Following their unique heritage, Breguet launches the Marine Running Equation ref. 5887 in platinum and also in rose gold. This Grande Complication marks the start of a new era for the contemporary Marine collection and incorporates a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar and an equation of time in one timepiece. The equation of time is one of the rarest and most fascinating horological complications and 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.
Explanation of the Equation of Time
Since Antiquity, the sun has been used as the basis of time. Nonetheless, the visible motion of the sun —the true solar time indicated on sundials— is irregular. With the improvement of timekeeping precision, watches and clocks became the basis of time and true solar time was replaced by mean solar time, within which each day has the same duration of exactly 24 hours. Mean solar time may show a discrepancy with true solar time ranging from minus 16 minutes to plus 14 minutes. On just four days a year, the two times are exactly the same. Given that the sun’s various positions in the sky are reproduced in an identical manner on the same dates, watchmakers can “program” them by means of a special cam. The latter is shaped like a figure 8 and mechanically reproduces the path of the sun’s successive positions, called an analemma curve. This read-off is generally provided on a sector or subdial. It is then up to the user to mentally add or subtract the difference displayed in relation to mean time in order to calculate true solar time. The new Marine Équation Marchante from Breguet supersedes this principle. It simultaneously indicates civil time and true time by means of two separate minutes hands. The running solar hand, adorned with a facetted golden sun, provides a direct reading of solar time minutes that is both quicker and more user-friendly. This apparently simplicity conceals an arduous construction process that few watchmakers are capable of achieving. The solar minutes hand has to meet two imperative demands: it must sweep in a conventional way around the dial, like the civil minutes hand, while also daily moving away from the latter by a distance that varies in accordance with the analemma curve, in order to display the equation. This measurement is indicated by the hand with the round sun-shaped tip.
The complexity that the running equation of time brings to this model is naturally complemented on this Grande Complication by a perpetual calendar. Fitted with a blue dial in gold, numbered and signed Breguet, the dial features Hours chapter with Roman numerals and luminescent dots, Breguet faceted hands in 18k gold with luminescent material, unning solar hand with faceted golden sun. Days of the week in an aperture between 10 and 11 o’clock. Months and leap-year cycle in an aperture between 1 and 2 o’clock. Retrograde dates indication on an arc running from 9 to 3 o’clock. Power reserve in an aperture between 7 and 9 o’clock.The date appears inside the chapter ring by means of a retrograde hand tipped with an anchor motif and sweeping across an arc running from 9 to 3 o’clock.
Based on the self-winding 581DR calibre, the new Marine Running Equation ref. 5887 by Breguet also flaunts a third complication that is noteworthy in its own right: a 60-second tourbillon with a titanium carriage housing a Breguet balance with a silicon balance spring over s sapphire disc.
The 80-hour autonomy of the movement on this watch is displayed through an aperture between 7 and 9 o’clock with light blue indicator.
Requiring extremely accurate execution, the cam is coupled with a feeler-spindle that drives an equation lever serving to indicate the difference between civil time and solar time —-16 to +14 minutes.
The Case & Strap
Fitted with a generous case in 950 platinum with delicately fluted caseband, the diameter of the new Breguet Marine Running Equation ref. 5887 is 43.9 mm. Even when the case is made of platinum, the weight of the watch is actually quite light at only 180 grams. Featuring new aesthetic signature codes giving it a modern and dynamic appearance, the central lugs combine polished and satin-brushed surfaces; more open fluting, with visible flanks; a crown topped with a polished “B” against a sandblasted background; as well as a crown adorned with a chamfered and satin-brushed wave motif. Available in 18K rose gold or platinum, the rose gold version frames a silvered dial and an anthracite movement, while the platinum interpretation has a blue dial and a rhodium-plated movement. Elegance, legibility and aesthetic balance are the keynote features of these two equally sumptuous models.
Equipped with a dark blue alligator strap with Breguet folding clasp, the Breguet Marine Running Equation ref. 5887 wears comfortably on the wrist.
Visible through a sapphire caseback, the automatic 80-hour power reserve calibre 581DPE can be fully appreciated. The bridges on the movement have been delicately chased to depict in meticulous detail the Royal Louis, a first rank vessel in the French Royal Navy. The barrel is adorned with a windrose motif, in reference to astronomical navigation. Thanks to the carefully chosen positioning of the oscillating weight on the rim of the calibre, the self-winding movement deploys the full splendor of its decoration.
On the Wrist & Pricing
A truly magnificent timepiece, on the wrist, the new Marine Équation Marchante —running equation— wears true to its size with remarkable wrist presence. A feat of horology in its own, this new watch stays true to the DNA of the brand and worth every penny.
Sticker Price $230,400 USD in platinum and $215,000 USD in 18K rose gold. For more info on Breguet click here.