For many watch lovers, the name Breguet conjures images of classic gentlemen’s timepieces bearing the refined aesthetic and mechanical details associated with its 18th-century namesake, the master watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet.
The brand’s history of producing timelessly elegant dress watches, however, sometimes obscures its reputation in the women’s category, which dates to 1812, the year that Breguet delivered an early bracelet watch to Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister, Caroline Murat, the queen of Naples.
In the tradition of bejewelled and ultra-feminine timepieces from Breguet comes the new Marine Haute Joaillerie 9509 Poseidonia, a gem-set wristwatch featuring tendrils of Posidonia oceanica, a seagrass species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, rendered on the white gold dial using Tahitian mother of pearl marquetry and baguette-cut, invisibly-set diamonds.
The diamond treatment—270 gems in total, weighing about 10 carats—extends to the bezel, caseband, lugs and buckle clasp, not to mention the 18-karat white gold case, which is set with baguette-cut diamonds, and the crown, which is topped with a briolette-cut diamond.
The haute collection includes three additional versions featuring white mother-of-pearl marquetry: a blue one set with sapphires, amethysts, tsavorites and diamonds; a red one flooded with rubies, coloured sapphires and diamonds; and a green one flush with emeralds, tsavorites, coloured sapphires and diamonds. Each one bears a dial set with 85 gems to form the arabesque curves of the Posidonia (commonly known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed).
All the models are powered by the extra-thin self-winding 591C caliber, whose bridges are decorated with an engine-turned Marine motif inspired by a ship’s deck. Engraved along the rim of the transparent caseback are the words Horloger de la Marine (“watchmaker to the navy”), a reference to the chronometer-maker title bestowed upon Breguet in 1815.
The ruby and sapphire versions retail for £211,700, while the diamond and emerald models retail for £228,600.