Return of the Queen—Breguet’s Infamous Marie Antoinette Watch

It appears like something from a Virtual Detective novel: A watch, hand-made over decades for any full, goes through the centuries until it’s stolen by a worldwide jewel crook, presumed to become offered around the black market rather than to appear it again. Amazingly, it resurfaces one fourth of the century after its disappearance, in the home mere miles where it had been last seen. Include a similarly exquisite entertainment, a centuries-old oak tree and also the perfect storm, and you’ve got the unbelievable true story of the Breguet No. 160 pocket watch.


In 1783, based on the organization and historic documents from the moment, a mysterious admirer purchased Full Marie Antoinette “a watch which was to become as spectacular as you possibly can,” stipulating it incorporate the maximum selection of horological expertise, that gold ought to be used instead of other metals and also the complications ought to be as much as you possibly can. Obviously, money was of no concern – nor was time. Had he resided to determine the ultimate product, the commissioner will not have been disappointed.


Produced by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the watch is called The Full – and permanently reason. More vital than $30 million, the 60mm pocket watch includes a full perpetual calendar, a jumping hour hand, 23 complications and 823 parts. It’s enveloped in 18-karat gold and sapphires sophistication every work surface. When it comes to artistry, complexity and sweetness, not one other watch on the planet had ever compared. It’s still considered the 5th most complicated watch on the planet.

But Marie Antoinette would not lay hands around the finished product. The watch was finally carried out 1827 – 34 years after her dying, 4 years after Breguet’s, and 44 years following the watch was purchased. Bu the watch’s mystique didn’t finish with Marie Antoinette’s dying. Contrary, it increased in prestige, and it has intrigued watchmakers and enthusiasts alike for nearly 220 years.


The watch fell to some quick succession of proprietors. A French nobleman possessed the watch until 1838, as he unsuccessful to gather it after shedding them back for repairs. Madame Breguet then became predominant from it, eventually selling it for a British collector in 1887, before it found a lasting home within the 1900s with David Salomons, an enthusiastic watch collector and owner in excess of 124 Breguet pieces.

The Full now rests in the LA Mayer Museum of Islamic Art. But exactly how lengthy it’ll remain there’s a mysterious. Breguet’s current Marie Antoinette Collection, worth $1.2 million, can be obtained for view by appointment at Breguet’s Fifth Avenue boutique before the finish of the month.

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