Amongst Abraham-Louis Breguet’s many esteemed horological contributions was a stint as official chronometer-maker for the Royal French Navy, a commission he earned in 1815 from King Louis XVIII. Marine chronometry was one of the most demanding applications of timekeeping of the era, requiring a scientific level of accuracy married to a toughness that could withstand maritime duties – a challenge that Breguet would have gladly risen to. The current Breguet Marine collection, which debuted in 2017, honours this heritage by being robust and reliable albeit with a contemporary design updated for the current watchmaking zeitgeist. Blue and grey dials dominate, and there are bracelet and rubber strap options. Even the applied Roman numerals have been re-imagined for today, while the moon-tipped hands are a different take on the traditional Breguet style.
This year, the maison is introducing new executions for three of its Marine collection stalwarts, across a range of complication levels. Each is now available in titanium with a blue dial, which is a cool, lightweight combo with a ready-for-action look; and in rose gold with a slate-grey dial, which adds a touch of restrained opulence. They are available with rubber or leather strap, or with a bracelet that matches the case material. The rose gold models also feature one the collection’s calling cards: a guillochage wave pattern in the centre of the dial. It is still created through traditional engine turning that is a Breguet hallmark, but its design is unmistakably modern.
The first of these Marine collection watches is the 5517 (rose gold from RM113,200; titanium from RM68,600), a 40mm three-hander with a date window at 3 o’clock. Its relatively sparse dial shows off to best effect either the sunray finish of the titanium model’s blue dial or the guillochage pattern of the rose gold’s grey dial.
The next is the 5527 (rose gold from RM113,900; titanium from RM85,200), a 42mm three-register flyback chronograph that keeps track of times of up to 12 hours.
Finally from new the Marine collection, the 40mm 5547 (rose gold from RM157,800; titanium from RM113,200) is the ideal traveller’s companion, equipped as it is with an alarm complication along with a second time zone via a 3 o’clock subdial. It also includes an alarm activation indicator at 12 o’clock and a power reserve gauge for the striking mechanisms at the upper left. While the previous two watches are relatively hardy with a 100m water resistance, the more complex 5547 is a step lower in this regard with a 50m depth rating. All three watches boast of silicon escapement components, including the balance spring.