8925 comes on a bright, glossy red alligator leather strap with a buckle set with 28 diamonds.
Availability & Price
The Breguet Reine de Naples 8925 Valentine’s Day Edition is a limited edition of 28 pieces. The price is upon request, but to give you an idea, a similar model in Breguet’s catalogue retails for EUR 42,300.
For more information, please consult Breguet.com.