Some watches you’re fortunate to see as soon as in a lifetime in case you have the chance to see them in any respect. At a latest go to of Haute Time to the Breguet manufacture in Switzerland, we had the surprising delight to be eye to eye with one of the vital vital historic watches on this planet; The Marie-Antoinette.
In 1783 Abraham-Louis Breguet was already a watchmaker with an excellent fame, regardless of being solely in enterprise for himself for lower than ten years. The task that he obtained at the moment was so simple as it was extraordinary; create a watch that comes with each complication and each refinement identified to man and craft it from probably the most treasured supplies, with no limitations to price or time to make it occur. This request was put ahead by an officer of the guard of Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France.
What was identified internally as Watch No.160 would grow to be Breguet’s ‘pièce de résistance’; his final masterpiece. The woman for who the watch was meant would by no means lay eyes on the ultimate end result, and neither would Breguet himself. Marie-Antoinette can be executed in the course of the French revolution, however this didn’t cease Breguet from engaged on the watch. As a result of turbulent political instances, his enterprise had vital ups and downs, and particularly the latter allowed him to work on this distinctive watch.
Whereas he labored very laborious to finish it earlier than his personal loss of life, in September 1823, he, sadly, didn’t succeed. It was his son Antoine-Louis, who would ultimately end the watch 4 years later.
Breguet No.160, or higher identified underneath its nick-name Marie-Antoinette, was the top of watchmaking of its time. It may be seen as one of many first ‘Grande Issues’ because it integrated a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, equation of time, in addition to a split-second chronograph and an influence reserve indicator. It was additionally outfitted with a number of of Breguet’s personal innovations, amongst them a metallic thermometer and a platinum oscillating weight, as Breguet pioneered this fashion of creating pocket watches wind themselves mechanically.
Breguet crafted two dials for the Marie-Antoinette, a standard one in enamel, but in addition one from rock crystal, which permits for seeing the mechanics, and was fitted on the watch as we noticed it. Giving its distinctive pedigree, distinctive craftsmanship, complicated motion and historic significance, a very as soon as in a lifetime expertise.