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October 15, 2020

Enamelled With Grace

Verve turns the spotlight on Breguet’s new Reine de Naples 8918 in grand feu enamel, the first timepiece in the iconic range to be enhanced by the intricate technique

 

 

An overtly feminine timepiece, this one’s a visual stunner. And it can be said with unchallenged verity that the Reine de Naples 8918 in grand feu enamel from the legendary house of Breguet is poised to woo the ladies with its delicate appeal this year.

The contemporary jewellery watch — created and presented with the care and precision traditionally associated with the legendary watchmaker — can be aptly described as a symbol of ultimate elegance. On the face of this stunner, the trademark oval shape of the case synonymous with the Reine de Naples timepieces has been bestowed with the white grand feu enamel, a first for the collection.

Diehard watch aficionados may recognise the universal appeal of a grand feu enamel, which is created with the use of a challenging technique. Predominantly used for decorative effect in the world of watchmaking, it also lends durability and conjures up dials of immutable colours and unique grains. The process of creating it is extremely taxing, given its delicate form. The dial is heated at a temperature of more than 800 degrees Celsius and it is repeatedly placed in the kiln, a process that gives it a natural radiance.

It is extremely easy to decipher the time with the Reine de Naples 8918 in grand feu enamel. Its 18-carat white-gold casing encloses open-tipped, blued-steel  Breguet hands that catch one’s eye on the pastel-hued dial. Off-centred at 6 o’clock, the hours chapter with the blue Breguet Arabic numerals is accompanied by a pear-shaped diamond weighing approximately 0.08 carats.

The hours chapter also sports dots, diamond-shaped markers and fleurs-de-lis. In addition, the logo of the brand appears between the 11- and 12-hour numerals. The words “émaillé Grand Feu”(grand feu enamel) appear in blue enamel below the pear-shaped diamond.

This blue — echoed in the alligator strap — infuses the masterpiece with a feeling of harmony. The attractive strap is fitted with a triple-folding buckle that has been set with 28 diamonds. The shine of stones can also be seen in the 117 diamonds that adorn the dial flange and encrust the bezel.

Home to a self-winding mechanical movement, the crown of the Reine de Naples 8918 in grand feu enamel at 4 o’clock has a briolette-cut diamond and the timepiece is completed by a sapphire-crystal caseback that displays the movement. Measuring 36.5 X 28.45 millimetres and with a thickness of 10.05 millimetres, it is water-resistant up to 30 metres. Equipped with a 45-hour power reserve, its movement has a silicon in-line Swiss lever escapement and a balance spring in silicon. The fact that every element has been crafted with care is evident in the final product.

In accordance with the tradition of the brand, if owners so desire, their names are entered into the Breguet records. These archives have been maintained since the late 18th century and keep a record of the various patrons of the legendary house.

Historically speaking, this extremely graceful and womanly watch can be said to owe its inspiration to Caroline Murat, Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger sister, who was an acknowledged benefactor of the arts. The royal eventually became the proud owner of more than 30 clocks and watches by Breguet. It was in 1810 that Abraham-Louis Breguet created the first wristwatch for the Queen of Naples. This was an oblong-shaped creation and had several complications. It was the first in a long line of timepieces that celebrated not just royalty but the allure and appeal of femininity. This year, the Reine de Naples 8918 in grand feu enamel — a combination of history and modernity — gives us another reason to celebrate time.

It is extremely easy to decipher the time with the Reine de Naples 8918 in grand feu enamel. Its 18-carat white-gold casing encloses open-tipped, blued-steel  Breguet hands that catch one’s eye on the pastel-hued dial.

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