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Fit for a Queen

James Malcolmson

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).

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Photo by René Gaens
Copyright by IWC