Is the Breguet No. 5 Pocket Watch worth its asking price?
July 11, 2016
You may have already read about the famous Breguet Marie-Antoinette pocket watch No. 160 (which was ordered in 1783 and completed in 1827). Or the Grand Complication pocket watch No. 1160 (essentially an exact replica of the original pocket watch, commissioned by the late Nicolas G. Hayek in 2005 and completed in 2009).
However, around the same period (1794), another important Breguet pocket watch was also produced: Breguet No. 5. And so, like the Marie-Antoinette, Breguet recreated this pocket watch as well. Although, instead of a one-off replica, like the Marie-Antoinette, Breguet produced six pieces. And while the original No. 5 is part of Breguet’s museum collection (as is should be), and the first five replicas have already been purchased, there is still one No. 5 Pocket watch available for sale.
Interestingly, I first saw the No. 5 replica in 2013, when it was on tour between Breguet boutiques around the world. Three years later, it has made its way back to the Breguet boutique in NYC. It is on a “perpetual” tour, so to speak, until someone pays the $1.8 million asking price. Although considering how long it has been for sale, I have a feeling there is some wiggle room.
Nevertheless, the Breguet No.5 Pocket watch comes in a 54 mm 18K yellow gold case, and features the time, including small seconds, a 60-hour power reserve indication, phases and age of the moon, and a quarter repeater. It is a “perpétuelle,” meaning that it winds automatically, an invention credited to Breguet.
The dial is solid gold and has been silvered and decorated with an engine-turned guilloche pattern, by hand, of course. The chapter ring features a Breguet Frosted finish, along with black hand-painted Roman numerals. In addition to the dial, the case flanks and caseback also feature guilloche-work.
A beautiful piece, undoubtedly. Whether it, or any watch, is worth close to two million US dollars, is debatable.