Right from its origins, Breguet has consistently appealed to women through exceptional creations mingling jewellery sophistication and mechanical prowess. In creating precious gem set timepieces, Breguet watchmakers and master-jewellers draw inspiration from the prestigious women whose names have historically graced its order books. The High Jewellery collection comprises regal-looking timepieces echoing the splendid universe of the queen of France, Marie-Antoinette, or of Caroline Murat, queen of Naples.
This year and for the very first time, Breguet is paying homage to the Empress Josephine, first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, by unveiling a model entirely dedicated to her: the Perles Impériales Haute Joaillerie watch. Josephine was a passionate art lover and a fervent admirer of Breguet’s work, who contributed to enriching the large collection of Breguet watches owned by the Bonaparte family. In 1800, she notably acquired a small tact watch, no. 611, recognisable by its blue enamel case and the diamonds adorning its caseband. The model presented this year in the High Jewellery collection is inspired by this unique model and recalls the jewellery sets and other adornments worn by the Empress.
The Perles Impériales watch presents ever more sophisticated gemsetting techniques testifying to the quest for excellence pursued by the Breguet jewellery artisans. Brilliant-cut diamonds finely set around the rim of the bezel accentuate the oval shape of the case typifying the brand’s ladies’ collections. Breguet has taken aesthetic refinement to extremes by incorporating an additional row of diamonds beneath the prongs, held in place by the delicately crafted gold wires of the chaton settings. The overall effect is further enhanced by a strikingly large pearl replacing the famous ball-type lug at 6 o’clock, the distinctive signature of High Jewellery and Reine de Naples models. A flange set with brilliant-cut diamonds, along with four diamond markers – at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock – contribute to the radiance of this creation, adorned with almost six carats of diamonds.
The Perles Impériales model is available in two versions, each endowed with exceptional characteristics and finishes. The first interpretation has a white gold case and a natural white mother-of-pearl dial adorned with a supremely fine engine-turned motif reminiscent of dainty embroidery work. It is set at 6 o’clock with an Akoya pearl. The second variation comes in a rose gold case set with a Tahitian pearl, framing an engine-turned Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial.
Like all Breguet timepieces, these creations house a mechanical movement endowed with the brand’s latest innovations in the field of fine watchmaking. A sapphire crystal caseback provides a chance to admire the entire set of components, including a silicon balance-spring, as well as the meticulous engine-turning on the oscillating weight, reflecting the dial motif.
Model: Breguet Perles Impériales Haute Joaillerie
18-carat white gold, ovoid
Case band set with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.24 ct)
Surround set with 23 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 4.12 cts) and an Akoya pearl Flange set with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.13 ct)
Chaton settings incorporating 15 brilliant-cut diamonds beneath the prongs (approx. 0.93 ct)
Crown set with a briolette diamond (approx. 0.28 ct)
Dimensions 34.4 x 28.7mm
Engine-turned natural mother-of-pearl
Breguet medallion at 12 o’clock
Offset hours chapter with diamond markers at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock
Breguet open-tipped hands in blued steel
Self-winding movement, numbered and signed Breguet
Cal. 586/1. 6¾ lignes, 29 jewels
38 hours power reserve
Rotor in engine-turned 950 platinum
In-line Swiss lever escapement
Breguet balance on a silicon spring
Balance frequency 3Hz
Adjusted in 6 positions
Satin strap with a folding clasp set with 26 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.14 ct)
Approx. 5.7 carats of diamonds in total
Also available in rose gold: Reference GJ29BR8924TDT8