This year, Breguet decided to focus almost entirely on building out its Marine collection. There was, of course, the customary Reine de Naples addition, and two new ultra-thin Classique Extra-Plat models, one with a tourbillon and one without, but there’s no doubt that Breguet intends on making the Marine Collection its headliner for 2018. Joining last year’s Marchante Équation of Time 5887 are three new time-and-date only models, three new chronographs, and three new minute repeaters.
The decision to expand this collection makes sense. As a brand that has a lot invested in its heritage, there’s only so many tourbillons and double tourbillons you can release before collectors decide they want something a little less frenetic on the wrist. This extension isn’t just a new look for Breguet; it’s tied directly into the history of the brand and its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, as well. Way back in December of 1814, a royal decree appointed A.L. Breguet a member of the Bureau des Longitudes in Paris, a body that included astronomers, geophysicists, and physicists. About a year later, in October of 1815, Breguet was christened the official “Watchmaker to the Royal Navy” by King Louis XVIII of France. This was one of the most prestigious titles a watchmaker could receive given the onerous nature of maritime horology. The relationship between Breguet and the Navy continued after Breguet passed in 1823 with his son Antoine-Louis continuing to represent the marque for decades after.
Now, onto the watches.
The chronograph models, also known as Marine Chronograph 5527, come in three different case materials: rose gold, titanium, and 18k white gold. The rose- and the white-gold versions feature a guilloché wave motif across the center of the dial that might be familiar if you remember the 5887. The titanium version features a beautiful sunburst slate grey dial.
The minutes counter is at 3 o’clock, the hours counter at 6 o’clock, and the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. There’s a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. Each 42-mm model is individually numbered and signed by Breguet. The watch features Roman numerals and the faceted Breguet hands are made of gold and applied with lume. The caseband is nicely fluted. The central chronograph seconds hand is inspired by century-old maritime codes. All three models come with either a rubber or leather strap. Inside the watches is the self-winding Caliber 582QA that has a 48-hour power reserve and an inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns. It also features a silicon balance spring.
The titanium model is priced at $22,600 and the rose and white gold are both priced at $28,700.
Next up, the Marine Alarme Musicale 5547. This minute repeating trio follows the same material and dial design combinations as the chronograph models with a guilloché wave dial on the rose and white gold versions and sunburst slate gray dial for the titanium. At 3 o’clock, there’s an alarm subdial and, at 9 o’clock, a time-zone display. You can find the alarm-activation indication in an aperture at 12 o’clock and the date at 6 o’clock. Finally, there’s a striking mechanism power reserve between 9 and 12 o’clock. Despite the watch being only 40 mm in diameter and the wide variety of functions and indicators on the dial, the watch is surprisingly sober. It never fails to impress me how Breguet is able to streamline its aesthetic in such a consistent manner.
Inside the watch is the self-winding Caliber 519F/1 with a 45-hour power reserve, inverted in-lever escapement in silicon, and silicon balance spring. All three models come with either a rubber or leather strap.
The titanium model is priced at $28,600 and the rose and white gold versions are priced at $40,900.
Inside the watch is the mechanical self-winding Caliber 777A with a 55-hour power reserve, inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns, and silicon balance spring.
The titanium model is priced at $18,500 and the rose- and white-gold versions are priced at $28,700.