Like a true aviator watch, the rotating bezel on the situation goes bi-directionally, and wearing comfort together with legibility is quite excellent. The New Breguet Watches 2014 Replica Type XXI remains one of my grail watches, and now I wonder exactly what version I’ll wind up getting at a certain point later on. The Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette pocket watch is truly one of the most striking and interesting horological objects of our modern times. In various ways, this view and the story around it’s formed the foundation for that which keeps me in love with timepieces and why I started aBlogtoWatch at the first place. This article is perhaps not true a “hands free,” as nobody but a select few “watch handlers” in Breguet are even permitted to touch what’s probably the most valuable modern pocket watch of all time. In 2013, an estimated value to its Breguet 1160 pocket watch was put at US$30 million. Its true value might be much longer but will likely never be analyzed during my lifetime, since this product remains a permanent part of their Breguet brand.Even though manufacturers like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin currently have more complex pocket watches, the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette remains the 5th or 6th most complex pocket watch on the planet, even though it is based on the first Breguet 160 pocket view, which held the place as the most complicated watch ever created for approximately 100 years later being completed in 1827 (45 years after it was originally commissioned in 1782). My friend and fellow watch buff John Biggs chronicled the contemporary and previous history of this Breguet Marie Antoinette watch in his book here.
It was the fantasy of the late Nicolas G. Hayek to have the brand. Mr. Hayek senior began the Swatch Group in the 1980s, and is frequently credited with “saving” the Swiss watch industry during the quartz catastrophe. Hayek was known to be absolutely obsessed with Breguet and frequently referred to his favourite brand as the “Jewel of the Swatch Group.” He then chose to generate a replica of the first solely predicated on written descriptions and drawings made during the pocket watch’s design and construction. Reproducing the 160 pocket view into what’s the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette using only written and visual aids is one of the most talked achievements in modern watchmaking. Bear in Mind the romance of the original? It had been commissioned by a fan of Marie Antoinette for her, back in 1783. It was completed after she (and Breguet himself) died, and it represented what many argue was the pinnacle of Breguet’s lifework: to combine complications with everlasting beauty and mechanical fascination.The video further above is from the 2008 Baselworld watch trade show event where Nicolas G. Hayek is personally introducing the watch. It is merely a couple of months following the 160 made headlines after being found again in late 2007. The wooden box made for this was a marvel, with wood from a special tree made famous by Marie Antoinette that Breguet reportedly bought for something like 7 million Euros. If I recall correctly, the tree fell over naturally, but the state upon which Versailles would sell the tree to Breguet was whether it “contributed” money for the restoration of the famed French palace.At 63mm broad in 18k gold, the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette attempted to replicate the original 160 in every way possible from the complications into the crystal made of pure rock crystal. In addition to the time and featuring automatic winding, the Breguet 1160 Marie Antoinette pocket watch features a perpetual calendar, chronograph, minute repeater, thermometer, power reserve indicator and much more special technical features which even today stay impressive; all using a skeletonized, dial-free design.
I’ve not spend sufficient time together with tonneau watches to really clarify the science of what makes an ideal shape and wearing experience. To say that it is all about proportions is too simple. In this example, I believe that the comparatively flat top and base, rather traditional and stubby lugs, tall and horizontal sides with coined edges, alongside the really round dial are what make this view work.The Used Breguet Watches Uk Replica Heritage 5410 is produced in both an 18k rose gold and 18k white gold case. For my hands on demonstration I’m wearing the 18k white gold version. The case dimensions actually sound modest, but as you can see, it does not wear that modestly given the situation depth. This watch may look a bit on the small side for quite large wrists, but for a small to medium wrist such as mine, it looks really nice.Moreover, the comparatively thick and extremely polished bezel adds welcome visual mass that I believe helps the total form. You can see that the entire situation is also curved, which allows it to wear quite comfortably. The sapphire crystal is also curved, but not more so than the situation itself, which preserves a sense of visual harmony. While there are additional well-done tonneau-shaped instances out there that flourish via distinct designs, Breguet gets tonneau right in their own different way. Of course, it is not a design for everyone, but with something this visually identifying you definitely are not likely to earn all audiences happy.The most intriguing portion of the Breguet Heritage 5410 is the dial, of course. Complication-wise the timepiece is quite simple, offering the time with a subsidiary seconds dial and a huge date indicator window. Where things get interesting is that the particular style of this Roman numeral hour markers, in addition to the in-house made guilloche-machine engraving that is once again superb. The dial itself is made from 18k gold, which can be tender and easy to cut, and then silvered once it’s done.
One of the best parts of the Breguet Type XXI is the motion – that is a bit more than your standard triple register chronograph. What’s also very important to mention is that, unlike many (or all that I can remember) Breguet Type XXI watches, the movement – with its attractive machine-polished gold strand – is observable through a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback window on the back of this watch. Within the watch is the very well-regarded in-house Breguet caliber 584Q/2. This is the most recent version of the caliber 584Q, which now contains an “inverted in-line Swiss lever” silicon escapement in the 584Q/2, compared to the metal straight-line lever escapement in the 584Q. This, naturally, is not the very first Breguet watch to utilize silicon components – and it is good to see the brand continue to embrace this technology, as it assists the moves perform better over time.The grade 584Q/2 operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) using a power reserve of 48 hours. The automatic movement delivers the moment, date, and flyback chronograph, together with a synchronized 24-hour hand which functions as an AM/PM index. The chronograph is also a central minutes and fundamental seconds chronograph, so you will find just two centrally-mounted chronograph hands to measure these two sections of time. The subdials on the face have been used for the running seconds of the moment, chronograph hour index, and the synchronized 24-hour hand (which among other things makes putting the time simpler). The movement in performance and function is actually nice, and easily a highlight for owning this or other Breguet Type XXI watches.
Our David Bredan recently visited Breguet’s manufacture in Switzerland and reports about the remarkable area full of “turning engines” which generates these dials. They’re controlled by hand and require delicate finesse and decades of training to have the effect right. You can observe a combination of patterns and techniques on the dial of the Breguet Dive Watch Replica Heritage 5410, including a beautiful wave-style pattern on the periphery of the most important round dial to help fill out the tonneau-shaped dial window.Like I mentioned, I am sure not everybody will like this dial design, but I personally think it’s beautiful. Breguet uses slightly larger than expected blued-steel pomme-style hands that look great. Additionally, this is one of those rare cases where luminant is used on the palms at a non-sports watch from the brand new. Combining some Art Deco themes with the identifying Breguet new DNA, the Breguet Heritage 5410 instance and dial is something rare and cool in the brand.A trade-off of this curved caseback appears to be the omission of a exhibition display caseback, that can be a bit of a shame. Breguet completes their watches and moves so nicely it might be considered disappointing to not view the movement. Inside the watch is the in-house-made Breguet caliber 516GG, which is an automatic functioning at 4Hz (28,800 bph) with 65 hours of power reserve. The balance spring will be produce from silicon, typical of many contemporary Breguet calibers – that leads to overall performance and precision over time.Attached to the Heritage 5410 is a black or brown alligator strap fitted to a matching gold deployant clasp. There’s a somewhat sporty yet old-world regality into a bit like this Breguet which I believe should allow it to appeal to the right type of buyer capable to both manage its cost, and to regularly pull it off as part of the lifestyle. Cost for the Breguet Heritage 5410 benchmark 5410BR/12/9VV at 18k rose gold is $27,700 while the mention 5410BB/12/9VV in 18k white gold is $28,700.
Unusually for a Breguet wristwatch, which is often the embodiment of classical design, the Marine Équation Marchante 5887 is notably contemporary. The styling retains many signature Breguet design elements but is distinctly modern, while the complex movement blends traditional decoration with high-tech materials and production techniques.
“Équation Marchante” translates as “running equation”, most notable feature of the ref. 5887 that takes the form of a secondary minute hand tipped with a gilded Sun that indicates the equation of time. Relative to a conventional add-or-subtract equation of time display, a “running equation” is superior, being both more legible and visually intuitive.
An irregular path around the Sun
An equation of time tells time as it really is, based on the Earth’s motion relative to the Sun. Because the Earth’s axis sits at a slightly oblique angle to the Sun, and it also orbits the Sun on an elliptical track rather than a perfect circle, the actual length of a day is not exactly 24 hours – that is known as apparent solar time. The time shown on ordinary watches is based on the simplified 24-hour day known as mean solar time. The difference between the two is the equation of time.
The equation of time varies throughout the year. Apparent solar time is as much as 14 minutes behind conventional time in February, and up to 16 minutes ahead in November. Most equation of time watches display just the difference between the two, usually with a sub-dial that with a scale that runs from “-15” to “+15”. While functional this sort of display is neither strongly legible or intuitive, since it tends to be small, approximate and requires mental mathematics.
A running equation of time solves that problem with a second minute hand that indicates apparent solar time in real time. So the hand speeds up when apparent solar time runs ahead of conventional time, as it does in November, and slows down in February. In fact, the equation of time hand more or less tracks the motion of the Earth relative to the Sun.
Though the running equation of time existed in historical clocks and pocket watches, only a handful of modern day watchmakers have produced timepieces with this complication, including Vacheron Constantin. But the first to do it in a wristwatch was Blancpain, which premiered its Équation du Temps Marchante watch in 2004.
It’s worth pointing out that Blancpain is a sister company of Breguet, both being part of watchmaking conglomerate Swatch Group. While the mechanics behind the pair’s running equation of time mechanisms are similar, Breguet says its equation marchante was developed independently of Blancpain.
Celestial motions reproduced in miniature
The running equation of time on the Marine Équation Marchante 5887 relies on two key components. The first is a cam shaped like a kidney that’s a miniature of the analemma curve, a graphical representation of the position of the Sun relative to the Earth. Made of nickel, the cam is extremely slim and fixed to the underside of the clear sapphire disc visible at five o’clock. The cam is produced via LIGA, a lithographic process that combines moulding and plating to create high precise, microscopic parts that can be deposited directed onto other materials, including sapphire crystal.
The cam makes one complete revolution over the course of a year and as it rotates, a pivoted, fixed finger tipped with a roller jewel traces the inner curve of the cam. As the cam turns, the motion of the finger translates the shape of the cam into the non-linear movement of the Sun-tipped minute hand. This non-linear motion requires a differential linked to both the trains for apparent and mean solar time, which allows the secondary minute hand to move at a varying rate, both backwards and forwards, over the course of a year.
The Cal. 581DPE
Breguet labels the Marine Équation Marchante 5887 a grande complication, so there’s more to it. In addition to the running equation of time, the cal. 581DPE inside is also equipped with a power reserve display, as well as perpetual calendar that indicates the day, month and leap year in twin windows, along with the date on a retrograde scale. And positioned on the same axis as the equation of time cam is an one-minute tourbillon with a lightweight titanium cage as well as its hairspring, escape wheel and pallet jewels in silicon.
Unlike most tourbillons that have a slow-beat balance, the regulator in the Équation Marchante beats at 4 Hz, or 28,800 beats per hour, a feat largely thanks to the low-friction and lightweight silicon components in the escapement.
And the recognisable tourbillon reveals the identity of the base movement that powers the Équation Marchante: the same one that’s found in the Breguet Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5377. Though the perpetual calendar and equation of time are complications built on top of the tourbillon calibre, the entire movement remains commendably thin at just 5mm high.
Besides the tourbillon, the other novel feature of the base movement is its peripheral winding mechanism: the narrow, solid platinum rotor is mounted around the edge of the movement, instead of over the bridges as is convention.
First experimented with in the 1970s but abandoned due to sheer inefficiency, the peripheral rotor is now practical thanks to improved technology. It’s primary advantage is slimness, since it does away the added height of a normal rotor, while also having the benefit of leaving the movement entirely uncovered. For that reason the peripheral rotor is also found in Vacheron Constantin’s remarkably slim split-seconds chronograph and the ultra-flat minute repeater by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Audemars Piguet also put it inside the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph, but mainly to accommodate the integrated chronograph mechanism.
The rotor is mounted on three rolling bearings and winds the mainspring via an extremely large tooth wheel that surrounds the movement. Despite the lower efficiency of such a setup compared to a regular automatic mechanism, the Équation Marchante still boasts a respectable 80-hour power reserve (that’s just over three days), which can also be partially attributed to the effiency gains of the silicon components.
A facelifted Breguet style
An ordinary Breguet might be described as elegant and delicate, but the Équation Marchante is, in contrast, imposing and hefty, possessed of the look of a modern day grand complication. The case is 43.9mm in diameter and 11.5mm, not oversized by the standards of comparable complications, but large for a Breguet.
The Équation Marchante is, in fact, a sports watch of sorts, being part of the Marine line of luxury sports watches catered less for swimming than for lounging on a large, even oligarch-worthy yacht. Consequently it has a screw-down crown with a depth rating of 100m.
While the Équation Marchante still retains many of the brand’s key elements, including the fluted case band and Breguet-style hands, the design is a modern take on the old fashioned Breguet look. Gone are the narrow strap horns found on most Breguet watches, in their place are a pair of angular, integrated lugs. Other facelifted design details include the Super-Luminova filling inside the tips of the hands, the applied Roman numerals and the prominent wave guilloche on the dial.
The guilloche dial is just one aspect of the nautical theme running throughout the watch, a motif explained by the fact that Abraham-Louis Breguet was official clockmaker for the French navy in the early 19th century. Continuing with the theme, the bridges of the movement – visible in all their glory thanks to the peripheral rotor – are hand-engraved with the Royal Louis, a 19th century sailing ship that was the last vessel to bear the name that was traditionally bestowed on the largest ship in the Royal French navy.
The top of the floating barrel is engraved with a compass rose, “Marine Royale” is engraved on the vertical faces of the tourbillon bridge, while the retrograde date hand is shaped like an anchor. The maritime details are unsubtle, though they give the watch a fresher look. Traditionalists, however, would probably want to wait for a Classique version of the equation of time.
Though the design is new, all the constituent components are as elaborately and expensively executed as they are on classical Breguet watches. The dial, for instance, is solid gold, while the wave motif is engraved with a rose engine just as it would be for traditional patterns like barleycorn or hobnail. Similarly, the applied Roman numerals are blued steel, while the hands are 18k gold, and the calendar displays are framed in finely bevelled windows. Similarly, while the movement construction and layout is modern, the hand-engraving demonstrates intricate detail.
The only detail inside that stands out, or rather does not, is the titanium tourbillon cage. Though the use of titanium is practical – it’s almost half the density of steel meaning the cage requires less energy to turn – the choice of metal does result in some aesthetic compromise. Despite the cage being decorated with a frosted surface and polished bevels, the natural colour of titanium means it lacks the brightness found in an equivalent component that’s made of steel.
Price and availability
The Marine Équation Marchante 5887 is available in 18k pink gold or platinum, with both being identical save for the colours. The pink gold version still retains a vague feel of the old school Breguet look thanks to its silvered dial, while the platinum model is unabashedly modern. Both cost almost the same, however, with barely a 7% difference in retail price.
The Équation Marchante in platinum (ref. 5887PT/Y2/9WV) costs US$230,400 or S$331,000. The same in 18k rose gold (ref. 5887BR/12/9WV) is priced at US$215,000 or S$309,000. It’ll be available at Breguet boutiques and retailers in the final quarter of 2017.