The Breguet Marine: A Sporty Tradition
The Marine is the seafaring watch of Swiss manufacturer Breguet. Both the men's and women's watches from this collection are elaborate and elegantly crafted. Depending on the version, the watches can be submerged up to depths of 300 meters.
Breguet supplied marine chronometers to the French marines and many others during the time when they were still used as the main tool for navigation at sea. Breguet has created a collection of some 10 wristwatches under the name Marine. While the Marine is certainly the sportiest series made by this luxury watch manufacturer, it is not so far removed from the brand's more traditional collections. The company was founded in 1775 and is one of the oldest watchmaking manufacturers in the world. Founder Abraham-Louis Breguet contributed countless innovations to the field of watchmaking, such as the world's first wristwatch and the tourbillon, which compensates for the effects of gravity.
The company remained family-owned for many generations. In 1999, Breguet became a member of the Swatch Group, along with their competitor Blancpain. These two manufacturers offer high-quality timepieces that appeal to a similar audience. They are both attractive choices due to their long watchmaking traditions, complex complications, and use of precious metals. Choosing between a Breguet and a Blancpain is never easy.
Modern Movements with Silicon
Breguet furnished the entire Marine collection with self-winding movements. The base calibers from Lemania are developed further in-house and are comprised of around 300 pieces. One of the Marine movements is the automatic caliber 583 Q/1, which powers the 950 platinum model 5823. It has a power reserve of 48 hours and is visible through the watch's sapphire glass case back. On the other hand, the Grande Complication 5837 chronograph is run by the manual caliber 554.3 and has a power reserve of 50 hours. The automatic caliber 550 powers the women's models and has a power reserve of 45 hours.
Some of the integral parts of the newer Breguet movements are made of silicon. The manufacturer uses the metalloid for their balance springs, pallets, and escape wheels. Silicon is a rather new material in the world of watchmaking. It offers the following advantages: It requires no lubrication, it's anti-magnetic, and resistant to both corrosion and extreme temperatures. In the models featuring tourbillons, the cage is made of titanium.
Golden Cases and Diamond-Set Timepieces
Breguet uses rose or white gold for the majority of the Marine cases. One exception is the 5823, which has a platinum case. Most men's Marine models have a case diameter of 42 mm. The Marine Royal 5847 has a diameter of 45 mm and a thickness of 17.45 mm, giving it a powerful presence. The rose gold case is water resistant up to 300 meters. The watch is also suitable for diving and features a rotating bezel. The bezel can be turned and keeps track of how much time has been spent underwater. The women's models 8827 and 8828 are significantly smaller, each with a diameter of 34.6 mm.
Despite the name, the Marine collection watches are not full-blown diving watches. For a true, hardy diving watch, the Fifty Fathoms from Blancpain or the Rolex Submariner would be more suitable. Breguet's intention with the Marine was to combine their traditional values with a sporty design.
The manufacturer went one step further with the chronographs in the Type XX - XXI - XXII collection. This series features modern sport watches with stainless steel, gold, and titanium cases. The watches mark a clear divergence from the decorative style of the Marine. This difference is most clearly demonstrated by the Marine chronograph Grande Complication 5839. It features a tourbillon and a white gold case, and the bezel, case, lugs, crown, and push-pieces are set with more than 180 diamonds. An additional 130 diamonds adorn the silver-plated white gold dial. This is without a doubt the most luxurious piece in the Marine collection.