Watch The Space visited a special exhibition “Breguet – the Innovator,” in the beautiful GUM department store located on Red Square, Moscow. This special presentation of rare watches and collector’s pieces was dedicated to the brand’s 175th anniversary.
Breguet watches were owned and admired by some of the most famous historic figures, which included the likes of Marie-Antoinette, Tsar Alexander I, and Alexander Pushkin. Marie-Antoinette was driven by a truly passionate desire for Breguet watches. So, in 1783, one of her admirers placed an order for the most complicated watch of their time. The watch took 34 years in the making and housed almost all the known functions possible then! So unique was the requirement (and this piece) that it was aptly named the “Marie-Antoinette” (Breguet No.160).
In April 1798, a few weeks before leaving for Egypt, Napoleon Bonaparte purchased a travelling clock with a calendar from Breguet. Napoleon’s sister, Caroline Murat – the Queen of Naples, ordered a wearable version of the then-available timepiece, which became the first wristwatch in watchmaking history! It further became the inspiration for the contemporary female collection “Reine de Naples”. Of this, GEM-A-PORTER’s favourite is the breathtaking Breguet 488 – a day/night wristwatch in 18-carat white gold. On one side, it retains the refinement and historic reference of the original; on the other, it radiates a contemporary feel with the external diamond adornment and complication.
On display, in GUM, were exceptional masterpieces housing the unique innovations that the Manufacture gifted to the world of horology. Most famous among them: the tourbillion. It was developed around 1795 in response to a longstanding problem: gravity’s detrimental effect on the regularity of a movement. Patented in 1801, the tourbillon is one of the most recognized features of premium timepieces and collectors’ watches. We saw three antique watches with a tourbillon (out of the only 35 remaining) sold by A. L. Breguet between 1805 and 1823. We also marvelled at the contemporary timepiece Classique Tourbillon extra-thin automatic 5377 that made its debut this year. Tipped as the world’s thinnest self-winding tourbillion, this masterpiece blends sleek timeless style and cutting-edge technology. It has a platinum case and an 18-carat gold display.
Moscow proved to the perfect location for such a sublime display. With glittering streetlights day and night, we could continue to enjoy our evening in the best new grand café that opened this year – Dr. Zhivago. It was just a short distance away from the venue, and is located on the ground floor of Hotel National, with the view of the Kremlin. Alexandr Rappoport – who was voted the best restaurateur of the year – runs the place.