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Stylish guys love pocket watches — James Dean carried one, while Johnny Depp and Justin Timberlake also have been spotted wearing them. At the Baselworld watch fair in March, they proved popular as well.
Hermes debuted a trio from its Arceau Pocket Promenade de Platon collection showcasing the beauty of Grand Feu enamel work; a silk scarf that takes its cue from the brand’s equestrian roots inspires each dial’s design. Longines likewise paid tribute to its horseracing history when it debuted the ultra-classic Equestrian Pocket Watch Jockey 1878. Seeking maximum versatility? Bovet’s Amadeo Fleurier collection and the Parmigiani Fleurier Transforma convert from pocket to wristwatch to table clock. All start in the mid-five figures and run into the high-six figures.
While Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin likewise are known for crafting exceptional pocket watches, the master maker is Breguet: Founder Abraham-Louis Breguet conceptualized one of the most complex examples ever, the No. 160, in 1783 as a commission for Marie Antoinette. The French queen was a fan of Breguet and owned several of his watches, though the 160 —intended to be the most beautiful watch ever designed, with many of its 823 parts crafted in gold — wouldn’t be completed until 34 years after her execution.
Almost two centuries later, Breguet created an exact replica, the 1160, featuring 23 complications, including a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and jumping hours. Its box is likewise unique, crafted from a centuries-old oak tree at Versailles: Breguet received the wood following a donation to the Chateau de Versailles Foundation to restore the Petit Trianon, the queen’s estate. The 160, currently residing in a Jerusalem museum and valued at $30 million, and the 1160 are not for sale, but Breguet offers the No. 5, a replica of a 1794 model, for $1.8 million, and the Classique Grande Complication 1907 for roughly $1 million.
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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