Frieze New York opens Wednesday, and it will be the first chance for the Swiss luxury watch brand, Breguet, to showcase its partnership with the international fair. The partnership will last until 2024 and it involves an artist collaboration at Frieze’s five international art fairs.
Frieze New York will be held May 18 – 22 at The Shed in Manhattan, a gallery space in newly built Hudson Yards. The show will include a dedicated “Breguet Lounge” where artist Pablo Bronstein will collaborate with the brand to create artworks for the space that explores the interrelation of art, design, craft and technology through history. This collaboration will continue with the Argentine artist at Frieze Los Angeles in 2023.
The lounge also will present the art and craft of Breguet timepieces in two ways. The first is a demonstration of the guillochage, a tool used by the Breguet artisans to create the various decorations appearing on the movements of Breguet timepieces. A distinct hallmark of the House, guillochage, was introduced around 1786 in watchmaking by Abraham-Louis Breguet. This decorative technique, which requires meticulous work, is still carried out in the traditional way at Breguet with the guilloché lathe.
In addition, fair visitors will have the opportunity to view an historical Souscription pocket watch from the collections of the Breguet Museum. It was in 1797 that Abraham-Louis Breguet had the idea of launching a refined and minimalist pocket watch, equipped with a single hand and an enamel dial, that was to be sold by “Souscription” (subscription) where the buyer helped to finance the watch by paying a quarter of the price prior to it being made. This is the timepiece that inspired the Breguet contemporary Tradition collection, which will also be exhibited.
Lionel a Marca, Breguet’s CEO, says this partnership with Frieze is another example of Breguet’s historical relationship with the fine arts.
“Our brand has always been close to the world of art,” he says. “Whether through our founder who created the neo-classical style that inspired modern watchmaking or through our craftsmen who, within our manufacture, perpetuate the ancestral know-how of dial and movement decoration. Forming a partnership with a fair such as Frieze, which showcases the talents of today and tomorrow, is meaningful to Breguet. We are happy and proud to start this partnership.”
Added Emily Glazebrook, Frieze commercial director, “We are delighted to launch our new global partnership with Breguet at Frieze New York 2022 by debuting our collaboration with a new commission by artist Pablo Bronstein. Breguet has strong ties to the visual arts, and much like Frieze, is founded upon an enduring appreciation of innovation, creativity and quality.”
Breguet’s partnership with Frieze will include similar collaborations with Frieze fairs in in London, Los Angeles and Seoul, as well Frieze Masters.