Breguet n° 3624 and Marchese Malaspina
A beautiful story uncovered at La Vendemmia 2017
Picture the world's most glamorous street, a street that attracts luxury shoppers and tourists from all over the world. The 500 meters of street connecting Via Manzoni to Piazza San Babila become the epicenter of luxury and tasting in mid-October. It's the La Vendemmia; an event that has turned into a phenomenon that involves fashion brands and watches boutiques alike. Among these boutiques it is the Breguet store that really stands out from the crowd; it is undoubtedly the most distinguished boutique among those specializing in haute-horologerie that crowd Via Montenapoleone. This year, the store's two floors housing the synthesis of all the greatest excellence mechanics innovations ever crafted since the end of the 18th century, has written yet another page of its illustrious story.
The Breguet manufactory has been celebrated in the worlds of arts and history and yet again it has managed to add another piece to its already rich history that closely links it to the history of our country and to a family that has even more ancient roots than the brand founded by the great French watch-maker. The Malaspina family, whose vineyard farm dates back to 1772 (three years before the great manufactory was founded by Abraham-Louis) can boast really ancient roots and is one of the oldest (probably even the oldest) dynasties in Italy, dating back to 1164.
It is not just a company, but it is part of the historic Italian heritage that we need to preserve. The paths of the Malaspina and the Breguet families crossed on June 3, 1881, when Marquis Malaspina (better known as Obizzo Marquis of Carbonara and Volpedo) decided to go to Paris and visit 12 Rue de la Paix - the location of the Breguet boutique - to order a pocket watch that was then engraved with the coat of arms of the family.
The original bill, the history and the watch that was coded with four digits as per Breguet’s tradition (No. 3624) were displayed on the first floor of the Milanese boutique, along with two other documents belonging to the countless documents the Malaspina family would still jealously hold in their archives.
From the bill, you can find out a lot of information about the many features of the watch belonging to Marquis Malaspina, it was a time when that bill was part of the documentation that, today, would still come with the watch: gold case, small seconds at 6 o’clock, compensating balance wheel and anchor escapement. The Breguet n° 3624 belonging to the Marquis Malaspina has been completely restored and has now returned where it belonged; the family farm in Bobbio.
Breguet's La Vendemmia 2017 event saw the two heirs of the Malaspina family, Currado and his father Obizzo, attend the happening and welcome the guests, while telling them about the roots of the family's winery and many anecdotes about the history of this Breguet watch; a unique specimen that joins the already long list of existing Breguet watches. The apex of the manufactory was surely reached with the crafting of the watch owned by Queen Mary Antoinette that was faithfully recreated in 2012. Another piece that makes us understand why Breguet is not just a manufactory (of which you will discover many secrets in our next article), but a name that transcends the world of watch-making.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Breguet)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®