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INTRODUCING: Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 & 9838

The Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 (left) and 9838 (right).

Breguet updates its flagship ladies’ watch with a mesmerising sleight of hand. 

When it comes to ladies’ watches, arguably none other possesses as much cachet as Reine de Naples. Named after Napoleon’s sister, Caroline Murat, to whom Breguet presented the first-ever wristwatch in 1812, the collection that we know today is inspired by the said timepiece, albeit with a more feminine oval-shaped case that makes it instantly recognisable. Despite its iconic status, Breguet has been continually updating the Reine de Naples over the years – from adorning it with exquisite gems to endowing it with enchanting complications – and the new 9835 and 9838 are perhaps the most mesmerising references to behold first-hand.

The Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 with midnight blue mother-of-pearl dial.
The Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 with midnight blue mother-of-pearl dial, limited to just 20 pieces.

At first blush, one would immediately notice that the Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 and 9838 eschew traditional central hands for a novel way to display time. While the hours are indicated via an aperture, the minutes hand is composed of two arms forming a heart shape, linked at one end to point at the minute markers around the dial. A horological sleight of hand happens with the passing of time; as the arms move independently of each other, the shape of the hand changes from being more rounded at 6 o’clock to stretched out at 12 o’clock. Mirroring the action of this beating ‘heart’, the Arabic minutes numerals ‘contract’ at the bottom of the dial and ‘expand’ fully at ‘60’.

The Breguet Reine de Naples 9838 with white lacquered dial.
The Breguet Reine de Naples 9838 with white lacquered dial.

Admittedly, the concept of telescopic hands in watchmaking is not new – the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe comes to mind – but trust Breguet to come up with an interpretation that is as elegant and feminine as this. The variable-length minutes hand is made possible by an original mechanism devised by the Manufacture and protected by several patents. Enabling the two arms to move at different speeds, thus causing the shape-shifting dance around the dial, is an oval cam that fittingly recalls the Reine de Naples’ signature curves.

A closer look at the time display on the Reine de Naples' 9835 dial.
A closer look at the time display on the Reine de Naples' 9835 dial.

The rest of the watches’ movement is just as technically brilliant. With a power reserve of 40 hours, the self-winding 78A0 calibre is equipped with a balance spring and in-line Swiss lever escapement made of silicon, a material lauded for its corrosion and wear resistance as well as its imperviousness to magnetic, which enhances the precision of the timepiece. Visible via a sapphire crystal caseback are the movement’s platinum oscillating weight and other components hand-finished with Côtes de Genève motif and bevelling.

The Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 (left) and 9838 (right).
The Breguet Reine de Naples 9835 (left) and 9838 (right).

Of the two watches powered by the same movement, Ref. 9835 is the more exclusive one. Limited to 20 pieces, its 36.5 x 28.45 mm white gold case is studded with 161 diamonds, from its bezel to its flange and lugs, lighting up its midnight blue mother-of-pearl dial. A briolette-cut diamond caps its crown, while another 28 diamonds can be found on the folding clasp of its blue alligator leather strap. Though not a limited edition, Ref. 9838 is no less desirable with its chic combination of colours. A pristine white lacquered dial juxtaposes with the blue alligator leather strap as well as the blue sapphires adorning the bezel, flange, crown, and folding clasp.

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