It was in 2021 that Breguet released some new technology in the form of its Valentine’s Day Reines de Naples Coeur Eternal Love limited edition watch. That timepiece, with white lacquered dial and a big gold heart was innocuous looking enough – but it packed a punch. The large heart in the center of the dial was actually a two-pronged hand. Now, Breguet implements that patented technology into two new Reines de Naples watches not geared for Valentine’s Day.
When I first saw this mechanism and these hands changing shape and morphing as they moved around the dial, I wondered why Breguet had chosen to reserve the concept just for Valentine’s Day. I am so glad that the brand brought the concept full circle with these new Reines de Naples watches. So, men, while this woman’s watch may not interest you from an aesthetic standpoint, the technology should wow you.
On each of the Reines de Naples Ref. 9835 and Ref. 9838, the large flexible heart that indicates the minutes (the hours are shown in jump-hour style via an aperture above the center of the dial) morphs and changes its shape as it makes its journey around the dial. As the hands reach the outer edges of the oval dial (at 12:00 and 6:00), the heart stretches to its longest and thinnest shape, then contracts again to a shorter, wider heart as it moves to and from the 3:00 and 9:00 position. The bottom of the heart acts as the pointer hand – indicating the minutes.
Developed in house by Breguet and protected by four patents, the concept of the flexible heart and its morphing of shapes is like a carefully orchestrated dance around the dial. Among the patents: two cams (each patented) that guide the hands, the hands themselves and an ingenious torque regulating system that releases the proper pressure to make the two-pronged heart expand and contract. The watch is powered by the 252-part Caliber 78A0 made in house. The movement is finished to the highest standards and a sapphire crystal caseback allows for viewing of that craftsmanship.
The two new references of the Reines de Naples are 9835 with a rich midnight blue mother-of-pearl dial and 9838 with a white lacquer dial. Both watches, inspired by the original Breguet watch made for the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat, are crafted in 18-karat white gold and fitted with a blue alligator strap. The blue-dial version, created in a limited edition of just 20 pieces, is set on the bezel land lugs with 161 diamonds. Even the crown and clasp are adorned with diamonds, as well. The version with white lacquer dial features a bezel and crown, as well as clasp, set with blue sapphires.
Ok so now that they have this technology, we can bet that the master watchmakers at Breguet will be using it elsewhere. Wondering what comes next.
(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on her column on Forbes.)