Originally done on such hardstones as sard or cornelian, cameos are also produced on shells. Using a simple steel stylus, the craftsman works on the different layers of shell to a depth of hardly two millimetres, creating a sculpture of uncommon delicacy. To achieve this he selects and examines with care the hues, the stratification, the perspectives, the gradations and the total effect of transparency inherent in the shell.
The cameo dial of the REINE DE NAPLES 8958 – a world first – is a true miniature sculpted on shell. The hours and minutes hands, off-centre at 6 o'clock, seem intent on vanishing discreetly from the stage so as to leave all the glory to the art of the cameo. The case in white gold set with diamonds protects the delicacy of the relief beneath a sapphire-crystal glass. Its transparent back reveals a gold winding rotor engine-turned by hand and inlaid with natural mother-of-pearl. The watch is presented on a chocolate-coloured strap in alligator leather with a diamond-set folding clasp.
REF. 8958BB/51/974 D00D
- Case: egg-shaped in 18-carat white gold, with finely fluted caseband. Bezel set with 40 diamonds (approx. 2.42cts). Crown set with a “briolette” diamond (approx. 0.26ct). Dimensions: 40x31.95mm. Sapphire -crystal caseback. Water-resistant to 30 metres.
- Dial: cameo carved out of a natural seashell (hand made raised relief-carving of the different layers of a seashell). Signed BREGUET. Off-centred chapter-ring at 6 o’clock. Open-tipped BREGUET hands in rhodium-plated gold. Each dial has a unique pattern.
- Movement: self-winding, numbered and signed BREGUET. 8¾ lines. 20 jewels. Cal. 537/1. 40-hour power-reserve. 18- carat gold rotor hand-engraved on a rose-engine set with natural mother -of-pearl. Straight-line Swiss lever escapement. Monometallic 3Hz annular balance -wheel. Adjusted in 5 positions.
- Strap: chocolate coloured alligator with folding clasp set with 26 diamonds (approx. 0.14 cts)