The history of clocks and watches can be traced a long way. In the long history of clocks and watches, those famous and legendary clocks and watches are full of stories that make future generations relish. Today, let’s talk about a pocket watch in the history of the most legendary watch and the first watch in the history of the watch, to see the story behind them.
Queen Marie Antoinette of France
Breguet’s ‘Marie Antoinette’ pocket watch (No. 160) is arguably the most legendary timepiece in watchmaking history. In 1783, Master Breguet received a special mission. , A mysterious admirer of Queen Marie Antoinette to order an amazing pocket watch as a gift to the queen, demanding that the pocket watch integrate all the complicated functions of the time and use gold as much as possible to replace other metals , And other affiliated organizations, that is, complex devices must also be numerous and diversified, and there are no restrictions on production time and cost. The pocket watch was finally made in 1827 and took 44 years to build.
Breguet ‘Marie Antoinette’ Pocket Watch (No. 160)
The pocket watch was kept in Breguet’s warehouse until it was sold to British collector Sir Spencer Brunton in 1887, and then transferred to his brother. The owner of the pocket watch became Murray Mark and then became Sir David Salomons Precious collection.
In 1925, Sir David Salomons died, and his daughter inherited the pocket watch. After that, the daughter of Sir David Salomons founded a museum of Islamic art and donated all his collections to the museum, including all watch collections inherited from his father. On April 16, 1983, the museum was visited by thieves, all watch collections were ransacked, and ‘Marie Antoinette’ pocket watches were also stolen. Although INTERPOL has been working hard to investigate, it has remained dead and silent since then. It was not until November 14, 2007, that this masterpiece was found by the police, and most of the stolen watch collections were also found. The new museum of the Mayr Museum of Islamic Art also opened to the public in the spring of 2009. The highlight of the opening exhibition is, of course, this ‘Mary Antoinette’ pocket watch numbered 160.
Nicolas G. Hayek and Reissue ‘Mary Antoinette’ Pocket Watch (No. 1160)
It must be mentioned here that in 2004, the founder of the Swatch Group, Nicolas G. Hayek, decided to re-print the ‘Mary-Andovervanet’ pocket watch. This is a huge challenge for Breguet’s watchmakers, because rebuilding this pocket watch can only rely on historical archives. The original technical drawings and materials owned by the Breguet Museum and the Art and Trade Museum in Paris provide the only information and assistance to further understand each function and decorative details of the pocket watch. In addition, before replicating this ‘Mary Andorvannet’ pocket watch, it was necessary to restore the watchmaking tools of the time. After overcoming various difficulties, the Breguet technical team finally unveiled the engraved version at a press conference in the spring of 2008. It was placed in a gorgeous wooden box and adopted the French King Mary Antoinette. Made of Queen’s favorite oak wood.
Naples Queen Carolina Mullah
The first wristwatch in history was also from Breguet. Napoleon I’s youngest sister, Carolina Mula, was Breguet’s most loyal patron, and she had purchased no less than 34 Breguet timepieces. In 1810, when she was already a queen of Naples, she entrusted Breguet with an order, which contained a very creative description ‘ellipse bracelet timepiece’. Two months after the order was placed, Breguet started making this watch, which took two and a half years to complete.
This bracelet watch uses the most common quarter-hour function of Breguet timepieces, a rare oblong shape, a lever escapement and a thermometer. And, at the request of the queen, this bracelet watch changed the engraved gold dial to the engraved silver dial with Arabic numerals inlaid on the dial, which was extremely rare on the gold and silver dials at the time. .
When this bracelet watch was delivered to Naples, Queen Carolina Mullah was fighting alongside Emperor Napoleon in Russia. Although Breguet’s file does not contain any sketches describing the external design of this bracelet watch, in the two subsequent maintenance records, this unprecedented masterpiece was recorded and described in detail. This masterpiece was amazing and impressed. We can also glimpse the true features of some of the first wristwatches in history from this maintenance file. This ultra-thin timepiece No. 2639 uses a silver dial with Arabic numerals and hour markers. The dial has fast / slow Instructions, and also a thermometer. Mounted on a bracelet with gold thread weaving, a simple gold key, and a second bracelet with a woven gold-red leather case.
Today, the first watch in history is nowhere to be found. Any public or private collection indicates that it is owned. Is it still alive? Will it reappear someday? Investigation is ongoing!
Reine de Naples Queen Naples 8908
In 2018, Breguet launched a new Queen Naples series 8909 watch based on the first watch in history, No. 2639. This 8908 watch fully interprets the main features of the first watch in the history of No. 2639, the power reserve at 12 o’clock and the moon phase profit and loss display. The eccentric scale ring and small seconds dial are located at 6 and 7 o’clock, respectively. We said NO. 2639 is a long oval spring watch, this model uses a separate lever escapement, with a thermometer function, dial with fast / slow indication, and in this latest 8908 watch This function is replaced by a power reserve and moon phase profit and loss display.
The case of this 8908 watch is made of 18K rose gold, and the bezel and dial flange are set with 128 brilliant-cut diamonds (about 0.77 carats). The crown is set with a curved ruby (approximately 0.27 carats). The dial is a gold engraved dial with Tahitian mother-of-pearl. Engraved with independent number and signature of Breguet. The scale ring uses Roman numerals. Blue steel Breguet hands. It is equipped with Breguet CAL.537 DRL2 self-winding movement, using silicon escape wheel and linear lever escapement, Breguet balance spring and silicon balance spring. Provides a 45-hour power reserve. Also available in rose gold bracelet.
With this new Queen Naples series 8908 watch, Breguet reinterprets the masterpieces in the history of watchmaking, and also adds to the brand’s ladies watch series.