Tracing the history of the Breguet Reine de Naples, from its mysterious origins in the 19th century to its revival in 2002 and its current status.
In the realm of horology, the Breguet Reine de Naples collection stands as a resplendent tribute to the harmonious fusion of innovation, elegance, and the artistry of watchmaking. Its name pays homage to Queen Marie Antoinette of Naples, a cherished patron of the legendary watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. This exceptional collection has gracefully evolved over the passage of time, seamlessly intertwining timeless design aesthetics with avant-garde technological prowess. Today, we take you on a journey tracing the captivating history of this collection and highlighting its iconic features and the influence of women in shaping its identity.
The Breguet Reine de Naples collection has seamlessly merged timeless design with cutting-edge technology, evolving gracefully.
Where It All Began
The story of the Breguet Reine de Naples collection begins in the early 19th century when Abraham-Louis Breguet, the founder of the Breguet brand, was commissioned to create a unique timepiece for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, in 1810. With Caroline Murat’s order in hand, Breguet embarked on the creation of what would become the ancestor of the Reine de Naples collection. At that time, it was simply known as “a repeater in oblong form for a bracelet,” a humble entry in the registers, carrying the number 2639. However, this tale is wrapped in history, for since 1855, the original watch has vanished without a trace – no engravings, no paintings, not even a single sketch to offer a visual memory.
The ambitious and very beautiful Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat holds a special place among Breguet’s best clients.
The Revival of the Legend
Nearly two hundred years later, Breguet successfully reconstructed the Queen of Naples collection by assembling clues from their historic records and incorporating many of the details of the historic 2839 watch. The Reine de Naples collection was officially launched in 2002, inspired by the original Marie Antoinette watch.
The Maison aimed to pay homage to the brand’s rich history and celebrate the elegance of women through horology with the collection. It was an instant success, with its distinctive oval-shaped case and intricate details that echoed the spirit of the 18th-century original.
Through The Years
In the years that followed, Breguet’s most renowned ladies’ watch blossomed into a diverse array of variations, both in terms of technology and aesthetics. The collection has been available in a captivating range featuring delicate guilloché patterns, mother-of-pearl dials like the 8919, intricate cameo-carved natural shell like the 8908, or resplendent displays adorned with diamonds and vibrant precious stones like the 8928. The egg-shaped watch cases, available in pink or white gold and often embellished with diamonds, can be found in two distinct sizes: either large at 43.75 x 35.50mm or small at 33 x 24.95mm. Two distinctive features further enriched the design: a small crown positioned at 4 o’clock and a ball attachment at 6 o’clock, which elegantly connects the case to a satin strap or a woven gold bracelet.
Beyond its exquisite aesthetics, the modern-day Reine de Naples timepiece is powered by an automatic movement that houses an array of remarkable complications, including moon phases with a day/night indication and striking mechanisms. Over the years, the notably elegant design of the Reine de Naples has attracted much praise and has proved a commercial success.
This amalgamation of intricate complications, presented with exceptional artistry, has solidified the Breguet Reine de Naples as an enduring icon of classical horology. It serves as a fitting homage to a truly regal timepiece, whose historical origins continue to remain cloaked in mystery.