French Maison Breguet is a luxury watch, clock manufacturer founded by Abraham Louis Breguet in Paris, in 1775. Breguet is one of the oldest surviving watchmaking brands and a pioneer of numerous watchmaking technologies such as the tourbillon, which was invented by Abraham Breguet in 1801. He also invented and produced the world’s first self-winding watch (the Perpétuelle) in 1780, as well as the world’s first wristwatch in 1810 (the Breguet No.2639, for Caroline Bonaparte, Queen of Naples).
Over the years, notable Breguet patrons and timepieces owners include Queen Marie Antoinette, King Louis XVI, Count Axel von Fersen, King George III, Queen Victoria, Tsar Alexandre I of Russia, Napoléon Bonaparte, Ettore Bugatti, King Farouk, Duke of Windsor, Sir Winston Churchill, Gioachino Rossini, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Putin and so on.
Breguet’s self-winding or ‘perpétuelle’ watches brought him considerable fame both at the court of Versailles and throughout Europe. Although he was not the first to produce a self-winding watch, most experts agree in saying that he produced the first watch of this kind that was truly reliable and effective.
Breguet’s watches had immediate success not only for the quality of the internal mechanisms but also for their design. Just think to the watch hands that he designed in 1783. Made of gold or blued steel and with the circle motifs hollowed out in eccentric fashion, they added irresistible elegance to a watch. They became an immediate success demonstrated by the fact that the term ‘Breguet hands’ soon entered the vocabulary of watchmaking.
Breguet watches are often easily recognized for their coin-edge cases, guilloché dials and blue pomme hands (now often referred to as ‘Breguet hands’).
For his dials he used white enamel plates with typical Arabic numerals leaning slightly to the right or guilloché decorations, i.e. receptive patterns engraved on the dial plate using a manual lathe. More than merely decorative, a guilloché pattern offered the advantage of suppressing the reflection of light on metal dial plates.
But today, with the new Marine Haute Joaillerie Poseidonia, Breguet takes inspiration from the beauties of the seas to create a Fine Watchmaking timepiece that requires exceptional craftsmanship. The name Poseidonia refers to the Posidonia oceanica, an aquatic plant also known as Neptune grass that is essential to the sea’s balance.
Depicting the plant’s arabesques through the art of mother-of-pearl marquetry and invisible setting, the Marine Haute Joaillerie 9509 Poseidonia is presented in a diamond-set version with Tahitian mother of pearl and three other colourful versions – sapphire-set blue, ruby-set red or emerald-set green – with white mother-of-pearl.
For the three latter models, Breguet composes the curves of the Poseidonia in different colors starting from the dominant hue of each version – red, green, or blue. Each of the 85 gems composing the pattern is selected for its hue, then cut and set invisibly.
On the bezel, the setting is composed of the different colors of the dial, just like the setting of the strap buckle. The metallic finish in the center of the buckle also takes the dominant color, as does the iridescent nuance of the leather strap.
The sides of the 35.80 mm x 10.46 mm white-gold case and the crown are delicately fluted, alternating between polished white gold and baguette-cut diamonds. A briolette-cut diamond tops the crown, claw set with six baguette-cut diamonds. The crown protection is set entirely invisibly with 14 baguette-cut diamonds.
Open-tipped Breguet hands in gold indicate the hours and minutes. The tip of the second hand reveals the letter B of the maritime code of signals – a distinctive feature of the Marine collection.
On the caseback, the transparent sapphire reveals the extra-thin, self-winding 591C caliber, whose bridges are engine-turned by hand with the Marine motif, inspired by the deck of a ship. On the bevel of the white-gold rotor, the sparkling diamond border contrasts with the mother-of-pearl. Beating at the frequency of 4 Hz, the movement guarantees 38 hours of power reserve.
The words Horloger de la Marine (Watchmaker to the Navy) are engraved on the rim of the caseback in white gold. This refers to the title of Chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy bestowed upon Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1815.
The Breguet Marine Haute Joaillerie Poseidonia is available at Breguet Boutiques and selected stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful and timeless world of Breguet.