Tide and Tradition: Breguet Rides the Waves at Baselworld 2018
Breguet adds three timepieces to their revamped Marine collection first introduced in 2017, including brand new editions in Titanium.
When one decides that he or she wants to learn more about mechanical watches, they look no further than into the history, life, and accomplishments of one Abraham-Louis Breguet. Known as one of the most established and important horologists in the history of clock and watchmaking, Breguet – likely known best as the inventor of the tourbillon – also earned the official title of chronometer maker to the French Royal Navy early in his career; one of the most prestigious titles to which a horologist could aspire at the time.
At the 2017 edition of Baselworld in Basel, Switzerland, Breguet (the brand) paid homage to this title by unveiling the Marine Équation Marchante (visit our article); a beauty of a timepiece containing a Breguet self-winding movement with running equation of time, a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon, and having an 80-hours power reserve. It was considered the biggest news to come out of Basel for Breguet last year, which is why it’s no surprise the brand decided to ride those waves of positivity at this year’s fair with three new editions to the revamped Marine collection.
The Marine 5517 – aka, “The Classic”
Relatively uncluttered but clearly designed as a maritime-related timepiece, the Marine 5517 is the most classic-looking of all the new novelties within the Marine collection. Showcasing the date at 3 o’clock, the 5517 offers two different dial styles. The Titanium version of the model – a first for this collection – comes with a sunburst slate grey-toned gold dial while the white and rose gold versions are made with an engine-tuned “wave” motif on blue and silver-toned gold dials. All three dial editions are decorated with lume-coated Roman numeral hour markers as well as lume-coated minute markers, and the recognizable Breguet hands are also coated in a luminescent material.
The movement used in the 5517 is the mechanical self-winding caliber 777A which is housed in a 40mm diameter case. A sapphire crystal caseback displays a singular oscillating weight featuring a design inspired by a ship’s rudder. The movement visible through the caseback is engine-turned and designed to be reminiscent of boat decks.
The Marine 5517 is water resistant to 100 meters, contains 26 jewels, has a 55-hour power reserve, and is available with a leather or rubber strap for the titanium version and the editions in gold.
The Marine Chronographe 5527 – aka, “The Complex”
For those who prefer their maritime-inspired watches to have a sportier feel to them without them being ostentatious (yours truly, included), Breguet introduces the Marine Chronographe 5527. This elegantly designed chronograph features the same dial design, case, and strap color combinations as the 5517, but is slightly larger in diameter at 42.3mm.
Time is measured through a central chronograph hand which is also accented with a maritime symbol just as it is on the 5517 model. The watch’s two subdials are located at 3 o’clock (minutes) and 6 o’clock (hours) and the small seconds indication is at 9 o’clock mark. The position of the date between 4 and 5 o’clock is subtle but still easily readable, and the hour markers are indicated with Roman numerals.
The Chronographe 5527 contains the mechanical self-winding caliber 582QA movement which has a 48-hour power reserve. The watch contains 28 jewels, an inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns, is water resistant to 100 meters, and is also available on a rubber or leather strap.
The Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 – aka, “The Creative”
The sounds of the sea are not what you might expect when it comes to the Marine Alarme Musicale 5547. This addition to the Breguet Marine collection boasts a multi-function alarm, additional time zone feature, and date indicator at the 6 o’clock marker. In relation to the timepiece’s alarm complication, a ship’s bell appears in a “window” at 12 o’clock when the striking mechanism is triggered, paying a sweet-sounding homage to the maritime-related theme of the Marine collection.
Both the alarm and the additional time-zone indication are displayed via subdials at the 3 and 9 o’clock markers, but the striking mechanism power reserve, however, is displayed in a more subtle way; barely noticeable at a point between the 9 and 12 o’clock points. To hear the chimes of the 5547 is to imagine a ship’s steward ringing a dinner bell for the crew so that they may gather for a sundown supper on the deck of a ship bound for better lands.
As with the 5517 and the 5527 models of this year’s Marine collection novelties, the Alarme Musicale 5547 is also available in white and yellow gold versions as well as in titanium. The 40mm diameter timepieces contain the self-winding caliber 519F/1 movement accompanied by a 45-hour power reserve, inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns, 36 jewels, and is water resistant to 50 meters.
These three new additions to the Breguet Marine collection add depth to the brand’s already respectful take on history, culture, and tradition, whether it be through maritime-related works or historically significant associations to those works, and as always, it was a joy to see, touch, and learn about what the masterminds behind the Breguet name come up with year after year.
(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)