A watch fit for a Queen

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by absolut_mac, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Info gleaned from various watch sites...

    Commissioned for Marie Antoinette by an ardent admirer in 1783, but only completed 34 years after her execution in 1827, it was the most complicated watch in the world at that time. Just one of the many amazing watches that Abraham Louis Breguet made in his lifetime. Today it still ranks in the top 5 or 10 most complicated watches in the world.

    When one examines the amazing watches made by Breguet, Harrison et al, one is flabbergasted at the precision with which these tiny parts are made, especially keeping in mind that this was long before CAD cam design, laser etching etc.

    This watch, a duplicate of the original which is in a museum in Jerusalem, is currently on display at the Breguet Boutique in Beverly Hills. See links below...



    I was fortunate enough to take a few pics of this amazing timepiece this morning. And yes, the pic of the back of the watch is the automatic winding weight and mechanism, invented by Breguet.

    Attached Files:

  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed, that is an amazing piece of workmanship. Thanks for sharing.
  3. WatchSmart macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Halifax, Canada
    What made that particular watch more complicated than other watches of its era?

    It looks like it has lots of gears and things inside. Were they more complicated? Advanced? Did it keep better time?
  4. absolut_mac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Taken from the Time Zone link above...

    • A self-winding watch with a minute-repeater striking the hours, quarters and minutes on demand.
    • A full perpetual calendar displays the dates, the day and the months respectively at 2 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 8 o'clock.
    • The equation of time at 10 o'clock proclaims the daily difference between solar time and the mean time told by watches.
    • In the centre, the jumping hours – invented by Breguet – and the minutes are joined by a long independent seconds hand, while the small seconds are shown at 6 o'clock.
    • The 48-hour power-reserve indicator 10:30 balances a bimetallic thermometer at 01:30.

    FWIW perpetual calendar means that the user doesn't need to make any corrections for months that have 28, 29, 30 or 31 days. This is programmed by mechanical gearing.

    As far far as precision is concerned, while Breguet made many contributions to improve time keeping, that title rightly belongs to an Englishman named John Harrison who invented the marine chronometer and achieved an accuracy of less that 2 seconds deviation while undergoing 30 days of sea trials. Many quartz watches today don't achieve that kind of accuracy, hence the reason that many of them rely on correcting themselves via the atomic clock in Colorado.


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