Breguet honours the art of living of a true gentleman’s lifestyle by staging its exclusive “Classic Tour” in several cities around the world. After the British edition held in London, the “Classic Tour” has travelled to Seoul in Korea and most recently, on March 1st, to Geneva, Switzerland. On each occasion, the House assembles a handpicked selection of craft skills, paired with an elegant timepiece from the Classique collection. The next editions will take place in Milan in April and in Brussels in March.
“A dandy on the boulevards (…), strolling at leisure until his Breguet, ever vigilant, reminds him it is midday.”
Alexandre Pushkin, “Eugene Onegin” (1825-1833)
Classique 7147 © Breguet
It was the fantasy of the late Nicolas G. Hayek to have the brand. His passion lives on now, as his grandson, Marc Hayek, is that the CEO of the company.Hayek senior reportedly despised the fact that the whereabouts of the 160 Marie Antoinette pocket watch were unknown. He then chose to produce a replica of the original entirely based on written descriptions and drawings created through the pocket watch’s design and construction. Reproducing the 160 pocket watch into what became the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette having just visual and written guides is among the least discussed achievements in modern watchmaking. Remember the romance of the original? It was commissioned by a fan of Marie Antoinette for her, back in 1783. It was finished afterwards she (and Breguet himself) died, and it represented what many argue was the pinnacle of Breguet’s lifework: to combine complications with everlasting mechanical and beauty fascination.The video further above is from the 2008 Baselworld watch trade show event where Nicolas G. Hayek is personally introducing the watch. It’s merely a few months after the 160 made headlines after being discovered again in late 2007. Even the wooden box produced because of it was a marvel, even using wood from a distinctive tree made famous by Marie Antoinette that Breguet allegedly bought for something like 7 million Euros. If I remember correctly, the tree fell over obviously, but the state upon which Versailles would sell the tree to Breguet was whether it “contributed” money for its restoration of the famed French palace.At 63mm broad in 18k gold, the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette tried to replicate the initial 160 in every way possible from the complications into the crystal made from natural rock crystal.
Breguet celebrated the Swiss edition of its “Classic Tour” in the exclusive setting of the Leopard Room Bar & Lounge, Hotel d’Angleterre, Geneva. The House had invited three prestigious names of Geneva to showcase their art – a tailor, a bespoke shoe-maker, and a barber – in a tireless quest for March 2018 excellence and a will to perpetuate remarkable traditional savoir-faire. A Breguet watchmaker in Geneva boutique located at Rue du Rhône 40 presented the mastery behind the Classique collection. In strolling from one workshop to another, guests were able to retrace the day of a perfect gentleman who, after slipping his Classique watch onto his wrist, prepares himself with the help of his city’s finest artisans.