Breguet’s two new ladies’ models, the Reine de Naples 9835 and 9838, take their inspiration from the first-ever wristwatch, delivered to the Queen of Naples (Napoleon’s sister) in 1812. Interestingly, the minute hands on these latest additions to the Reine de Naples collection adopt a variety of shapes while moving around the dial.
The Breguet Reine de Naples models also feature curvaceous cases. While originally oblong in shape, Breguet’s modern-day interpretations are oval, and feature gem-set bezels. The 18-carat white-gold case of the 9835 glitters with 161 diamonds, including on the crown and the strap’s folding clasp. Meanwhile, the 9838 in the same material is set with blue sapphires. The measurements of both cases: 36.5 mm x 28.45 mm. In addition, these white-gold watches provide water resistance up to 30 m.
While the dial of the 9838 features a simple lacquered white dial, the 9835 attracts attention with its captivating blue mother-of-pearl. Craftsmanship is of the utmost importance on the dials of both Reine de Naples models. The Breguet Reine de Naples 9838 employs the use of stretched Arabic numerals alternating in size. Meanwhile, the 9835 features subtly offset powdered silver-toned minutes numerals, alongside a font reminiscent of hand-drawn designs of the past.
Yet more intriguing, however, are the minute hands on the Reine de Naples 9835 and 9838. The name of these heart-shaped indicators is ‘variable length hands’. This original mechanism is a design by Abraham-Louis Breguet himself, and now carries several patents. The variable-length hands comprise two arms that link together at one end, while working independently of each other. The hands change shape thanks to a set of gears. This allows the hands to stretch up to 12 o’clock – thus becoming slimmer in form – or contract – becoming more rounded and shapely – at 6 o’clock. An aperture in the centre of both dials indicates the hours.
Inside the Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 and 9838 ticks the calibre 78A0. This self-winding movement beats at a frequency of 3.5 Hz and has a power reserve of 40 hours. Furthermore, its silicon balance spring and in-line Swiss lever escapement ensure that magnetic fields do not affect the movement, thus maintaining a high level of precision.
Once again, craftsmanship is of the utmost importance. The gear trains for the special minute hands, like the other components in this calibre, are carefully hand-finished in traditional Breguet style. This includes a fine platinum oscillating weight, the recognisable Côtes de Genève motif, and bevelling. Breguet also engrave the gold rim with the watch’s individual number, as has been recorded in the Breguet archives since the late 18th century. Thanks to the sapphire crystal caseback, the wearer may admire all of this attention to detail for themselves.
Price and Availability
Last but not least, the Reine de Naples 9835 and 9838 come on fine blue alligator leathers straps. While the blue 9835’s folding clasp is set with 28 diamonds alongside a diamond-set lower lug, the white 9838‘s folding clasp is set with 28 exquisite blue sapphires. The latter is largely available for purchase (at a price of 50,200 euros), and the former is a very special limited edition of only 20 pieces (55,600 euros).
|MODEL||Reine de Naples 9835 and 9838
|CASE MATERIAL||White gold (18-carat)
|DIMENSIONS||Length: 36.5 mm
Width: 28.45 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||30 m (~3 bar)
|DIAL||Blue mother of pearl
|STRAP/BRACELET||Blue leather alligator strap with 28 diamonds or blue sapphires
|POWER RESERVE||40 Hours
|FREQUENCY||3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
|FUNCTIONS||Hours, minutes (with variable length hands)
|PRICE||9835BB/5Y/964 DD0D: 55,600 EUR – limited to 20 pieces
9838BB/B8/364 S00S: 50,200 EUR – permanent part of collection