Appearances can be deceptive, and this is particularly true of Breguet. While at first sight, the venerable brand looks pretty classic and dedicated to men’s watches, the reality is very different. In 2014, Breguet once again proves that behind this initial impression lies an innovative brand firmly dedicated to both sexes.
Half of this year’s launches are dedicated to women. In saying that, we’re not talking about a jewellery collection – even though Breguet presents a substantial number of such models – but well and truly about watches. The Reine de Naples, the ladies’ flagship collection with its instantly recognisable egg shape, welcomes two new references. The first is an evolution of a watch introduced last year.
The Reine de Naples Jour Nuit 8999 Haute Joaillerie is equipped with a rotating escapement system that is clearly visible on the dial. It represents the alternation between night and day by the rotation of a disc bearing symbols of both halves of the 24-hour cycle. It is also proof that mechanics can be fascinating beyond the gender barrier, especially when they shine with such dazzling brightness. This exceptionally complicated and gem-set watch is adorned with over 400 diamonds spread across its case, bezel, dial, crown and buckle.
This year brings a second development in this regal line, since the Reine de Naples is founding a dynasty by introducing its daughter, the Reine de Naples Princesse. Sleeker, more modern and thus more youthful by nature, the Princesse also features a curvier profile ensuring a smoother fit on a dainty wrist – and a perfect fit with today’s world. While slightly larger than its forebear , at 34x45 mm, ‘she’ is nonetheless very much her mother’s daughter, also endowed with a self-winding movement from the Manufacture Breguet and attired in pink gold robes.
For women who prefer a more conventional round watch, Breguet interprets its elegant design codes with the new Classique Dame 9068. A white gold case with a fluted caseband, a hand-guilloché dial, welded lugs with an inimitable curve, blued open-tipped hands: this is beyond doubt a true Breguet, as is confirmed by its selfwinding movement.. This model is rather small at just 33.5 mm, and delicately set with no less than 88 diamonds adorning its bezel and lugs. This is indeed a mechanical, classical, refined and particularly feminine watch.
Nor are men by any means neglected. After having announced it as a preview in 2013, Breguet launches the Classique Extra-Thin Selfwinding Tourbillon 5377. Dressed in platinum, the world’s thinnest selfwinding tourbillon joins the ranks of elegant complication watches. Meanwhile, devotees of large Breguet watches will also succumb to the charms of the Classique Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar ref.3797. Its 41 mm pink gold case houses a particularly finely crafted tourbillon debuting a brand-new generously sized bridge cross-through bridge that is delicately cut-out and meticulously drawn out with a file. As if suspended in mid-air, it benefits from the combined effects of levitation and transparency.
Alongside such visual delights, the eye is inevitably drawn to the perpetual calendar indications of ref. 3797. The retrograde date is located at 12 o’clockbeneath the hours and minutes chapter. While the latter is regularly off-centred on a Breguet watch, it is rarely lifted to the foreground as on this model. These main hands sweep over the uppermost level of the dial, rimmed by a frosted sapphire ring bearing the indexes. The many sub-spaces on the dial provide a perfect setting for an equally wide variety of guilloché patterns, another of Breguet’s signature specialities. No less than five are featured here, and as if that weren’t enough, Breguet has prepared a fully skeletonized version of this complicated watch. Noblesse oblige.