Grand Complication pocket watch No. 1160 is a modern replica of the famous, so-called Marie-Antoinette pocket watch No. 160, commissioned by Nicolas G. Hayek – the late co-founder of the Swatch Group – in 2005. The masterpiece took 4 years to create, based only on pictures and descriptions of the original No. 160 pocket watch which at the time was lost, and eventually recovered in 2007. In 2008, two years before Hayek’s passing, it was completed and has naturally become a permanent part of Breguet’s museum collection ever since.
Pocket watch No. 160/1160 is still amongst the most complicated in the world, which is incredible considering the time period in which it was designed and produced (ordered in 1783 and completed in 1827).
Marie-Antoinette pocket watch, No. 1160, like the original No. 160, is a perpétuelle, or self-winding timepiece, which was, of course, one of Breguet’s most famous inventions. The pocket watch features a minute repeater that strikes hours, quarters and minutes, on command, along with a full perpetual calendar, an equation of time (which shows the difference between civil and solar time). The central hands display jumping hours and minutes, as well as a large independent seconds hand, in addition to the subdial at 6 o’clock which displays running seconds. There is also a 48-hour power reserve indicator, next to a thermometer.
This is inarguably one of the most significant historical timepieces in the history of watchmaking, and it was amazing to see it in person for the first time at Baselworld 2016 earlier this month. The story of Abraham-Louis Breguet, and the Marie-Antoinette pocket watch are incredible in regards to horology, and there are many articles and books written on both subjects, which we suggest you search for if you truly love watchmaking, as Breguet was one of the greatest watchmakers of all-time. And this was one of his greatest creations.