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Brief Impressions Review: Breguet Reine de Naples

by Peter Chong on March 9, 2014
Reviews

The Reine de Naples is a family of watches inspired by the original that Breguet made on royal commission by order of Maria Carolina of Austria, who was the Queen of Naples.

The Breguet Reine de Naples, a magnificent wristwatch and the portrait of the Maria Caroline, the Queen of Naples who was the inspiration behind the design.

The Breguet Reine de Naples, a magnificent wristwatch and the portrait of the Maria Caroline, the Queen of Naples who was the inspiration behind the design.

Maria was the patron of the arts in Naples, and had a special relationship with Breguet during her reign, and commissioned many pieces, including an ultra thin minute repeater with thermometer which was to be worn on the wrist. This watch was delivered in 1812, and quite possibly was the pre-cursor to the wristwatch, now ubiquitous.

Inspired by this legendary Queen, the watchmakers at the modern Breguet created a very elegant, egg shaped watch case, with a fine fluting on the caseband. This family of watches are known as the Reine de Naples, or Queen of Naples.

Breguet Reine de Naples' egg shaped case manages to be elegant while remaining understated, even when encrusted in diamonds.

Breguet Reine de Naples’ egg shaped case manages to be elegant while remaining understated, even when encrusted in diamonds.
The quality of the workmanship of the diamond setting is extraordinarily fine, and fitting for a wrist watch which is inspired by and intended for the elegant lady.

Today’s brief feature is on one such piece, the 8928BR/51/844 DD0D. The case is fitted with 139 diamonds totalling approximately 1.32 carats. The crown is set with an exceptionally beautiful briolette diamond. The caseback has a round cutout with sapphire crystal to show the movement.

The movement is the self-winding. Cal. 586. 38 hours of power reserve. In-line Swiss lever escapement and flat silicon balance-spring.

The movement is the self-winding. Cal. 586. 38 hours of power reserve. In-line Swiss lever escapement and flat silicon balance-spring.
Finishing is de rigeur, but not exceptional. All the essential elements of fine finishing are present and accounted for.

The case is rather elegant, with dimensions: 33 × 24.95 mm, and will fit a petite wrist quite nicely. We have it on good authority that it will also fit larger wrists, as the watch has also been purchased by a few gentlemen for their own wrists. We also find the dial, which is made of natural mother of pearl to be particularly attractive with exploding Roman numerals as hour markers.

The clasp of the deployant buckle used to secure the Reine de Naples to the owner's elegant wrist is also diamond encrusted and features a stylized B for Breguet.

The clasp of the deployant buckle used to secure the Reine de Naples to the owner’s elegant wrist is also diamond encrusted and features a stylized B for Breguet.
The craftsmanship of the clasp to be quite extraordinary, both aesthetically as well as in technical execution.

The Breguet Reine de Naples, and the equally stunning Breguet Messidor Tourbillon Squellette.

The Breguet Reine de Naples, and the equally stunning Breguet Messidor Tourbillon Squellette. A rather nice his/hers pair of watches, don’t you think?

In our view, one of the nicer and certainly one of most elegant of ladies watches with a mechanical heart in the market today. As many of our female collectors and their admirers know, this blend of aesthetics with jewellery and mechanical movement is rather hard to come by.

 

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