Breguet Treats The Ladies With Gorgeous Reine de Naples, Marine, And Classique Versions For 2019
by Martin Green
Designing ladies’ watches today is a tricky business; there was a time when small and elegant would do it, but not anymore.
These days ladies’ watches have to serve multiple purposes in the same way a woman’s day does, combining a professional career, family life, and a variety of social events.
If budget allows, women (like men) at times possess a larger collection of timepieces making it easier to match the watch with the occasion and outfit. But having one watch able to suit a plethora of roles is more convenient (and affordable).
The designer’s challenge is to make a multitasking watch look as enticing as possible for every eventuality. While a blander design might match everything, if it doesn’t excite then there’s little point in wearing it at all.
But there’s luckily just the right thing: at Time to Move, Breguet showed us the subtle art of creating great ladies’ watches.
Breguet Classique Reference 9068: just add diamonds?
A great ladies’ watch is all about getting the proportions right and taking extra care with the design details. A great example of this is the Classique Reference 9068, with its diameter of 33.5 mm. Not 33 or 34, but 33.5.
Why? Because this exact size perfectly balances the width between lugs, the thickness of the bezel, and the size of the dial. It is also a size with presence without being overpowering.
Adding diamonds is a technique often used by brands as a shortcut to transforming what is, in essence, a watch for men into one for women. While that could be said of the Classique 9068, it is not entirely true as the proportions have all been changed to better fit the feminine wrist.
For the Classique 9068, Breguet could have opted for a completely different design like that of the oval-cased Reine de Naples, which is generally considered a ladies’ model (or one for an adventurous man).
What the Classique Reference 9068 offers is a classically round wristwatch, yet one with a few details highlighting its elegant character, including the bezel and lugs gorgeously set with brilliant-cut, colorless diamonds, making the watch look even more precious. Adding to that is the ruby cabochon set into the crown.
The dial is available in either traditional guilloche or mother-of-pearl, both providing a refined touch. Note the smattering of guilloche on the mother-of-pearl dial shown above to create a visual separation as a “track” for the numerals.
Breguet Marine Dame Reference 9518: different faces of sporty elegance
Breguet’s 2019 collection also welcomed new ladies’ watches to the Marine collection, its men’s collection having been entirely revamped in 2018.
And these ladies’ models are far more exciting in my opinion than the more conservative Classique – highlighting that Breguet understands how to add a dash of elegance to the sports watch.
Again, it is all a matter of proportion. And with a diameter of 33.8 mm, the Marine Dame is just right. It is interesting to note that Breguet also utilizes one of its strengths here: guilloche dials, here with a refreshingly modern twist.
The Marine Dame Reference 9518 features a dial with a dynamic wave pattern engraved into the mother-of-pearl with a traditional guilloche rose engine: a pattern Breguet calls “Marea,” which provides the dial with a three-dimensional effect.
The Marea design is engraved into a thin slice of mother-of-pearl, amplifying the stunning play of light. The diamond-set bezel complements the shimmering design and transforms the watch into a very precious creation.
Breguet offers the Marine Dame on either an alligator skin strap or a rubber strap, providing a sporty accent and reminding the wearer that, despite its ultra-charming appearance, this is a sports watch water-resistant to five atmospheres.
However, seen through that light, it is a bit disappointing that the water resistance of the Marine Dame is only 50 meters and not 100 meters like the gold time-only men’s models. For a watch with “Marine” in its name you might have expected a bit more.
There are, however, no complaints when it comes to the movement; Caliber 591A is as capable as it is beautiful. Breguet added to its captivating appearance by setting the 22-karat gold rotor with 31 diamonds around its edge as well as a mother-of-pearl inlay engraved with the Marea design.
These details elevate it into an even higher realm.
Breguet offers the Marine Dame Reference 9518 in a different version with a more contemporary touch crafted in stainless steel. But the main difference is the bewitching dial with a smoky effect in blue lacquer, which is both mesmerizing and makes the watch look very different from its pink gold sibling.
The Marine Dame is available on either an alligator or rubber strap. I find it a pity, though, that the brand didn’t add a third version to it, blue denim, as I believe that a denim strap would look just as stunning on this watch as it does on the new Reine de Naples Reference 8967.
Breguet Reine de Naples Reference 8967: fit for a modern-day queen
There is also a version of the Reine de Naples Reference 8967 with that gorgeous blue lacquer dial featuring the same smoky look. Thanks to its oval dial, there is plenty of room for dramatic effect, which is further enhanced by the large 12 and 6 numerals painted in relief and the spider-web grid design indicating the hours.
Breguet also offers a version in a stainless steel case, making it a bit more casual and a lot more contemporary.
The blue denim strap is a stroke of genius on this watch, and quite unexpected from a brand like Breguet. I would have preferred the denim material to have been a touch darker in color, but that’s just a matter of taste.
For those who consider the new Reine de Naples Reference 8967 a bit too blue, there is also the Reine de Naples Reference 8918, which features a guilloche inner dial and a mother-of-pearl outer dial with bold Arabic numerals in crimson providing a subtle colorful element to a very elegant watch.
The Reine de Naples Reference 8967 is clearly meant to be more elegant than its new sibling, with its alligator skin strap in the same color as the numerals. The case is in 18-karat white gold and set with diamonds.
The Reference 8967 might be a more typical ladies’ watch in terms of style, but not in the way that it has been brought together. Breguet gives a masterclass in the subtle difference that details can make and how thinking outside the box – yet retaining a focus on one’s own strong points – can serve a brand well.
Quick Facts Breguet Classique Reference 9068
Case: 33.5 x 7.55 mm, white or pink gold, bezel and lugs set with 88 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.606 ct); ruby cabochon (pink gold version) or sapphire cabochon (white gold version) in crown
Movement: automatic Caliber 591A, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, silicon balance spring and escapement lever, 38 hours power reserve; 22-karat gold rotor
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
For more information, please visit breguet.com/en/timepieces/new-models-classique/9068.
Quick Facts Breguet Marine Dame Reference 9518
Case: 33.8 x 9.89 mm, stainless steel (set with approx. 60 brilliant-cut diamonds, 0.84 ct) or pink or white gold (set with 50 brilliant-cut diamonds, approx. 1.165 cts)
Movement: automatic Caliber 591A, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, silicon balance spring and escapement lever, 38 hours power reserve; 22-karat gold rotor set with 31 diamonds
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price:$20,000 (rubber strap), $20,700 (alligator skin strap)
For more information, please visit breguet.com/en/timepieces/new-models-la-marine/9518.
Quick Facts Breguet Reine de Naples Reference 8967
Case: 43.75 x 35.5 x 9.58 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber 591C, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, silicon balance spring and escapement lever, 38 hours power reserve; 22-karat gold rotor
Functions: hours, minutes
For more information, please visit breguet.com/en/timepieces/new-models-reine-de-naples/8967.