The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons

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The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons
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Review

It seems fitting that the secret passion of a man who hosted Just a Minute for 50 years was time. Or rather timepieces: in this 2016 documentary he introduced us to some of his treasured collection of clocks and watches. Parsons, we learn, did an apprenticeship as an engineer in 1940s Glasgow (strange, but true) and, although he defied his parents’ wishes and pursued a career in entertainment, he always revered the “poetry in motion” of delicate clockwork, which reached its peak, he argues here, in the work of Abraham-Louis Breguet. 

“He had this unique talent to make time sing,” Parsons tells us, travelling to Paris on a pilgrimage to tell the story of Breguet’s most legendary creation, an absurdly elaborate watch made for Marie Antoinette (though she never saw it) that is now the most precious timepiece in the world.

Summary

The Just a Minute host explores the life and work of Swiss horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet and goes in search of his most famous timepiece, which is valued at up to $100m.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Nicholas Parsons
Director John MacLaverty
Executive Producer Franny Moyle
Producer John MacLaverty
Documentary