Breguet has recently updated their iconic Reine de Naples family with this wonderful 8918 (Ref. 8918BR/58/864 D00D) version.
Delivered in an 18-karat rose gold case, the new model features the iconic ovoid-shaped design for its compact body and brings you whole 145 girl’s best friends.
Of course, I am talking about diamonds. Totaling impressive 1.47 carats, the diamonds adore every single part of the case (excluding the body, which is decorated with Breguet’s signature finely fluted case band.) The bezel and flange, for example, are set with 117 of relatively large full-cut diamonds totaling 0.99 carats.
The rose gold folding clasp on the natural black satin strap is set with 26 smaller stones. And there is a pair of large diamonds adorning the dial (a tear-drop shaped job tipping the scales at 0.09 carat) and the setting crown (a huge 0.26-carat diamond.)
Another standard feature that we can’t imagine a luxury ladies watch without is the chapter ring insert made in natural white mother-of-pearl. The beautiful piece serves as a fine background for the eleven deformed Breguet-style Arabic numerals.
But what I really like here is the inevitable off-centered dial.
Made, as always, in 18-karat gold, the tiny piece is silvered and then engine-turned by hand in order to show the signature Clous de Paris motif, that I cannot imagine a Breguet piece without. The “main” dial is surrounded by a thin ring with a minute track and eleven hour markers that greatly increase the timekeeper’s legibility: a thing that is often overlooked in timepieces designed for the best part of the human race.
Like many other Breguet ladies watches, the Reine de Naples 8918 is equipped with the Caliber 537/1 automatic movement. The engine is designed as a simple three-hander, but the version that powers this particular model is an even simpler two-hand caliber.
Based on the Lemania caliber 7865NL (the legendary maker of mechanical movements was acquired by Breguet twenty years ago, in 1991 when it was on the brink of financial collapse and became a part of Groupe Horloger Breguet,) it is built on 20 jewels, beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour and features its oscillating weight crafted in 18-karat yellow gold. Yes, I personally would probably love to see a more up-to-date mechanism beating inside this beautiful model with something as modern as a silicon mainspring, with long power reserve and higher frequency, but, let’s be honest, even in its current form this beautiful tiny mechanism is still relevant thanks to its superb built quality, nice finish, and ability to keep good time.
As usual, the rotor is hand-engraved on a real rose machine: a device, which is compact enough to comfortably sit on a desk and is capable of producing truly stunning engravings if the operator knows what he (or she) is doing.
See also: RSW Consort Ladies (Ref. 6140)
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918 (Ref. 8918BR/58/864 D00D) specification
Price: $35,100 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Breguet Caliber 537/1, 20 jewels, 20.00 mm in diameter, 21,600 vph, based on Lemania 7865NL, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Winding rotor in 18-karat gold, hand-engraved on a rose engine
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: 18-karat Rose gold
Bezel: 18-karat Rose gold; set with diamonds
Dimensions: 36.50 mm x 28.45 mm
Case height: 10.10 mm
Dial: 18-karat gold, silvered, engine turned by hand; inserts in natural white mother-of-pearl; 0.09-carat pear-cut (tear drop shape) diamond at 6 o’clock
Hands: Breguet open-tipped hands in blued steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Natural black satin with folding clasp set with 26 diamonds totaling 0.13 carat
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective