Fit for a Queen

If you have ever wanted to view one of the greatest watchmaking enigmas of all time, you will have your opportunity this month at the Breguet boutiques in Beverly Hills and New York City. In 1783, Abraham-Louis Breguet, history’s greatest watchmaker, was commissioned to create an ultra-complicated timepiece for French Queen Marie Antoinette. The massive pocket watch was one of his greatest masterpieces, but it took so long to complete it was delivered well after her death. Prized by collectors, it was eventually stolen from a Jerusalem museum in the 1980s. Breguet CEO Nicholas Hayek had the watch painstakingly re-created over the course of several years using drawings and the firm’s knowledge of Breguet’s techniques. Ironically, the original has since been located but remains withheld from public view. The new version, a triumph of modern watchmaking, is on view October 14-16 at the Breguet Beverly Hills boutique (280 North Rodeo Drive, 310.860.9911) and October 19-21 at the Breguet New York boutique (779 Madison Avenue, 212.288.4014).

The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
Photo by Didier Gourdon
The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
The company’s signature mixture of technical and aesthetic watchmaking is on display in the Bovet...