Breguet Ma­rine Équa­tion Marchante 5887

The Luxury Collection - - Contents -

In the pre­vi­ous is­sue of The Lux­ury Col­lec­tion, in our fea­ture on Basel­world 2017, the watch­mak­ing in­dus­try’s big­gest global trade­fair, we had re­marked upon Breguet’s launch of its flag­ship model for 2017, the Ma­rine Équa­tion Marchante 5887.

In this is­sue we ex­plore this horo­log­i­cal mar­vel in de­tail and tell you why ex­actly it is a fit­ting adorn­ment for your wrist.

AL Breguet, the brand’s founder, was a bit of a sci­en­tific celebrity in his own right, who at­tracted the ad­mi­ra­tion of none other the King of France, Louis the XVIII him­self. In 1814, King Louis ap­pointed him as a mem­ber of the Bureau des lon­gi­tudes, the coun­try’s supreme sci­en­tific body for as­tron­omy and its ap­pli­ca­tions in ge­og­ra­phy, nav­i­ga­tion and geodesy. A year later, AL Breguet was awarded the ti­tle of Chronome­ter Maker to the Royal French

Navy, prob­a­bly the most pres­ti­gious ti­tle he could ex­pect to re­ceive as a watch­maker. It was a mis­sion crit­i­cal role to fur­ther France’s im­pe­ri­al­is­tic am­bi­tions as ma­rine chronome­ters were of cap­i­tal im­por­tance for fleets to ac­cu­rately cal­cu­late ships’ po­si­tions at sea. Sub­se­quently, AL Breguet was also hon­oured with mem­ber­ship of the French Academy of Sci­ence. He was thus the na­tion’s most sought af­ter au­thor­ity on horol­ogy and in the course of his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer, de­vel­oped sev­eral spec­tac­u­lar time­pieces in­clud­ing astro­nom­i­cal clocks and ma­rine chronome­ters.

With the Ma­rine Équa­tion Marchante 5887, Breguet pays trib­ute to this pi­o­neer­ing watch­maker, whose knowl­edge and skills helped to fur­ther the cause of pre­ci­sion horol­ogy as well as nav­i­ga­tion and as­tron­omy. A unique rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of AL Breguet’s rich her­itage, the Ma­rine Équa­tion Marchante 5887 is a horo­log­i­cal mas­ter­piece in which so­phis­ti­cated com­pli­ca­tions rub shoul­ders with stun­ning fin­ish­ing, sig­nalling a new era for the con­tem­po­rary Ma­rine col­lec­tion.

The equa­tion of time is one of the rarest and most fas­ci­nat­ing horo­log­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions. When watches re­placed sun­di­als as the means to mea­sure time, horol­o­gists were faced with the need to equate the time on the watch, or stan­dard time, with the time as shown by the sun, which is called true so­lar time. Be­lieve it or not, the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two can be as much as 16 min­utes! Since the sun’s var­i­ous po­si­tions in the sky oc­cur iden­ti­cally on the same dates, watch­mak­ers can “pro­gram” them by means of a special cam. Work­ing with ex­treme pre­ci­sion, the cam is cou­pled with a feeler-spin­dle that drives an equa­tion lever to in­di­cate the dif­fer­ence be­tween the stan­dard time and so­lar time. You then men­tally add or sub­tract the dif­fer­ence to cal­cu­late true so­lar time. This is the usual method.

How­ever, the new Ma­rine Équa­tion Marchante from Breguet makes it sim­ple by si­mul­ta­ne­ously in­di­cat­ing both times by means of two sep­a­rate min­utes hands. This ap­par­ent sim­plic­ity con­ceals some path­break­ing de­sign and ad­vanced pre­ci­sion tech­nol­ogy that few watch­mak­ers can achieve, in­volv­ing the in­cor­po­ra­tion of a dif­fer­en­tial gear pow­ered by two ro­ta­tion sources op­er­at­ing en­tirely in­de­pen­dently.

This com­plex­ity is nat­u­rally com­ple­mented on this “Grande Com­pli­ca­tion” by a 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.

Based on the self-wind­ing 581DR cal­i­bre, the new Ma­rine Équa­tion Marchante also flaunts a third com­pli­ca­tion, that helps main­tain a com­fort­able 80 hour power re­serve for the self-wind­ing model.

The in­ge­nu­ity of this spec­tac­u­lar model is ac­cen­tu­ated by the ex­per­tise of skilled ar­ti­sans. The front dial fea­tures two types of en­gine-turn­ing, in­clud­ing a “wave” pat­tern specif­i­cally de­vel­oped for this col­lec­tion. The in­scrip­tion “Ma­rine royale” is en­graved on the tour­bil­lon bar and, vis­i­ble through a sap­phire case­back, 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, as a ref­er­ence to astro­nom­i­cal nav­i­ga­tion.

As aes­thet­i­cally stun­ning as it is tech­no­log­i­cally stu­pen­dous, the new Ma­rine Équa­tion Marchante fea­tures cen­tral lugs with 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. It comes with a 43.9mm-di­am­e­ter case in rose gold or plat­inum. The rose gold ver­sion frames a sil­vered dial and an an­thracite move­ment, while the plat­inum in­ter­pre­ta­tion has a blue dial and a rhodium-plated move­ment. The tout en­sem­ble gets on your wrist with an Al­li­ga­tor leather strap that has a gold fold­ing clasp.

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