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Breguet - Change of tack for the Marine

Breguet Change of tack for the Marine

Breguet’s Marine collection is undergoing a thorough restyling. For the time being, three models are affected.

When a key collection like the Marine is modified significantly, the first impulse of any discerning collector is to check immediately that the brand DNA is still present. Breguet talks about its “distinctive signs”, of which there are precisely seven: signature on the dial, Breguet numerals, a single number, close-set lugs, hollow apple hands, guilloché dial and fluted case.
The new Marine collection gives some of these distinctive signs an update, some superficially and others more substantially. What is certain is that the new Marines will be controversial: they will divide opinion and spark debate. And that’s a good thing. Breguet is taking risks. A company that’s not moving forward is dying.

Disruption and modernisation

The changes are largely about modernising. Rather than itemising the features of each distinctive sign exhaustively, we shall look at those that mark a clear stylistic break. The most obvious changes are in the markers and hands, which are both now filled with SuperLumiNova. This gives them a more substantial presence, as there are no hollow spaces. The applied markers stand out clearly against the dial; they are more solid, and certainly more visible at night, but in daylight they look heavier, less delicate. The same goes for the hollow apple hands, which are no longer hollow since they too are filled with lume.
The crown is now decorated with a wave-lake motif and a large letter “B”. The fluting has been modified, with brushed grooves and polished ridges. Finally, the seconds hand terminates in a letter B in the maritime signalling system. It’s clear what people are going to say: at first glance, the hours and minutes look like a Greek “phi”, which brings to mind another watch brand, and the seconds hand looks like an M. But everyone will see what they want to see.

Variations on a theme

Coming on the heels of an initial version with three hands plus date, the Ref. 5517, Breguet is launching a chronograph with the same aesthetic codes. The central chronograph hand is recognisable, with the same “Marine B” tip. The different time measurement indications are displayed on two counters, the minutes at 3 o’clock and hours at 6 o’clock. There is an off-centre small seconds register at 9 o’clock. The indications are completed with a date between 4 and 5 o’clock. Breguet is offering several versions of this new watch: the first combines a white gold case with a gold dial in blue, whose wave guilloché motif is a reminder of the collection’s origins. A rose gold variant comes with a silvered guilloché dial. Breguet is also bringing out a Marine Chronograph 5527 in titanium, a major departure for the collection.

La Marine change de cap

Marine ref. 5527 © Breguet

Finally, the most technical of the trio is an alarm watch with date and second time zone. The aesthetic codes are the same: hands, fluting, markers, wave-patterned crown. The alarm and second time zone have their own subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock. The alarm power reserve is visible between 9 and 12 o’clock. When the watch is fully wound, the arrow at 9 o’clock points to a full red indicator. The Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 also features a date at 6 o’clock.

La Marine change de cap

Marine ref. 5547 © Breguet

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

27 March 2018
Ssengo Brian
This time piece is amazingly disruptive to the modernization of the watch technology of today and yesterday.

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