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Reine de Naples 8978

BASELNEWS 2010Breguet: Reine de Naples - automatic strike

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the design of the first wrist-worn watch, ordered from Breguet by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples. The anniversary offers Breguet the opportunity to add the first Grande Complication design to the Reine de Naples collection for ladies only: automatic strike.

This elaborate “complication” marks the hours automatically every hour on the hour with two strikes, repeated three times, a charming and discreet way of signalling the passage of time. A pushpiece opposite 2 o’clock allows the wearer to deactivate this function. The automatic strike is featured on a new egg-shaped movement from the Breguet workshops, developed specifically for women’s watches. It combines the sophistication of automatic strike with the subtle beauty of a design entirely engraved and decorated by hand. Along with the usual technical considerations, its makers factored in their aesthetic ambitions in addition to the results of fundamental research by Breguet technical specialists on the acoustics of watches featuring striking and repeater mechanisms.

The shape of the new movement’s bridges and oscillating weight as well as the details of its decorative work come together to form the image of a dove in flight, visible on the underside of the watch through a clear sapphire back plate. Its white gold case sets off the watch’s white mother-of-pearl dial, framed by a bezel entirely set with diamonds. Separated by a diamond that signals the start of the strike, the hammers are visible on the upper part of the dial, at eleven and at one o’clock.

A true masterpiece of Haute Horlogerie, the Reine de Naples Sonnerie design embodies to perfection Nicolas G. Hayek’s remark about Breguet: “Breguet is the perfect meeting of beauty and advanced technology.”