A Touch Of Femininity: How Breguet Is Inspiring A New Generation Of Female Collectors
From one invention to another and for centuries, Breguet has seduced noble collectors, especially women.
Breguet is well-known for its high watchmaking and savoir-faire. As the pioneers of modern watchmaking, Breguet was the first to recognize that ladies want beautifully crafted complications on their wrist, and we’re glad. Here’s a closer look at how Breguet makes ladies swoon!
Adorning the pockets (and wrists) of history makers
Since its founding in 1775, Breguet has been associated with royalty. Kings, Queens, and nobility from all over the world wore these precious timepieces. From Marie-Antoinette to Queen Victoria – from King George III to the emblematic Winston Churchill, Breguet timepieces became the most loyal and trusted of advisors.
Back in 1783, an officer from the Queen’s guards commissioned Louis Breguet to create the most complicated watch ever made. With no limit of costs. It was supposed to be a gift for his Queen, the well-known Marie-Antoinette. She unfortunately never ended up taking possession of the watch, as the piece was completed years after her unfortunate execution. Nonetheless, the most complicated watch in the history of watchmaking was created not for a King, it was made for a Queen.
As legend has it, Marie-Antoinette was such a big fan of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s work that she kept recommending his watches to her court. Over her life, she owned many Breguet pieces and even received a simple Breguet pocket watch while in prison.
Inventors of the first wristwatch
Following the French revolution, most of Breguet’s inventions were ordered by royalty and high ranking society members because of their financial means. One of the most influential and best clients of Breguet was no less than the Queen of Naples, Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s younger sister. She famously ordered numerous watches and clocks, especially as gifts.
In 1810, she came to Breguet with an exceptional order. She wanted a watch that she could wear around the wrist. Delivered in 1812, the world's first wristwatch was an ultra-thin minute repeater with a thermometer. A revolution for the time, that Breguet completed beautifully. Again, a watchmaking revolution was created, and for a lady no less!
2019's Reine de Naples
As a tribute to the watch A-L. Breguet created in 1812, Breguet has introduced the Reine de Naples collection. The unusual oval case, inspired by Breguet’s creation for Caroline Bonaparte, perfectly marries a lady’s wrist. From steel to precious metals and stones, the pieces are well-thought masterpieces, and better still, all mechanical.
This year, the brand launched new and more colorful versions of their emblematic Reine de Naples Collection. Featuring Breguet hands and a delicate mother of pearl dial, these self-winding timepieces are a regal treat to the eyes and the wrist.
As a lover of all things red, my heart is set on the new Breguet Reine de Naples in 18-carat white gold case and set with 117 diamonds. The 36.5 x 28.45mm suits perfectly my smaller wrist and the diamonds give it the jewels every lady needs. The dial made of white mother of pearl is easy to read and the guilloche dial center reminds us of Breguet’s horological savoir-faire.
Now granted, the watch might be a bit too dressy for a casual day out. However, for 2019, Breguet also launched a steel version of the Reine de Naples with a denim strap. The real star of this automatic piece is the painted dial which resembles a beautiful ocean motif. This thoughtful touch makes each watch unique and adds that perfect splash of color we all yearned for.
Breguet Marine for ladies
Sporty, yet highly elegant, Breguet didn’t forget that ladies also want a watch that not only looks marvelous on our wrist but can live up to our adventures. The Breguet Marine collection is the perfect fit for land and sea adventures. The 33.8mm steel case is paired with a white rubber strap, and with a sea-like blue lacquered dial.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
Women also like a bit of dazzle with their complicated watches. Over the years, Breguet has made sumptuous precious metal watches. But always with a mechanical heart. The fact that a lady likes diamonds doesn’t stop her from admiring proper mechanics. We too are fascinated by the way a timepiece is powered with a simple and romantic winding of the crown.
One of those horological marvels is the Breguet Classique Complications ref. 3358 in a 35mm 18-carat white gold case. The mother of pearl dial reveals a tourbillon (also invented by Breguet in 1801). The watch itself can take your breath away, even before looking at the caseback which reveals the beautifully handcrafted movement. The decoration itself is striking but kept secret when worn. A gentle elegance, just like us, right ladies?
Men's watches transformed for ladies
Even if a brand manufactures beautiful ladies watches, it doesn’t mean that we can't also admire their more masculine pieces. For example, the new Breguet Tourbillon Classique Extra-Plat Squelette is also a perfect fit for a lady’s wrist. Elegant, innovative, and beautifully decorated, it’s a great homage to Breguet’s inventions.
There’s still a long way to go when it comes to seducing ladies onto the joys of mechanical watchmaking, but Breguet is well advanced on that matter. And as they’ve always gracefully said, history is still being written.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell & Breguet)