The Breguet Marine collection is inspired by and pays tribute to the brand’s rich marine heritage, or more specifically, Abraham-Louis Breguet’s contributions to marine chronometry. Following the wake of this unique heritage, Breguet has launched what is perhaps one of the most interesting novelties of Baselworld 2017: the Marine Équation Marchante 5887. The Breguet novelty showcases three very sophisticated complications: the equation of time, the perpetual calendar and the tourbillon (technically not a complication). And one of these complications is interpreted in an ingenious manner (hint: it’s in the name).
Baselworld 2017: Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887
The case of the Marine Équation Marchante measures a sporty 43.9 mm in diameter and comes in either rose gold or platinum. It features new aesthetic signature codes giving it a modern and dynamic appearance: central lugs combining polished and satin-brushed surfaces; more open fluting, with visible flanks; a crown topped with a polished “B” against a sandblasted background; as well as a crown adorned with a chamfered and satin-brushed wave motif.
The rose gold version of the watch frames a silvered dial and an anthracite movement, while the platinum interpretation has a blue dial and a rhodium-plated movement. In both versions, the dial features two types of engine-turning, including a “wave” pattern specifically developed for this new creation. The timepiece’s star complication is displayed by means of an additional minute hand adorned with a faceted golden sun: the equation of time. The equation of time remains one of the rarest and most poetic of complications. To oversimplify, the equation of time serves to display the difference between mean solar time, corresponding to civil or standard hours and minutes, and true solar time, meaning the actual solar hours and minutes. There are different ways to show the equation of time. Most watches prefer a hand sweeping a subsidiary dial or arc, graduated from -16 to +14 minutes. This requires a little mental arithmetic by the wearer, adding or subtracting to calculate true time from mean time. The new Marine Équation Marchante supersedes this with what’s called the “running equation” (équation marchante). It simultaneously indicates civil time and true time by means of two separate minutes hands. The running solar hand provides a direct reading of solar time minutes that is both quicker and more user-friendly.
The complexity of the running equation of time is complemented by the equally sophisticated perpetual calendar. Two apertures – one between 10 and 11 o’clock and the other between 1 and 2 o’clock – respectively display the days of the week as well as the months and the leap-year cycle. The date appears inside the chapter ring by means of a retrograde hand tipped with an anchor motif and sweeping across an arc running from 9 to 3 o’clock. The Marine Équation Marchante is also equipped with a 60-second tourbillon with a titanium carriage which can be seen through the large aperture at the bottom right corner of the dial. The power reserve of the timepiece is also displayed via an aperture between 7 to 9 o’clock.
The Marine Équation Marchante is powered by the 57-jewelled Cal. 581DPE. The automatic movement has a commendable power reserve of 80 hours while operating at a modern 4 Hz beat rate. To execute the running equation of time, Breguet equips the running solar hand with a differential gear powered by two rotation sources operating entirely independently: the rotation of civil minutes, and that controlled by the lever in contact with the equation of time cam, which makes one full turn per year. Perhaps to be expected of a brand of Breguet’s stature, the Marine Équation Marchante is beautifully decorated not just in front, but also at the back. The bridges have been delicately chased to depict in meticulous detail the Royal Louis, a first rank vessel in the French Royal Navy. The barrel is adorned with a windrose motif, in reference to astronomical navigation. Thanks to the carefully chosen positioning of the oscillating weight on the rim of the calibre, the self-winding movement deploys the full splendour of its decoration.
The Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887 is adjusted in 6 positions and is water resistant to 10 bar (and therefore safe for swimming). The watch comes with a matching alligator leather strap and gold folding clasp.
Edit: The price for the platinum edition is USD230,400 while the rose gold edition is priced at USD215,000.