The Breguet Reine de Naples collection launched in 2002 following the historic description of an “oblong (repeater) for bracelet.” This now-iconic feminine shape was resurrected 190 years after Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, commissioned Abraham-Louis Breguet to make the repeater for her royal wrist. The Reine de Naples’ oval-shaped case is a rare sight in watchmaking, but it serves to make one of the most memorable watches in production today.
As the resident pen writer at this publication, and since ‘plume’ is the French word for both quill and pen, I thought I’d share my thoughts about Breguet’s Rêve de Plume. This haute joaillerie timepiece is part of the Breguet Plumes collection, and it is a tribute to Queen Marie Antoinette.
Sometimes watchmakers come up with something that appears to come straight out of a medical textbook. Like a mainspring that’s not a mainspring, even though it’s a mainspring. And this is the kind of incredible thing present inside the Breguet 7077 La Tradition Independent Chronograph, which, as its name implies, has a chronograph gear train independent of the main going train even powered by its own spring. And they are designed to do two very different things.
When it comes to a brand like Breguet, one expects nothing but the very best in every aspect of its representation. So I figured its pens, like its recent jewelry collections, would be solid and elegant expressions of the company’s overriding sense of quality and innovation. I was right.
It seems like only yesterday, but it was all the way back in January of 2014 that I had the opportunity to sit down for the first time with Elizabeth and Ian and hear their plans for Quill & Pad. Before the year completely gets away, here are a few of my observations and reflections on the industry, my first year at Quill & Pad, and my year in watches.
You may be familiar with the old Christmas diddy “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Let me sing you the final verse of this song, including what my true love gave to me on the twelfth and final day, in horological terms…
Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, my starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. What have I learned since then?
Read about my recent purchase of the lovely Breguet Classique Chronométrie Reference 7727, which is not only the 2014 Aiguille d’Or winner of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, but also an excellent example of how classic can successfully meet high-tech and live to tell about it.
The Tradition Fusée Tourbillon is the most incredible modern Breguet that I have ever seen. I make no claims as to its innovation, its complexity, or its everyday wearability. I simply make the claim that if you wanted a true Breguet timepiece with all of the brand’s history rolled into one, the 7047 would be the one.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?