The Breguet No. 178 carriage clock of Napoleon Bonaparte

There is one antique carriage clock that has a particularly fascinating history. The Breguet No. 178. Works of Breguet are famous for many reasons. This one in particular is a special timekeeping marvel because it was in the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte himself.

This story starts in the early 19th century. Around this time there was a lot of conflict in Europe, by the influence of the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. In this period, to be precisely in 1798, Abraham-Louis Breguet made a real work of art, the clock that we now know as the Breguet No. 178. It was ordered by Napoleon. The emperor is celebrated for his refined taste and this predecessor of the carriage clock was a perfect blend of artistry and practicality. By having this beautiful piece he could show of the splendor of his rule and at the same time have the precision and innovation that goes with a Breguet piece.

The Breguet No. 178 became a testament to the finest engineering. It was encased in meticulously gilded bronze, adorned with intricate ormolu mounts, and it was a modest six inches tall. The clock really showcased Breguet’s unparalleled mastery. On the white enamel dial the Roman numerals were displayed. It has 4 glass sides and eight-day movement of gilded metal. It was a  real reflection of the careful craftsmanship associated with the Breguet legacy. This horological gem was not merely a display of craftsmanship; it was designed with the rigors of travel in mind.

Legend has it that the clock bore silent witness to some of the most pivotal moments in European history. As Napoleon marched triumphantly through the streets of Paris and the vast expanses of the continent, the carriage clock remained a steadfast companion. Its chimes marked the passing of time as empires rose and fell, echoing in the halls of power and the corridors of conquest. One captivating story recounts the Breguet No. 178’s presence during Napoleon’s campaigns. As the French army navigated challenges, the clock continued to tick, unaffected by the trials of the battlefield. It is said that Napoleon, in moments of reflection, would gaze upon the clock – which is now seen as a symbol of time’s persistence and the fleeting nature of worldly power.