Breguet Reine de Naples Angkor Wat collection
Inspired by the rich history and the intricate craftsmanship of the Angkor Wat, TIMEPIECES collaborates with the renowned Maison Breguet to create two Reine de Naples references that offer a piece of Cambodian history right on its dials. There is a growing demand among Cambodia’s elite for unique, customized timepieces and jewellery. Unfortunately, there is very little representation of Cambodian heritage in the luxury market. Thus, to satiate the demand of our clients and as an opportunity to elevate Cambodia to an international level, TIMEPIECES decided to collaborate with Breguet to create this collection. By using the Angkor Wat as the inspiration, the watch pays tribute to this historical wonder, honours the artisans that built it, and forges a new future by building on the legacy of our forefathers.
Cambodia is a country rich in culture, customs and a strong history, which stretches back to the mighty Angkor Empire. This historical civilization was the creators of the Angkor Wat which today is about 900 years old. Often hailed as an intricate architectural masterpiece and the largest religious monument in the world, the Angkor Wat temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the first half of the 12th century. This year marks the 30th Anniversary since it was put on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
With so much history written within its walls, it was only fitting that we find a brand that shares this same sense of historical legacy. Breguet counts itself among one of the oldest watchmaking manufactures in the world with a history dating back over 200 years and is considered by many to be pioneers in the watch history.
Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie-Antoinette were early enthusiasts of Breguet’s watchmaking and with every age, they garnered more prominent fans including the likes of General Napoleon Bonaparte and Sir Winston Churchill.
The Reine de Naples collection we chose for this collaboration was inspired by the world’s very first wristwatch made in 1810 as jewellery for the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat. Considering its heritage, there is no better collection to debut the first jewellery watch that is representative of Cambodia. A case made for a queen to showcase a monument built by a king.
A Story of Stories
It is on the monumental stone structures of the Angkor Wat that you will find Cambodia’s most famous stone carvings, revered for their scale, lavishness and intricacy of their sculpture. It is on these nearly 2,000 sqm of bas-relief engravings that the Angkor Empire told their stories. Through intricate details crafted deftly onto the sandstone, these stories have been preserved for hundreds of years. These carvings represent a passion and a livelihood for multiple generations of Cambodians as even today the art continues to be relevant and much appreciated.
Just as the craftsman of old worked on the Angkor Wat with their hands, the dial of the Breguet Reine de Naples Angkor Wat collection was also created by the hands of a father and son team, Pasquale and his son. Together they devote hundreds of hours to create these stunning miniature tableaus that reveal the natural colours of every shell unique in tone, opacity and depth within. Working with seashell, an incredibly delicate material, the artisans painstakingly recreate a massive monument within a miniature space. The amount of detail they have managed to achieve is a testament to their mastery of the craft.
An Orchestra in Harmony
It took 35 years, 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants to transform 5,000,000 tons of sandstone into the one and only Angkor Wat you see today. And while these artisans had decades to complete their masterpiece, the artisans that work on Breguet Reine de Naples Angkor Wat collection have to rely on their years of experiences to carve out these intricate designs within a much shorter time.
Each watch combines the expertise of masters from different departments, a process which requires deft hands, sharp eyes and many years of experience. In a magnified world, tiny components are progressively made true, and their surfaces finished before an unforgiving inspection, only then are they combined into the mechanism of astounding complexity that gives a Breguet watch its life.
The sardonyx seashells used for the Breguet Angkor Wat cameo dials are completely natural and untreated. After a 12 to 18 months open air-drying process, the best shells are selected before the artists identify the area suitable for a dial. At most, a single shell may yield two dials. Once the artisans have completed their work, every piece is one-of-a-kind.
The Reine de Naples Angkor Wat collection features two exquisite models with a bas-relief engraving of the Angkor Wat on seashells on its dials, an 18-carat white gold case, and a sapphire crystal caseback to reveal the movement within. Ref. G8939BB55J49DD0D32 comes with a bezel and caseband set with 76 baguette-cut diamonds and a Pink Akoya pearls bracelet, while the Ref. G8958BB55974D00D32 offers a bezel set with 40 diamonds and is paired with a white leather strap.
The Breguet Reine de Naples Angkor Wat collection will be produced in very limited quantities and is exclusively available in Cambodia, only at the TIMEPIECES boutique.