Marie Antoinette Pocket Watch - Masterpiece Recreated

Sep 29, 2009
The Marie Antoinette No. 1160 pocket watch is a true horological masterpiece. In 2005, Nicolas G. Hayek, President and CEO of Montres Breguet, decided to reproduce the eponymous pocket timepiece, which had a rich history behind it. The outstanding watchmakers at Montres Breguet did a perfect job of recreating this extremely complicated timekeeper, having just documents as the basis.

Breguet watch enthusiast, Marie Antoinette had several timepieces of this brand, with an automatic perpetual watch among them. In 1783, the watch company received a customized order from one of the queen’s admirers. A gift to the queen, this timepiece should have demonstrated all the possible horological achievements of that time. It was also specified in the order that all other metals, traditionally employed in the manufacture of timepieces, should have been possibly substituted for gold.

A true legend from 1783, this timekeeper never managed to provide a delight to the person it was intended for: it was completed only in 1827, 34 years after the queen’s death.

The hallmark of the model was its 63 mm case, sculptured in an exceptional more coppery alloy.

Another distinctive feature was represented by rock crystal glasses, protecting the dial and the case.

The aforementioned timekeeper’s modern interpretation, the Marie Antoinette No. 1160 watch is powered by an automatic movement, which incorporates 823 remarkably finished elements and offers a function of a minute- repeater. This model’s functionality also includes a full perpetual calendar, which indicates the date, the day and the months in the apertures, located at 2 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 8 o'clock respectively.

The daily difference between solar time and the mean time, revealed by the timepiece, is told by the equation of time, placed at 10 o’clock. The dial center demonstrates innovative jumping hours, minutes and a long seconds hand. The small hands, meanwhile, are displayed at 6 o’clock position. The watch boasts a respectable 48-hour power-reserve.

The mechanism features the base plates and bridges, the smallest gear-wheels in the trains for the underdial work, the dates and the repeater, rendered in pink gold polished with wood.

The screws are crafted from polished blued steel. The points of friction, holes and bearings are paved with sapphires. The infinite care has been lavished on the diminutive hand-finished details.

Moreover, this unrivalled mechanism is equipped with a natural-lift escapement, a helical balance-spring, manufactured from gold, as well as a bimetallic balance-wheel. Breguet has also invented an anti-shock system, which protects the balance staff and the shafts of the winding weights from possible blows and shocks.

The masterwork, reviewed by, is proposed in a magnificent presentation box, composed of over 3,500 elements. The latter are manufactured from wood of the Royal Oak tree, grown in the Versailles Estate.

The box contains a special work of more than a thousand wood pieces, exposing Marie-Antoinette with a rose in her hand. The box exterior duplicates the parquet flooring of the Petit Trianon.

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posted by: / Sep 29, 2009

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