Abraham-Louis Breguet was the brains behind countless inventions in the watchmaking world. In addition to the tourbillon and the pare-chute shock protection device, he is also largely attributed as the inventor of the split-seconds chronograph. Breguet created an inking chronograph with his pupil Fatton, then went even further by developing a “chronomètre à doubles secondes, dit d’observation” from 1820 onwards, the ancestor of all split-seconds chronographs. Breguet’s work inspired the entire watchmaking profession in all fields, and notably that of chronographs.
Review: Breguet Marine Chronographe 5527
The Marine collection is Breguet – the brand’s, answer to the modern sports watch. While it has been in production for some time now, the new 2018 collection is a welcome update to the collection. It features a brand new case design that in our opinion is more sleek, modern and a significant upgrade from its predecessor.
The case and dial
The Marine Chronographe used in this review is cased in titanium with a fluted caseband. Other variants with different dial designs are also available in precious metals. The extended lugs is similar to an integrated lugs design, and is quite well interpreted in this rendition. Quite important is its uniqueness, while retaining the old ‘screw’ lugs design DNA from the older models. The watch measures 42.3 mm in diameter and has a sapphire- crystal caseback. It is also water-resistant to 10 bar (100m).
The case is a good contrast of straight sharp lines and angles with rounded edges. As can be seen on the lugs portion, straight lines are used with sharp angles for a more industrial look, and then contrasted with nicely polished and rounded chamfered edges on the pushers and side case. The mixture of brushed and polished surfaces add to the visual spectacle. To keep the profile of the watch slim, visual illusions like a double step bezel is used, a tapered gradient after the straight fluted caseband (a Breguet icon).
The overall design of the watch is sporty, with a ardoise color theme central to the design. The slate dial features a asymmetric subdial layout, with a large and overlapping minutes counter and a small seconds counter. The three subdials are arranged in a subtle small, medium, large layout with indent indicator rings surrounding all three. Effectively, the dial plays with depths, from applied indices to ‘raised’ platforms for the subdial hands. Subtle design details add to the legibility and intrigue of the dial display. Breguet has distinctly achieved fun elements on an overly produced watch segment while not compromising the brand’s integrity. Truly, it is all in the details.
While writing this, the writer thinks out loud at how the integrated lugs design works so much better than the older model straight lugs. The older design looks almost too stuffy in comparison to the new Marine Chronographe.
The hands of the watch received an update as well. One can still see the traditional Breguet hands design, but this time there is no cut out ring, but a overlapping straight line with the space filled with Superluminova.
The movement: Breguet Ca. 5820QA
The Breguet Marine Chronographe uses a self-winding movement, Cal. 582QA. The movement is numbered and signed with a 48- hour power reserve. It takes with it the technology and performance of Breguet movements, with an inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns. The movement also uses a silicon spring balance and beats at 4 Hz.
The sapphire crystal caseback reveals the Cal. 582QA automatic chronograph movement.
The movement is adequately finished at its price point, with geneve stripes, perlage plates and some chamfered bridges. For most moving parts, a top layer dressage is used. The viewable layout of the movement is also rather distinctive and attractive to view.
The watch is available in several versions. The first combines a white gold case with a blue dial in gold, with a wave-motif engine-turned pattern. A variation in rose gold is also available with a silvered gold dial. Featured in this article, is the Breguet Marine Chronograph 5527 in titanium, a novelty for the collection. Of the three, the titanium is our favourite.
The watch is an excellent offering from the brand, and is very appealing within the the dive/sports range chronograph segment. Overall, the watch looks great, and has a pedigree movement to run it. At a retail price of US$28,700 for 18K white or rose gold and US$18,500 for titanium, the watch presents a much welcome variety to the dominant Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore and trailing Vacheron Constantin Overseas. And ok, maybe Hublot.
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Breguet Marine Chronographe 5527
Case in 18k white gold with fluted caseband. Sapphire- crystal caseback. 42.3mm diameter. Water-resistant to 10 bar (100m).
Blue dial in gold, engine-turned. Individually numbered and signed Breguet. Hours chapter with Roman numerals and luminescent dots. Minutes counter at 3 o’clock, hours counter at 6 o’clock for the chronograph. Small seconds at 9 o’clock. Date in a window between 4 and 5 o’clock. Facetted Breguet hands in gold with luminescent material. Central chronograph hand inspired by maritime codes.
Mechanical self-winding movement, Cal. 582QA. 141⁄2 lignes. 28 jewels. Numbered and signed Breguet. 48- hour power reserve. Inverted in-line lever escapement with silicon horns. Frequency 4 Hz. Balance spring in silicon.
Rubber strap with folding clasp. Also available with a leather strap:
Also available in rose gold with a silvered gold dial:
Also available in titanium with a sunburst slate grey dial in gold: Reference 5527TI/G2/5WV