Hands-On: The Breguet Number 1160, A Replica Of The Famous Watch Made For Marie Antoinette
The Breguet Number 1160 comes in an extraodinary watch case produced using an Oak tree that was chopped down in the nursery of Versailles.
That photograph above is me holding Breguet’s Marie Antoinette Number 1160, a 63mm pocket watch made from gold, and one of the world’s most complicated pocket watches. Actually, it’s a copy of a watch made in 1783 that we thought was lost to history, until its wonderful recuperation in 2007. Also, there’s an explanation my left hand was a little temperamental at that time, other than the way that it’s a beautiful robust watch. Two or three years, Breguet thought this would be its solitary association with the main watch it had at any point made, pocket watch number 160. More on that observe later.
The Breguet Number 1160.
Number 1160 is serious to Breguet. At the point when Nicolas Hayek introduced the watch back in 2008, the Swatch Group filled Hall 1 of Baselworld with seats and held an enormous question and answer session. I didn’t go to the reasonable that year – I was most of the way into my sophomore year of school – yet I’m told by the individuals who were there they’d seen in no way like it, and I’ve not seen an occasion like it since I’ve been going.
Breguet seldom brings the watch out nowadays. I’ve just seen it once previously, and it was prior this year really. I strolled past it during Baselworld, in the middle of gatherings, and I just saw it long sufficient enough to take a terrible picture through its presentation case. It’s a watch I’ve been needing to hold for a long time, however which has escaped me regardless of visits to the Breguet fabricate and the Breguet historical center . At the point when it comes out, it’s just permitted in the possession of individuals who have gotten approval right from the top. This week, they offered it to me. Try not to ask me why.
Most Breguet watches appear to be generally basic, in any event, when they are most certainly not. This one certainly looks however complex as it very well might be.
A perspective on oneself twisting development, with the mallets and the going spring for the moment repeater.
But first, we should discuss the Perpétuelle, better known as pocket watch number 160. This is the first watch, on which the 1160 is based. A brisk word however on “imitation.” It’s the most commonly utilized descriptor for the new Marie Antoinette watch, yet it’s not the most precise. Breguet has made a few copies of unique pieces, the most recent being a proliferation of Churchill’s Turnip , which will before long show up in Darkest Hour, featuring Gary Oldman as Sir Winston Churchill and Kristin Scott Thomas as his significant other, Clementine. As I get it, that watch will toll, much the same as the Turnip, yet it’s actually a non-working rattrapante minute repeater. This watch, then again, was worked to supplant the idea to-be-lost number 160, and it acts much the same as the original.
It took Breguet’s group 44 years to complete Number 160, and four years to make it again somewhere in the range of 2004 and 2008.
Number 160 is a pocket watch that many have fixated on. A few, out of personal circumstance. Marie Antoinette’s admirer, an official of the sovereign’s watchmen, believed that it would bring him love. Naaman Diller, the hoodlum who took it from the L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art in Jerusalem in 1983, figured it would bring him riches, or reputation – nobody knows his actual intention, since he clutched the piece until his passing.
In actuality, the watch has just at any point fulfilled the individuals who have moved toward it with unadulterated and sensible assumptions. Men like Sir Spencer Brunton, who got it from Breguet in 1887 after the first owner mysteriously restored the watch for a help and neglected to gathered it. Men like Sir David Salomons, who gained the watch in 1920 and passed on the piece, alongside 57 other Breguet watches, to the Mayer Institute. Furthermore, men like Nicholas Parsons.
Number 1160 estimates 63mm-wide, the vast majority of which is gold or platinum. It’s hefty.
Last year, the BBC followed the TV veteran right back to Israel, where the watch was returned in 2007. Somely, it’s gratitude to Nicholas that I had the opportunity to invest some alone energy with the new Marie Antoinette, number 1160, since the watch was momentarily lent out to Breguet’s lead store in London for a unique night facilitated out of appreciation for his narrative.
I’m mindful that frequently on this site we say that a watch is special. What would i be able to say, there are a great deal of unique pieces – yet number 1160 is up there with Patek Philippe’s Caliber 89 , George Daniels’ Space Traveler , and the Vacheron Constantin reference 57260 as perhaps the most significant, and positively generally complex, watches of the advanced time. It’s very presence is captivating.
This is the place where you hope to see a large portion of the activity, yet on this specific pocket watch, the development side is the calmest.
Everything about the first piece was extraordinary. The way that it was requested by one of Marie Antoinette’s mysterious admirers. The way that she didn’t have any acquaintance with it was being made. The reality she never got it. The watch required 44 years to make, and both Marie Antoinette and Abraham-Louis Breguet were dead when it was completed. One reason it took such a long time to make is on the grounds that Breguet was given no cutoff time for completing it. However long it was an unending schedule, an image of his never-ending love for her, and that any part that could be made in gold would be made in gold, Breguet had, in watchmaking terms, carte blanche – John Biggs recounts this captivating story in full in his book “Marie Antoinette’s Watch: Adultery, Larceny, & Perpetual Motion.”
When Louis-Antoine Breguet at last completed this current dad’s work in 1827, number 160 was the most complex watch on the planet, and it held that title for a very long time. Almost twelve complications fit inside, every one of them controlled by a monstrous rotor. It displays central bouncing hours and minutes, a free focal seconds hand (an early chronograph, of sorts), running seconds at six o’clock, a, full never-ending schedule with the month at eight o’clock, the day at six o’clock, and a date hand at two o’clock, in addition to condition of time at 10 o’clock, a 48-hour power save marker at 11 o’clock, and a thermometer at one o’clock. Better believe it, it’s a lot.
And I haven’t referenced what it advises you discernibly yet. The watch likewise strikes on command the hours, quarters, and minutes. Making things considerably more amazing, everything is shown on only one side, so you don’t need to turn the watch to and fro. The straightforward dial allows you to see everything at work, and is perhaps the most engaging things about this watch. Outwardly, it’s really shocking. It’s likewise a touch of overpowering from the outset, which is one reason number 1160 comes with a substitute grand feu veneer dial.
Number 1160 and its substitute dial.
The grand feu finish dial is infrequently added to the watch.
Every component was recreated without any preparation by Breguet, in light of notable drawings and the couple of words wrote down alongside them. By and by, the Marie Antoinette became small time’s fixation, that of Nicolas G. Hayek. The Swatch Group CEO, who adored Breguet and purchased the company in 1999, considered it the gathering’s crown gem. Aggravated by the shortfall of number 160, he requested that a careful working reproduction be made utilizing the procedures utilized during the eighteenth century.
I’ve never seen the first number 160. It was recuperated, only one year before Breguet completed number 1160, under unusual conditions. At the point when I run out of stories, I’ll generally have that one. The watch is back in the possession of the L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art, and I particularly question it will leave during my lifetime. I’d be interested to check whether there are any contrasts between the two watches, short the conspicuous indications of number 160’s age. I’m told there aren’t, and regardless of whether there were, I’m certain they’re so little I wouldn’t have the option to pick them up.
I desire to check that watch off my rundown one day, yet as of now I feel a little closer to it on account of my short experience with number 1160, which is currently back in its crate and on out of London.
There it goes, back in its container. I wonder when (and where) we’ll see it once more.
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