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January 05, 2018

Mechanical Finesse: The Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887

Text by Simone Louis

Avant-garde and exceptional, the Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887 celebrates heritage while raising the bar for horological innovations

A passion for technical excellence, an instinct for innovation, an eye for aesthetics and a commitment to precision — these factors drive the minds behind the offerings from the House of Breguet to greater heights with every passing year. And its tale of telling time with panache was repeated at Baselworld 2017, where the legendary Manufacture unveiled a host of technological marvels. Making its appearance at this year’s edition of the watch fair was the Marine Équation Marchante 5887. This timepiece redefines the brand’s broad range of competencies that have considerably impacted not only horology but also the domains of navigation and astronomy.

Interestingly, Abraham-Louis Breguet had been elected a member of the Bureau des Longitudes in Paris. As the only representative of watchmaking in the French scientific institution, Breguet was the undisputed horological authority. He was also a member of the French Academy of Science. Throughout his spectacular career, which wowed patrons and connoisseurs of haute horology, he masterminded a number of timepieces that included astronomical clocks and marine chronometers. In recognition of his contribution to the field, Louis XVIII honoured A-L Breguet with the official title of chronometer-maker to the French royal navy — a very prestigious title, considering that the essence of marine chronometry required advanced scientific knowledge. Today, under the eagle eye of its president and CEO, Marc A. Hayek, the brand is redefining its founding father’s unique legacy with this flagship model.

Contemporary Complication
The House has nurtured its heritage and taken it to great heights with the exclusive Marine Équation Marchante 5887, which heralds the beginning of a new time in the modern-day marine collection. Its equation of time is one of the rarest and most fascinating horological complications. 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 watch indicates civil time and true time by means of two separate minute hands. This apparent simplicity conceals an arduous construction process that few watchmakers are capable of achieving. The complexity that the running equation of time brings to this model is naturally complemented by a perpetual calendar as well as a 60-second tourbillon with a titanium carriage housing a Breguet balance with a silicon balance spring. The timepiece features arresting new aesthetic codes that endow it with a dynamic appearance — central lugs combining polished and satin-brushed surfaces, more open fluting with visible flanks, and a crown adorned with a chamfered and satin-brushed wave motif.

Bringing more grandeur to the grand complication are two gleaming versions — in rose gold and platinum. While the former frames a silvered dial and an anthracite movement, the latter interpretation features a striking blue dial and rhodium-plated movement. But true to the Breguet philosophy, over and above these ornate differences, both of the equally sumptuous models boast the same keynote features — elegance, legibility and unparalleled aesthetic balance.

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