First introduced in 2017, Breguet’s mind-bogglingly complex Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887, served (if you’ll pardon the pun), as a flagship for the revived Marine collection. And while the original offering was a weighty platinum affair with an appropriately aquatic blue dial, this year we’re treated to a rose gold model with slate grey dial.
While the lustrous new case of this large (43.9mm) watch is impressive, the appeal of this watch is all about the incredible work of engineering that Breguet’s watchmakers have managed to pull off. A 60-second tourbillon, perpetual calendar and running equation of time. Every one of those elements is a fête-worthy achievement in its own right, but putting them all together, in a way that’s not only legible but aesthetically pleasing, is beyond glorious. So here we have neat and clean little windows for day and month, a retrograde date (one of many hands on that central pinion), and an off-center tourbillon at five. The tourbillon cage is made from titanium, and the balance wheel’s spiral and the escape wheel are both silicon — a modern take on an old complication. You’re guaranteed an uninterrupted view of the cage as well, as the rotor on the automatic 581DPE has been hidden at the periphery. These smart design choices also make the movement a surprisingly slender one — the watch is 11.75mm thin all up, which, for this degree of complication, is quite a coup.
Then there’s the equation of time. This esoteric complication, which indicates the time difference between civil and solar time, is typically done in a linear manner, which is mechanically simpler but requires the wearer to do some light arithmetic to work out the current solar time. This solution wasn’t good enough for Breguet, so we get what’s referred to as a running equation of time — an additional sun-tipped minute hand, its movement tied to the vaguely bean-shaped cam which rests atop the tourbillon cage.
Of course, if your life was ruled by celestial navigation, the equation of time is essential rather than esoteric. And so it makes perfect sense for this complication to be the heart and soul of the Marine collection. A relationship made even more explicit by the delicate and detailed hand-engraving of the 19th-century ship of the line, the Royal Louis, alongside a wind rose. Suitably nautical stuff.
Visually and mechanically pleasing both front and back, the Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887, resplendent in gold and grey, is a timely reminder of how good Breguet are.
Calibre 581DPE, self-winding with peripheral rotor, tourbillon, running equation of time, perpetual calendar, 80 hours of power reserve, small seconds and equation of time cam on tourbillon. Silicon balance spring, silicon escape wheel and inverted lateral lever with silicon horns.
18k rose gold, fluted caseband, 43.9mm by 11.75mm tall. Water resistant to 100m
Brown alligator strap with rose gold triple folding buckle