For followers of the luxury watch and jewelry industry, the annual Baselworld trade show is an event not to be missed, thanks to its history of hosting the launch of the latest top-end products from the world’s most respected manufacturers.
For timepiece devotees in particular, the 2017 gathering was especially exciting, thanks to the showcasing of the Breguet Marine Equation Marchante 5887, a stunning new watch that fully deserves pride of place in the Breguet pantheon.
The Breguet brand has a long and distinguished tradition, with master watchmaker A.L. Breguet famously being appointed as official chronometer maker to the French Navy back in 1815, an age where exceptional-quality timepieces where a matter of national security.
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Fast-forward to the present day, and Breguet’s latest prestige timepiece draws on this heritage of excellence while translating the traditional values of precision watchmaking into a contemporary form. The 5887 combines great looks, mechanical excellence, and luxury in one superb demonstration of the chronometer’s art, fully deserving its “Grand Complication” status.
The basic mechanism provides a self-winding watch with a power reserve of 80 hours, alongside the high degree of accuracy you’d expect from a manufacturer of such long-standing military background. However, it’s the three complications that really elevate this timepiece above the ranks of its luxury contemporaries.
The first complication is a Breguet signature feature that’s familiar from previous flagship models, a 60 second tourbillon running at 4hz, fashioned from titanium and silicon parts. Tourbillons are additions to the main watch mechanism which slowly rotate the entire balance wheel and escapement assembly, the intention being to counteract the distorting effects of gravity.
Although originally developed to provide increased timekeeping accuracy, a tourbillon is today more of a demonstration of the watchmaker’s virtuosity and a hallmark of high prestige. With this in mind, the Equation Marchante’s tourbillon mechanism is displayed prominently through an aperture between 4 o’clock and 6 o’clock, and indeed looks highly impressive.
The second complication is a little more mundane, although both useful and perfectly executed. The perpetual calendar shows the weekday and month in apertures between 10-11 and 1-2 respectively, while the date reading spans the semicircle from 9-3. The calendar is both attractive and easy to read at a glance, and being perpetual, copes perfectly well with leap years.
The final complication is a little more esoteric. The term “Equation of Time” is used to describe the difference between true solar time and the more regular mean solar time, the second of which is used as the basis for modern time measurement. The two values differ irregularly throughout the year, but the 5887 features a secondary minute hand which displays an accurate true solar time alongside the more usual measure. Although the utility of this is limited in daily life, it’s yet another indication of the knowledge and expertise poured into the construction of this watch – such dual timekeeping presents significant technological difficulties.
Lastly, no matter how precise the watchmaker’s skill, any luxury timepiece also needs to look the part, and this model certainly reaches high standards in that regard. The compact, useful, and attractive face design means that the wealth of features don’t overwhelm, while the 5887 comes in two cosmetic variations to suit taste.
The first version consists of a rose gold casing with a silver dial and anthracite movement, while the second has a platinum case, a blue dial, and rhodium-plated movement. Both variations look spectacular.
A high-end timepiece is about far more than simply telling the time, and if you want to enjoy undoubted luxury stemming from an illustrious heritage, then the Breguet Marine Equation Marchante 5887 makes an excellent and impressive choice.