Founded by Abraham Louis Breguet, the greatest watchmaker of all time in 1775; if there is a brand that can confidently boast about their rich horological heritage and history, it would have to be Breguet. Classic, conservative and royal sum up their designs. Known for their extraordinary horological breakthroughs and patents, watch lovers know one thing for sure, when Breguet speaks everybody listens. This Baselworld 2017, we found ourselves doing just that.
The new Classique 7147 has Breguet written all over it. Personally, the “Grand Feu” enamel dial did it for us. An extremely difficult enameling technique to master, but Breguet has clearly got it more than just right. The sub seconds dial at 5 o clock sinks in a little to give it that segregated yet blended look. The hours and minutes hands are in blued steel in true Breguet style. Powered by a self-winding calibre 502.3 SD, the new 7147 offers a 45 hour power reserve and is presented in a 40mm white gold and rose gold case. Turn the watch around and you’ll immediately notice the beautifully finished guilloche rotor and Geneva stripes.
Breguet Classique 7147 in white gold – RRP: AUD $27,700
Marine Équation Marchante 5887
One of the most interesting introductions at Baselworld 2017 would have to be the new Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887. Why? Simple… Well not so simple…
This timepiece is part of Breguet’s Marine collection and is a tribute to Abraham-Louis Breguet’s (the founder) contributions to marine chronometry. It features 3 complications: a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon and one of the most sophisticated and rarest complications of today, equation of time. It displays the difference between mean solar time to civil or standard hours and minutes, and true solar time, which are the actual solar hours and minutes.
Before we get into the technicals, let’s take a quick look at the watch itself. The Marine Équation Marchante 5887 is presented in a 43.9mm platinum case and rose gold case. It has a very dynamic look. For example, the dial features a ‘wave’ like pattern specifically designed for this creation. The lugs of watch are polished and satin brushed giving it a slightly modern touch, while the crown is topped with a polished “B” against a sandblasted background. The fluting (fine grooves enhanced with double beading) on the case band of Breguet’s watches is another discreet decorative detail that constitutes to what has become known as ‘Breguet style’.
A little on THE EQUATION OF TIME
Since Antiquity, the sun has been used as the basis of time. Nonetheless, the visible motion of the sun – the true solar time indicated on sundials – is irregular. With the improvement of timekeeping precision, watches and clocks became the basis of time and true solar time was replaced by mean solar time, within which each day has the same duration of exactly 24 hours. Mean solar time may show a discrepancy with true solar time ranging from minus 16 minutes to plus 14 minutes. On just four days a year, the two times are exactly the same. Given that the sun’s various positions in the sky are reproduced in an identical manner on the same dates, watchmakers can “program” them by means of a special cam. The latter is shaped like a figure 8 and mechanically reproduces the path of the sun’s successive positions, called an analemma curve. Requiring extremely accurate execution, the cam is coupled with a feeler-spindle that drives an equation lever serving to indicate the difference between civil time and solar time (-16 to +14 minutes). This read-off is generally provided on a sector or sub dial. It is then up to the user to mentally add or subtract the difference displayed in relation to mean time in order to calculate true solar time.
The Equation of time complication is displayed by an additional minute hand or solar hand with a faceted golden sun. It 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. The ‘Running Equation’ in the watch means that the watch indicates the true time and civil time, by two separate minute hands.
The day of the week, month and leap year cycle are displayed through the two apertures which are just above 10 o clock and 2 o clock. A chapter ring inside indicates the date. We personally loved that little anchor motif on the retrograde hand; just another detail that adds so much character to the watch.
On the bottom right at 5 o clock, is a 60 second tourbillon featuring titanium carriage housing a Breguet balance with a silicon balance spring. This innovative characteristic notably enables the balance wheel to achieve a 4Hz frequency. The 80 hour power reserve is displayed by a light blue indicator in the little aperture on the left at 8 o clock.
Visible through the sapphire case back is Breguet’s calibre 581DPE featuring bridges that meticulously 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.
Take a look at the video below to know more about the Marine Équation Marchante 5887 by Breguet