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A highly complicated watchBASELWORLD 2013: The Breguet Reine de Naples TAG/NACHT 8998

Among the timepieces Breguet produces, those in the Reine de Naples collection have always been noted for lapsing into poetry. This impression is no doubt due to the unique shape of the case, which symbolises the origin of life, but it could also be because it is a collection in which each highly complicated watch is made only for women.

In the Reine de Naples models, Breguet thus expresses its high regard for women through both artistic and mechanical skills. Breguet intended to bring to life in the Reine de Naples Day/Night model the enchanted dance of the sun and the moon as they strive to meet. To this end the company conceived a patented movement with a unique type of indication on two dials, one for the traditional hours and minutes, and the other to stage the complication showing the hours of day and night. To express the gracefulness of the dance, the manufacturing company resorted to a disc of lapis lazuli for the sky and encrusted it with clouds of white mother-of-pearl, gold stars and a moon of engraved titanium.

But the true star is the sun, symbolized by the facetted rim of the balance wheel that throws out rays of light. While the balance does its duty, the sun goes on a daylong tour, passing beneath the steel bridge supporting the mechanism, meeting the hands for the hours and minutes and reaching its zenith facing the onlooking titanium moon. On the decorative front, different finishes add to the enchantment of this whimsical complication. Breguet Arabic numerals thus mark the 24 hours while the hours chapter has Roman numerals. Flame patterned engine-turning evokes the brilliance of our sun while a barleycorn pattern has been cut around the edge. In an effort to out-dazzle, 143 diamonds have been set into the dial flange and the bezel, while the crown is topped by a briolette diamond. The hours and minutes hands are in blued steel with Breguet open tips.

Nor is the self-winding movement neglected: the rays of the sun engraved on the winding rotor can be admired through the sapphire-crystal caseback. Finally the case, water resistant to 30 metres, is on a black satin strap with a three-blade clasp.