Fine Watches in Beverly Hills: Breguet on Rodeo Drive

By Breguet Blog
August 25th, 2023


Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.

—Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA is awash with sunshine and fine timepieces, and Beverly Hills looks as glamorous as ever.

Famous for the homes of Hollywood stars and a mecca for visitors from all over the world, the city of Beverly Hills offers some of the world’s most jaw-dropping real estate, luxury boutiques and restaurants. Eating out is very much part of the culture of Los Angeles, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Beverly Hills offers all of the above, and while shopping is abundant on Rodeo Drive, there’s always more – as apart from all the glitz, Beverly Hills is also a thriving community of about 33,000 residents who live and work there. Businesses represented in Beverly Hills range from the glamorous but expected to the mundane: show business – of course! – entertainment production offices – talent agencies – banking – insurance and everything in between. But before we wind our way to watches, no pun intended, let us take a brief look at the origins of this storied city.

History of Beverly Hills, California

Originally part of Mexico, a border war in 1847 ultimately resulted in Los Angeles becoming part of the United States. Prior to the industrial age, much of L.A. was a sea of rolling acres and hills before it was a town. The land was mostly agricultural, benefiting from excellent sunshine all year round. California is still an agricultural treasure house: according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), California’s agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities producing a combined revenue of $51.1 billion in 2021.1

One of the first important settlers in Beverly Hills was Maria Rita Quinteros de Valdez, a granddaughter of Luis Quintero, one of the original settlers of Los Angeles. Married to Spanish colonial soldier Vicente Fernando Villa, they were granted a property of 4,500 acres (7 mi2) called Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas, the title of which was affirmed by the new American authorities after the Mexican-American war. Soon afterward, in 1854, she sold the ranch to Benjamin D. Wilson and Major Henry Hancock. And by the 1880s, the ranch had been broken up into parcels of 75 acres (0.12 mi2) apiece, which were rapidly bought up by buyers from L.A. and the East Coast.

Photo public domain. Fair use
Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas c. 1905, when it was owned by Henry Hammel and Andrew H. Denker. Fair use

By the late 1880s, Henry Hammel and Andrew H. Denker acquired a majority share of the Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas acreage and used it for farming lima beans. For a while, the area was known as the Hammel and Denker Ranch. By 1888, the pair planned to build a town called Morocco on their holdings, but neither lived to fulfil this dream.

Fast forward to 1900 and the ranch was bought by a consortium of backers who formed the Amalgamated Oil Company. Naturally, the backers were looking for oil! The venture was unsuccessful as there was not enough oil to carry the business and by 1906 they reorganised as the Rodeo Land and Water Company. The land was once again subdivided and sold in lots, having been renamed “Beverly Hills” after Beverly Farms in Beverly, Massachusetts, and because of the hills in the area.

The first great houses of Beverly Hills were soon built: the Virginia Robinson Estate and Gardens, built in 1911 by the heiress of J. W. Robinson’s department stores, and the Beverly Hills Hotel, built by Burton E. Green and completed in 1912. A steady influx of visitors led to further land purchases and the population of Beverly Hills grew enough to qualify for incorporation as an independent city – which it achieved on 28th January 1914.

The Great Estates: Pickfair, Greenacres and Greystone

The breakthrough happened in 1918, year of the Armistice and the Spanish Influenza, when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought a hunting lodge on Summit Drive and built in its place their famous mansion, nicknamed “Pickfair” by the press. The couple renovated the original plot and built a Tudor-style home over four storeys with 25-rooms including stables, servants quarters, tennis courts, a large guest wing, and garages.

Photo public domain. Fair use
Pickfair: Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks in front of their legendary home in the 1920s. Fair use

By the mid-to-late 1920s, another silent movie star, Harold Lloyd, built the Harold Lloyd Estate, also known as Greenacres. The comedian, famous for his portrayal of the bespectacled “College Kid” in silent cinema, eventually built a colossal 44-room mansion on an estate of 15 acres that was said to have cost $2 million at the time. Lloyd was fortunate enough to spend his life and final days at Greenacres, but the upkeep of the property was already gnawing away at his finances when he passed in 1971. Lloyd’s original intention was for the city to establish the home as a museum of film history for the public, but such plans were hardly practical for a house located at the end of a cul-de-sac. Following objections from neighbours and numerous other hurdles, the family home was sold to a developer in 1975 and subdivided into smaller lots that were subsequently sold off.2

Building the Harold Lloyd Estate precipitated a real estate boom in the newly affluent city but Greenacres was soon dwarfed by another colossus. In 1928, oilman Edward L. Doheny completed the Doheny Estate, also known as the Greystone Mansion, which he gifted to his son Edward “Ned” Doheny Jr. and his family. Greystone was another Tudor-style residence, but with 55 rooms (and at a cost of $4 million) it was the largest and most expensive home in California to date. Today, Greystone is a public park and open for visitors.3

Other legendary homes include Frank Capra’s Estate on St. Cloud Road, Bel Air, later owned and refurbished by Louis B. Mayer; the Jack Warner Estate; Casa Encantada on Bellagio Road, Bel Air, one of the most fabled mansions built by Hilda Olsen Boldt Weber; the Wurtzel-Neff Estate, also on Bellagio Road; the Beverly Hillbillies Estate on Bel Air Road, built by Lynn Atkinson in 1938 who hired the exceptional architects Webber & Spaulding; the Arthur Letts & Louis Stratham Estate on Charing Cross Road; and the grand Fleur de lys Estate on Carolwood Drive. Fortunately, many of these homes survive and receive careful attention from their current owners.4

Beverly Hills City Hall

Beverly Hills City Hall 2023 © Breguet Blog
Beverly Hills City Hall, a landmark of timeless design by architects William J. Gage and Harry G. Koerner.

Bit by bit other famous landmarks emerged: the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, built in 1922 on Wilshire Boulevard and the iconic Beverly Hills City Hall was completed in 1932 in a California Churrigueresque style. More film stars, businessmen and entrepreneurs started to move to the burgeoning city. In 1956, another key development took place when American realtor, Paul Trousdale, bought the Doheny Ranch and developed it into the Trousdale Estates. The new neighbourhood eventually became home to a raft of famous names, such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Ray Charles, and President Richard Nixon. The rich and famous continue to reside in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Holmby Hills although nowadays much more discreetly. Tours are still commonplace, but most properties are heavily gated and landscaped for privacy.

History of Rodeo Drive

In 1906, Burton E. Green (1868-1965) and his fellow investors purchased Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas, Spanish for “Ranch of the Gathering Waters,” with many plans for developing the area. The street that would eventually become Rodeo Drive was surveyed and mapped, or platted that very same year. By 1907, the street was subdivided into lots of 75ft × 160ft (23m × 49m), and parcels on Rodeo were selling for over $1,000 each. When Green completed the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1912 the street became a bridle path for through-traffic. By 1925, land values in Beverly Hills had shot up, largely due to the overall impact on the development of the city by Edward L. Doheny, and lots were selling for between $15,000 – $30,000.

Rodeo Drive’s name is derived from the original Spanish, “El Rodeo de las Aguas,” meaning “The Gathering of the Waters.” The street developed organically between the 1920s and 1950s, acquiring hardware stores, gas stations and stores for ladies and gentlemen.

In 1961, Giorgio Beverly Hills opened its doors. Founded by Fred Hayman, fondly remembered as “Mr. Beverly Hills” and “Mr. Rodeo Drive,” it was the first luxury boutique on the street. GBH had a reading room, pool table and oak bar, enabling gentlemen to relax while the ladies shopped. The boutique was highly successful, but more was to come. In 1981, GBH launched its signature fragrance, Giorgio, which became an instant hit and soon turned over more than $100 million a year. In 1987, Hayman sold the fragrance business to Avon for a reported $165 million, a phenomenal turnaround in such a short space of time. GBH was sold in 1994, and the original location, 273 Rodeo Drive, is located opposite Louis Vuitton.

In 1968, Aldo Gucci opened his boutique on Rodeo, and other high-end boutiques followed in rapid succession. Van Cleef & Arpels opened a year later, followed by Vidal Sassoon in 1970. In 1971, Ralph Lauren opened the Polo Store, the brand’s first freestanding store.

In 1976, Bijan Pakzad opened his uniquely self-styled “most expensive boutique in the world” and created fragrances and fashions for men and women. Bijan was also famous for its policy of shopping by appointment only, one that was undoubtedly suited to his cadre of illustrious clients. To this day, Bijan is famous for its signature black-and-yellow colour scheme and Bijan Bugatti Veyron 16.4, made in collaboration with Bijan and Bugatti. The car became a huge draw and crowd-pleaser and sat outside the boutique for many years. The Bugatti Veyron was later sold to a collector in Dubai and one of Bijan’s other cars, the eye-catching yellow Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé, now sits outside the boutique. Even the parking meter has been customised and sports Bijan’s signature yellow.

The “Rodeo Collection,” a 45-store shopping mall comprising 70,000 sq ft (6,500 m2), opened in 1983. By the mid-’80s, the street approached 100 stores. Two Rodeo Drive, another outdoor shopping centre, was built in 1990, but suffered during the recession. It was sold in 2000 and revitalised in 2007 by a group of Irish investors. Two Rodeo is famous for its cobblestoned street that resembles Paris and is known as Via Rodeo.

Breguet Rodeo Dr 2023 © Breguet Blog
Via Rodeo and Breguet. Via Rodeo is the most famous part of the street.

Additional improvements were made when Rodeo Drive was given an $18 million makeover in 2003: the streets were widened and crosswalks were added to provide shoppers easy access to the boutiques. The ficus trees lining the street were also removed and replaced with palm trees. By much effort and dedication Rodeo Drive has become an international destination for high-end fashion, luxury brands, fine jewellery and watches. Visitors continue coming to Rodeo Drive every year to see the lifestyles of the rich and famous, as well as to enjoy the many cafés and restaurants on offer. And perhaps to do a little shopping as well…

Breguet on Rodeo!

Breguet is located at 280 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills CA 90210. The boutique first opened its doors in 2006 and underwent a sleek refurbishment and grand reopening in 2013. Breguet has maintained the same location ever since and is situated in a classic, European-style building with high ceilings and windows. Indeed, the interior is almost cathedral-like, but lofty enough without being sombre.

Breguet Rodeo Dr 2023 © Breguet Blog
Breguet’s iconic white building and location on the famous crossroads of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way.

Clients and visitors are invited to step inside to peruse some of the finest watches on offer anywhere in the world. The interior of the boutique is warm and welcoming thanks to the professionalism of the dedicated team at Breguet Rodeo Drive. There is also sufficient floor space to host intimate private gatherings, which Breguet offers from time to time. If you are visiting or live locally, please click on the Breguet website for current events at this boutique.

Breguet Rodeo Dr 2023 © Breguet Blog
A friendly smile and superb customer service await clients and visitors to Breguet of Beverly Hills. Special events are also held here to launch new models and to celebrate the storied history of the brand.
Breguet Rodeo Dr 2023 © Breguet Blog
A relaxing atmosphere and complimentary drinks await the discerning shopper.

The main seating area shown above presents an ideal opportunity to examine your favourite pieces in comfort. Breguet of Beverly Hills carries a large and broad inventory of the maison’s catalogue, and in today’s article we are honoured to present some very special items: exotic watches and more.

Breguet’s “Jazz Repeater”

Breguet’s jazz-themed, minute repeater is a rare sight. Haute joaillerie meets haute horlogerie in this exceptional tribute to the world of jazz and blues. At first, the jazz theme may come as a surprise however, the watchmakers at Breguet are masters at blending a modern theme with classical watchmaking. The result is a simple yet elegant dial showing only hours and minutes with exquisite gem-setting and the famed lever to the left-hand side of the case for activating the répétition minutes.

2023 © Breguet Blog
Ref. 7639 in white gold. Diamonds adorn the dial and baguettes are set throughout the bezel, lugs and case-band. The activation lever for the repeater and crown are also set with diamonds, as is the clasp.

This spectacular Classique Grande Complication minute repeater wristwatch is presented in 18-carat white gold. The watch has a hand-wound movement, engraved by hand. Breguet’s master graveurs have adorned the base plate, movement and component parts to represent a jazz and blues ensemble. Music notes are clearly visible on the base plate and the bridges are sensationally engraved with the orchestra players, their instruments and keyboard. The actual repeater mechanism and hammers are lovingly engraved with drumsticks suggesting motion. It is a vibrant motif overall and a joy to behold.5

2023 © Breguet Blog
Artistry par excellence: Breguet’s mythical “Jazz Repeater,” a watch that is rarely seen and heard.

Diamond explosion

The bezel, case-band, repeating-lever and lugs in this explosive watch are set with 160 baguette-cut diamonds, 11.43 cts approx.; the crown is set with 18 baguette-cut diamonds and 1 brilliant-cut diamond, 0.82 ct approx.; the dial is paved with 392 princess-cut diamonds, 6.98 cts approx.; silvered gold chapter ring with 12 diamond hour-markers, 0.016 ct approx. A sapphire case back reveals the magnificent jazz scene. The watch casing has a diameter of 44.50 mm and the watch case is 11.70 mm thick. This particular example of ref. 7639 has been custom-fitted with a green alligator strap by Breguet and finished with a white gold folding clasp set with 42 baguette-cut diamonds, 0.87 ct approx.

2023 © Breguet Blog
Got the blues? Ref. 7639 and 18-carat white gold and lapis lazuli cufflinks, with rotor-style oscillating weight and “B” of Breguet, fluted caseband, 78 diamonds (0.39 ct) and Classique ballpoint mechanical pen.

Breguet’s Jazz Repeater is clearly a statement piece, but its appeal lies in an overarching simplicity. A classic “two-hander” showing hours and minutes only, the watch exudes confidence and combines understatement with an outpouring of luxury, paying homage to the most revered complication in watchmaking. Breguet’s watchmakers may have outdone themselves here, and it could be a long time before something so special emerges from its workshops again.

Hora Mundi

Breguet’s world time watch – Hora Mundi – is a legend in its own time (again, no pun intended). It is a watch that is entirely unique and designed with an in-house movement by the manufacture. It has not been copied elsewhere and remains unmatched in the watch industry for its many achievements. Design and aesthetics merge, paying tribute to the “travel watch” in the most breathtaking fashion: a medley of baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires set to a spherical dial with phases of the sun and moon, and a sapphire crystal case back to match.

Hora Mundi dazzles in any light and situation with a sea of precious stones: the dial depicting the Americas is set with 154 diamonds totalling 0.399 ct approx. on a spherical dial decorated with a “wave” motif coated with translucent lacquer. The chapter ring is paved with 76 baguette-cut diamonds, 2.01 cts approx., and with 83 baguette-cut sapphires totalling 1.98 cts approx. The bezel, dial flange and lugs set with 130 baguette-cut diamonds totalling 17.32 cts approx. 

2023 © Breguet Blog
Hora Mundi ref. 5719 in platinum with America dial, one of three diamond pieces. The other two depict Asia-Oceania and Europe, and the continents are paved with diamonds.

The real raison d’être of Breguet’s Hora Mundi lies in its in-house caliber: an instant time-zone with memory, synchronised date, day/night and city indications, self-winding, and water-resistant to 3 bar (30 m). The owner sets his or her reference (“home city”) to the correct day and time (am/pm); once this has been achieved, all other cities, times and dates follow at the push of the button located at eight o’clock. Simply push the button to arrive at the desired city and the watch will display the correct day and time for that location. Breguet’s Hora Mundi is a marvel and a mechanical calculator beautifully arranged on a spherical dial with a charming sun- and moon-phase to indicate day or night.6

The Hora Mundi is also available without diamonds in platinum and rose gold (ref. 5717). These watches show the three continents finished with immaculate mirror polishing or poli noir. A final variation is available in white and rose gold with Breguet’s classic guilloché dial (ref. 5727). Assuring that there is at least one model to suit all potential world travellers.

Double Tourbillon

This stunning watch is the culmination of many years of development by Breguet’s watchmakers. Announced in 2006, Breguet’s Double Tourbillon is presented with a pair of tourbillon regulators rotating on the hour axis. The hour hand is hereby “affixed” to the bridge of one of two tourbillons and the minute hand is free to rotate once upon the hour. At the same time, the centrepiece rotates fully every 12 hours as both tourbillons rotate within this mechanical marvel.

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Ref. 5347 in platinum and dial showing a guilloched barley pattern. The engraved pattern is known as grain d’orge circulare.

The two tourbillons are coupled by means of differential gears and move independently from one another. This construction enables the mean rate of both tourbillons to be conveyed to the rotating centre plate and to the time-display mechanism. As a result, the rate of the watch is equal to the mean rate of both tourbillons, making the movement twice as precise as a normal one. Breguet’s Double Tourbillon is a tour de force and beguiling to look at.

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A breathtaking and explosive view of the solar system showing sumptuous mirror polishing and gear wheels at the heart of the watch.

Immaculate finishing underscores the exclusivity of this extraordinary watch. The tourbillon bridges are polished and their movement is enhanced by a centre plate hand-engraved on a rose engine. The silvered gold chapter ring consists of a circular conical surface tapered down and inscribed with Roman numerals complimenting the blued “Breguet hands” at centre. Details so subtle and unmistakably Breguet that their impact must be felt in person to appreciate the mastery of Breguet’s watchmakers.

If the dial was insufficient to whet the appetite, one is invited to turn over the watch to view the case back. In its lavish depiction of the solar system, Breguet’s Double Tourbillon pays tribute to the concept of time itself. This hand-engraved masterpiece must be seen with the naked eye and preferably under a loupe. Those fortunate enough to own this watch will be ever cognisant of the high art of Breguet, and it will bring them much joy.

Skeleton Perpetual Calendar

Few watchmakers excel at skeleton watches. Fortunately, squelette watches are one of Breguet’s many strengths. Openworked watches not only reveal the works of a watch but invite the viewer into a deepened appreciation of the mystery of time. The cogs, wheels and levers of the mechanism are all visible diligently keeping track of the day, date, month, hours, minutes, with small seconds on the tourbillon axis, a leap year counter, and day and night indicator. All sumptuously crowned by Breguet’s tourbillon at six o’clock.

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Ref. 3795 in rose gold, also available in platinum. Hours with Roman numerals on a sapphire disc. Elegance as only Breguet can do.

The sapphire case back shows Breguet’s exceptional hand-engraving. The bridges have been decorated by hand and set with a number of jewels throughout. The movement is ethereally suspended in an 18-carat rose gold case with a finely fluted case band. The watch is graciously sized at 41 mm diameter and offers harmony and readability. The skeleton dial is in silvered 18-carat gold. The parts are finished to the usual high standards of Breguet’s workshops and all screws are mirror polished. The movement beats at a stately slower rate of 2.5 Hz (18,000 vph) which is a characteristic of some grand complications. The watch is adjusted in six positions. Breguet also offers this watch without skeletonisation, please see ref. 3797.

Other outstanding examples of skeleton watches in the current catalogue include: Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette 5395; Classique complications 3355; and the Tourbillon Messidor 5335.

Reine de Naples

Breguet’s famous family of watches for the lady is inspired by the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat. Napoléon Bonaparte’s younger sister was a great supporter of the arts and acquired over 30 Breguet watches and clocks. In 1810, Breguet began work on a new creation far ahead of its time: a watch designed to be worn on the wrist. It was delivered to the Queen of Naples in 1812 and resurfaced for repairs in 1849 and 1855. The Breguet archives have kept track of the history and characteristics of this watch, whose whereabouts today are unknown. Caroline Murat’s watch was oblong-shaped with an engine-turned silver dial and included several complications: a repeater, a moon-phase indicator, and also a thermometer. Delicately finished, it had a wristlet of hair and gold thread that allowed it to be worn on the wrist.

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Reine de Naples ref. 8918 in rose gold with dial in champagne-coloured Tahitian natural mother-of-pearl, hand-engraved on a rose engine.

The above watch is in 18-carat gold. The bezel, dial flange and crown are set with 118 diamonds, 0.94 ct approx. An off-centred chapter ring with beautifully hand-styled Breguet Arabic numerals is the highlight of this collection. The watch has a self-winding movement and balance spring and escape wheel in silicon. A sapphire case back provides a view of the movement and oscillating weight in platinum. Although the watch is water-resistant to 3 bar (30 m), any fine watch should be treated as being rain-resistant only. Reine de Naples ref. 8918 is elegantly proportioned at 36.5 x 28.45 mm and available in a variety of straps and bracelets.

Tradition 7038

In 2020, Breguet released the Tradition 7038 Breguet Boutique Exclusive Edition for ladies. The Tradition collection is a fresh, modern take on the traditional Breguet pocket watch. The watches in this collection are not skeleton watches, but are openworked from the dial side so the works are visible to the wearer. The watch featured here has been exclusively reserved for Breguet boutiques and although not a limited edition, production numbers are understandably low.

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Tradition Dame ref. 7038 Boutique Edition in rose gold on a rich, orange calfskin
strap.

The Tradition Boutique Edition for ladies is presented in 18-carat gold. The bezel is set with 68 diamonds weighing 0.895 ct approx. It has a self-winding movement with retrograde seconds at 10 o’clock and a silicon Breguet balance-spring located between four and five o’clock under a bridge protected by a pare-chute anti-shock mechanism, invented by Breguet in 1790. In golden hues, the central barrel is decorated with a rosette motif that is echoed by a gold rotor engraved to match and visible through the sapphire case back. The wheels of the movement contrast with the deep brown and finely sandblasted bridges and main plate. The watch is appropriately sized at 37 mm.

The highlight of the watch is an off-centred dial in natural Tahitian mother-of-pearl, engine-turned by hand. The dial features a clous de Paris (hobnailing) guilloché pattern at centre with a smart border for the hours chapter. The mother-of-pearl dial is engraved BREGUET and bears the unique number of the timepiece. The dial is a sensation as engraving mother-of-pearl presents many challenges and is difficult to do. The resultant qualities are a delight, as the surface has a specular quality that shimmers from all angles and bursts forth with a variety of colours every time the dial is viewed.

An Exclusive Clutch Bag

Breguet presents the Tradition 7038 Boutique Edition for ladies with a beautifully designed clutch bag that doubles as a watchcase. Breguet has called upon the services of Italian craftsmen specialised in the traditional art of saddle making for this handcrafted and tailor-made clutch bag in grained calfskin leather. Its bright orange matches the calfskin strap of the Tradition 7038 and can be carried or worn as is customary. The bag’s round and golden clasp is further decorated with a rosette, a larger version of the engine-turned barrel and rotor of the watch.

Breguet’s Tradition 7038 Boutique Edition for ladies is a unique opportunity to treat the special lady in your life. It might also be an excuse for the lady to treat herself, and she has three other exceptional watches to choose from in the Tradition Collection: Tradition Dame 7038 in rose gold with white mother-of-pearl dial; in white gold with Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial; and Tradition 7035 with diamonds, rubies and sapphires in a rare limited and numbered edition of 88 pieces.

The Rodeo Drive Steps, Via Rodeo and Breguet

Rodeo and its immediate vicinity is filled with iconic and instantly recognisable sights. From the movies to music videos to upscale advertisements the world over, everyone knows about Rodeo Drive, Via Rodeo and the world-renowned Rodeo Drive Steps. Unlike many parts of Los Angeles, the heart of Beverly Hills is eminently walkable, and shoppers and visitors can relax on foot. Everything is easily accessible, and Beverly Hills City Hall and Beverly Gardens Park are only 15 minutes away on foot. In between the various boutiques and shops, visitors will find an array of bars, cafés and restaurants to savour some quiet time away from the hurly-burly.

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The famous Rodeo Drive Steps basking in sunlight. The popular 208 Rodeo restaurant sits at the top, and has served Beverly Hills since 1991.
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Via Rodeo’s fabled cobbles and boutiques. The street is exclusively for pedestrians. Breguet is just visible at the end with its famed blue awning.

Connoisseurs of cafés are encouraged to visit andSons Chocolatiers, a hidden gem of Beverly Hills that sits snug on the corner of Brighton Way and N. Camden Drive. andSons started in 1983 and offers artisan chocolates and fine coffee, tea and ice cream. Visitors to Breguet and Beverly Hills will not regret a small detour to the best café in the area, which has become an institution.

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andSons is mandatory for those who love coffee, tea or ice cream.

The Breguet boutique is located at the top of Via Rodeo and occupies the prime spot overlooking the corner of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way. An iconic brand in an iconic location. Breguet’s windows overlook Dayton Way and Via Rodeo and allow for generous browsing. A replica of Breguet’s Classique complication ref. 3357 is mounted next to the entrance and deftly keeps track of time for passers-by.

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A mounted wall clock with Breguet’s most famous invention, the tourbillon, traces the time and acts as a shingle for the boutique.
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Breguet’s windows facing Via Rodeo with the name of the street magnificently chiseled and decorated in gold between the awnings.
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Breguet’s windows facing Dayton Way with Via Rodeo round the corner to the left.
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Reine de Naples wristwatch ref. 8928 in 18-carat white gold, dial in natural white mother-of-pearl and bezel, dial flange and lug set with 139 brilliant-cut diamonds, 1.255 cts approx., crown set with a briolette diamond 0.26 ct approx.; and ref. 8918 in 18-carat white gold with silvered gold dial, hand-engraved on a rose engine and partly in white natural mother-of-pearl, Breguet Arabic numerals, with bezel, dial flange and crown set with 136 rubies, 1.34 cts approx. (right).
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The Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887 Grande Complication wristwatch with running equation of time, perpetual calendar and tourbillon in 18-carat rose gold with silvered gold dial, hand-engraved on a rose engine. On the reverse, the bridges bear an engraving of a French 19th century ship, the Royal Louis.

Breguet of Beverly Hills has so much more to offer than what could be covered in one article. Visitors and existing clients are encouraged to visit the boutique and find their personal favourites. Most watches are available in a variety of finishes, and the friendly staff will be only too happy to assist. Merci Breguet et à la prochaine!

Annual Events on Rodeo Drive

  • The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance is an annual event that celebrates rare, exotic and beautiful automobiles against the backdrop of Rodeo Drive. The car show is free and offers a perfect day out for families and car connoisseurs. This year the event was held on Father’s Day: https://www.rodeodrive-bh.com/past-events/carshow?rq=concours;
  • Rodeo Drive Celebrates Fashion is an annual event that celebrates craftsmanship and beauty in the world of haute couture. This year’s annual week-long event took place from 7th-13th August 2023: https://www.rodeodrive-bh.com/events/rodeo-drive-celebrates;
  • Further events take place throughout the year to honour the arts, fine dining, and live music, including special events in partnership with leading luxury boutiques and hotels. For up-to-date information please visit: https://www.rodeodrive-bh.com/events.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Breguet of Beverly Hills and Violet Mkrtychan, General Manager, for this unique opportunity. Violet and her dedicated staff extended the warmest welcome and allowed us to take these photographs. Thank you also to Ahmad Shahriar, President, USA and Canada for Breguet, and Stuart Kerr, General Manager of Breguet London, for making this visit possible.

Notes

All URLs correct at time of publication.

1 See the following report, California Agricultural Statistics Review, 2021-2022: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Statistics/PDFs/2022_Ag_Stats_Review.pdf.

2 Author Sam Watters explains as follows:

Upon his death, Harold Lloyd left his estate to a foundation, with the intention that the house and gardens be opened to the public as a museum chronicling Harold Lloyd and 1920s estate living. After struggles with the upkeep costs and complaints from Beverly Hills neighbors about visiting tourists, the Harold Lloyd Foundation sold Greenacres to businessman Nasrolla Afshani at a public auction in 1975 for $1.6 million. The golf course, canoe run, cascade fountain, swimming pool, and service buildings were destroyed when the land was subsequently subdivided. Movie and music producer Ted Field, heir to the Marshall Field department store fortune, owned the house in the 1980s and sold the property in 2003 to its present owner.

—Sam Watters, Houses of Los Angeles 1920-1935 Volume II

3 For the Doheny Estate, please visit: http://www.beverlyhills.org/departments/communityservices/cityparks/greystonemansiongardens/. Greystone is full of history and the interior of the house is open at set times for visitors.

4 Author Jeffrey Hyland has chronicled many of the great estates in his excellent book, The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills, New York: Rizzoli (2008). Please visit his website: https://thelegendaryestatesofbeverlyhills.com.

5 Jazz aficionados may wish to listen to California’s 88.1 FM, KKJZ-FM, affectionately known as KJazz, one of the few remaining full-time mainstream jazz radio stations in the United States: https://kkjz.org. 88.1 FM is not only legendary but also one of the finest jazz stations in the world.

6 Spherical dials are examples of supreme excellence in dial finishing. The dial resembles a sphere seen from any angle, meaning the dial curves from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock and 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock. The Hora Mundi family of watches displaying the three continents of the world all have spherical dials. Breguet’s Héritage Tourbillon ref. 5497 in platinum and rose gold are further examples of true spherical dials.

Bibliography

https://www.breguet.com

http://www.beverlyhills.org

https://www.beverlyhillshistoricalsociety.org

BREGUET, Emmanuel, Breguet: Art and Innovation in Watchmaking, USA: Prestel (2015). ISBN 978-3791354675.

GROSS, Michael, Unreal Estate, New York: Broadway Books (2011). ISBN 978-0-7679-3265-3.

WATTERS, Sam, Houses of Los Angeles 1920-1935 Volume II, New York: Acanthus Press (2007). ISBN-13: 978-0-926494-31-2.

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