For the first time in its collection, the Breguet Reine de Naples 8918 features a dial in grand feu enamel.

It all started with Caroline Murat. Also known as Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger sister and the Queen Consort of Naples from 1808 to 1815, she was a great supporter of the arts and an enthusiastic collector of Breguet timepieces. During her lifetime she would own more than 30 Breguet watches and clocks.

In 1810, Abraham Louis Breguet established at Quai de l’Horloge in Paris began an unprecedented creation for the Queen of Naples: a watch designed to be worn on the wrist. It was the first wristwatch designed especially for this purpose. This oblong-shaped timepiece with an engine-turned silver dial was a delicate creation, including several complications: a repeater, a moon-phase indicator, and a thermometer. It was finished off with a wristlet of hair and gold thread that allowed it to be worn on the wrist.

Fast forward to today, Breguet introduces a new iteration of the Queen’s watch, with the Reine de Naples 8918 timepiece in an 18k white-gold case, with the self-winding manufacture Breguet caliber 537/3, and a beautifully executed dial in grand feu enamel – which is a first for the Reine de Naples collection.

On the porcelain white dial, the stylised Breguet Arabic numerals appear in blue enamel, as does the signature of the House and the words “émaillé Grand Feu” which means “grand feu enamel”. This special technique requires the dial to be heated at a temperature above 800°C, and placed in the kiln several times in order to create a natural sheen to the surface. The circumference of the bezel and the dial flange is adorned with 117 diamonds in white gold.

The user can easily read the time with the fine Breguet hands in blued steel. The off-center hours chapter features dots, diamond-shaped markers and fleurs-de-lis, punctuated by a pear-shaped diamond at 6 o’clock. When the light hits at just the right moment, the reflections allow a mysterious glimpse of Breguet’s secret signature that’s placed at 3 o’clock.

A white gold case frames this regal and elegant timepiece, with finely fluted sides to house the caliber 537/3, which has a power reserve of 45 hours. A briolette-cut diamonds adds a touch of sparkle to the crown at 4 o’clock. Turn to the sapphire-crystal caseback and it reveals the movement of the watch. The timepiece is completed with an alligator leather strap, fitted with a folding buckle set with 28 diamonds in the hues of a heavenly power-blue sky.

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If the owner so desires, the House of Breguet will record her name in its archives – kept since the late eighteenth century – next to the individual number, engraved on the back of the watch. Discover this regal watch and the rest of the Reine de Naples collection on Breguet’s website.

Photos: Breguet