Marie Antoinette (watch)

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Breguet No 160.
Type Mechanical
Display Analogue
Introduced 1827

The Breguet No. 160 grand complication, more commonly known as the Marie-Antoinette or the Queen, is a case watch designed by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. Work on the watch was begun in 1782 and completed by Breguet's son in 1827, four years after Breguet's death.[1]

The watch is thought to have been commissioned in 1783 by Count Hans Axel von Fersen, an admirer and alleged lover of the French Queen, Marie Antoinette.[2] The watch was to contain every watch function known at that time, including the following:

The watch is encased in gold, with a clear face that shows the complicated movement of the gears inside. Breguet used sapphires in the mechanism to decrease friction.[5]

Marie Antoinette never lived to see the watch, as it was completed 34 years after she had been executed. This watch was part of the watch collection at the L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art in Jerusalem, having been donated as part of the David Lionel Salomons collection. It was stolen by renowned master-thief Na'aman Diller with many other watches in 1983 - although it was recovered in 2007.[6] As of 2013, the watch was valued at $30 million.[7]

Watchmakers from Breguet, supported by Swatch chairman Nicolas Hayek, were commissioned to make a copy of the watch in 2005. The watch was finished after three years and presented to the public in a wooden case made out of the favorite tree of Queen Marie-Antoinette.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Biggs (2013-05-17). "Return of the Queen". Wired. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  2. ^ John Biggs (2013-05-17). "Return of the Queen". Wired. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  3. ^ http://www.breguet.com/en/Inventions-and-innovations
  4. ^ John Biggs (2013-05-17). "Return of the Queen". Wired. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  5. ^ John Biggs (2013-05-17). "Return of the Queen". Wired. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  6. ^ Alix Kirsta (2009-04-15). "Breguet No106 watch: The queen, her watch and the master burglar". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12-06-2011. 
  7. ^ John Biggs (2013-05-17). "Return of the Queen". Wired. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  8. ^ "Marie-Antoinette watch". Retrieved 12-06-2011. 

External links[edit]