This year marks the 200th anniversary of the design of the first wrist-worn watch, ordered from Breguet by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples.
The anniversary offers Breguet the opportunity to add the first Grande Complication design to the Reine de Naples collection for ladies only: automatic strike. This elaborate “complication” marks the hours automatically every hour on the hour with two strikes, repeated three times, a charming and discreet way of signalling the passage of time.
A pushpiece opposite 2 o’clock allows the wearer to deactivate this function. The automatic strike is featured on a new egg-shaped movement from the Breguet workshops, developed specifically for women’s watches. It combines the sophistication of automatic strike with the subtle beauty of a design entirely engraved and decorated by hand.
Along with the usual technical considerations, its makers factored in their aesthetic ambitions in addition to the results of fundamental research by Breguet technical specialists on the acoustics of watches featuring striking and repeater mechanisms.
The shape of the new movement’s bridges and oscillating weight as well as the details of its decorative work come together to form the image of a dove in flight, visible on the underside of the watch through a clear sapphire back plate. Its white gold case sets off the watch’s white mother -of-pearl dial, framed by a bezel entirely set with diamonds.
Separated by a diamond that signals the start of the strike, the hammers are visible on the upper part of the dial, at eleven and at one o’clock.
Model: Breguet Reine De Naples With Hour-Strike
Ref. 8978BB/58/974 D00D
Egg-shaped in 18-carat white gold with finely fluted caseband. Bezel set with 30 diamonds, approx. 3 cts. Crown set with a « briolette» diamond, approx. 0.26 cts. On/off pushpiece for the striking-mechanism at 2 o’clock. Hand -engraved caseback with sapphire -crystal. Dimensions: 38.45 x 30.40 mm. Water -resistant to 3 bar (30 m).
Natural white mother -of-pearl. Individually numbered and signed BREGUET. Chapter ring off -centred at 6 o’clock. Open -tipped BREGUET hands in blued steel. One diamond indicates the on/off setting of the hour-strike in an aperture at 12 o’clock. Two apertures on the dial at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock leave the hammers of the strike visible.
Self-winding mechanical in a shape of a dove. Hand-engraved and individually numbered and signed BREGUET. Cal. 78SO. 13¼ x 9¾ lines. 54 jewels. 65-hour power reserve without strike or approx. 50-hour power-reserve when the strike is on. Hand-engraved 18K white gold rotor. Straight-line Swiss lever escapement. BREGUET Balance wheel with regulating screws. Frequency 3 Hz. Adjusted in 5 positions.
White alligator leather with folding clasp set with 26 diamonds, approx. 0.14 cts.