Breguet —

WatchTime - - BASELWORLD -

— Like the minute re­peater and per­pet­ual cal­en­dar, the equa­tion of time is one of the com­pli­ca­tions rooted in the his­tory of watch­mak­ing, and is there­fore a col­lec­tors’ fa­vorite. Breguet’s new ver­sion is a triple com­pli­ca­tion that also in­cor­po­rates a tourbillon and a per­pet­ual cal­en­dar.

e Breguet Marine Équa­tion Marchante 5887 is unique in that it dis­plays the run­ning equa­tion of time at a glance us­ing a “run­ning” (marchante) cen­tral hand on the dial rather than on a sub­dial that shows the min­utes to be added or sub­tracted to the cur­rent civil time. It even dis­plays the cam that con­trols the equa­tion-of-time func­tion – along­side a tourbillon and a per­pet­ual cal­en­dar. It cel­e­brates Abra­ham-louis Breguet’s ap­point­ment in 1814 as a mem­ber of the Bureau des lon­gi­tudes in Paris, a group of ex­perts who mea­sured the earth’s phys­i­cal prop­er­ties. As the of­fi­cial marine chronome­ter maker to the French Royal Navy, Breguet was a key mem­ber of the group.

e equa­tion of time is essen­tially the ad­di­tion of a sun­dial to the mod­ern wrist­watch. It mea­sures time ac­cord­ing to the cur­rent po­si­tion of the sun, by which the length of a day can vary by -16 to +14 min­utes com­pared to av­er­age or civil time. e dif­fer­ence is called the equa­tion of time. Man has di­vided each year into 365 and a quar­ter days, each day into 24 hours, and the hours into 60 min­utes each. How­ever, be­cause the Earth’s or­bit is el­lip­ti­cal rather than cir­cu­lar, the time in re­la­tion to the sun varies daily. It is ex­actly 24 hours long on only four days: April 15, June 14, Septem­ber 1 and De­cem­ber 24.

Be­cause these vari­a­tions oc­cur iden­ti­cally on the same dates, they can be pro­grammed into a watch move­ment by means of a cam mak­ing one com­plete ro­ta­tion a year. e cam is of­ten linked di­rectly to a per­pet­ual cal­en­dar so that the dis­play of the equa­tion of time al­ways cor­re­sponds to the cur­rent date. e cam on the Breguet Marine Équa­tion Marchante 5887 is shaped like a fig­ure eight, and vis­i­ble on the dial through a win­dow that also dis­plays the tourbillon car­riage. It runs on a sap­phire disk so as not to block the view of the tourbillon.

Most watches use a hand sweep­ing a sub­sidiary dial or arc, grad­u­ated from -16 to +14 min­utes. Only a few have a run­ning equa­tion of time, which con­sists of a sec­ond min­utes hand that runs ac­cord­ing to so­lar time, mak­ing the dif­fer­ence read­able at a glance on the cen­tral dial. is hand on the Marine Équa­tion Marchante 5887 is iden­ti­fied by a sun mo­tif. A fourth cen­tral hand, tipped by an an­chor mo­tif in honor of marine chronome­ters, in­di­cates the date on a ret­ro­grade scale as part of the per­pet­ual cal­en­dar func­tion. In keep­ing with the marine theme, the in­ner dial is en­graved to re­sem­ble waves.

e self-wind­ing Cal­iber 581DPE runs at 4 Hz and in­cludes a 60-sec­ond tourbillon with a ti­ta­nium car­riage and a sil­i­con bal­ance. It has an 80-hour power re­serve, the sta­tus of which is dis­played in an aper­ture be­tween 7 and 9 o’clock. anks to a pe­riph­eral ro­tor, the dec­o­rated move­ment can be seen through the case­back, in­clud­ing bridges en­graved to de­pict the Royal Louis, a ship in the French Royal Navy, and a bar­rel en­graved with a wind rose mo­tif. ere are two ref­er­ences, one in rose gold, priced at $215,000, and the other in plat­inum, priced at $230,400, with a blue dial.

e cases are 43.9 mm in di­am­e­ter and wa­ter re­sis­tant to 100 me­ters.

Breguet Marine Équa­tion Marchante 5887 in plat­inum Breguet Marine Équa­tion Marchante 5887 in rose gold

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