Over 220 years ago, in 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet realised that he needed to balance gravity to achieve a more consistent beat in his pocket watches. The master watchmaker therefore set out to use his extensive understanding of mathematics and physics to reduce the rate deviation to an absolute minimum. He found that the key lay in the balance wheel – the part most affected by gravity. He placed these highly sensitive components in a cage, which in turn rotated around its own axis once a minute. Thus, the tourbillon as we know it today was born. To apply this visionary spirit to today, Breguet’s inventions were about as significant to traditional watchmaking as Steve Jobs’ inventions were to the digital world. Today, the tourbillon mechanism remains an integral part of many Breguet timepieces, and is now being introduced to the Marine collection in the form of the Marine Tourbillon 5577.
The Marine Tourbillon 5577
The history of Breguet’s marine watches
The history of Breguet’s marine watches is as impressive as that of the tourbillon. After spending several years in Switzerland during the French Revolution, Breguet, inspired by other Swiss watchmakers, returned in the spring of 1795 at the express written request of the French. He had previously been forced to flee France after joining the Girodins, a republican political group. In 1814, fate finally linked Breguet to that of the French Navy when, by royal decree, he became a member of the “Bureaus des Longitudes”. The main task of the members of this office at that time was to determine the longitude at sea with the help of astronomy. A year later, King Louis XVIII awarded him the title of Watchmaker of the Royal Navy for his ship chronometers. From then on, the fleets of many a great explorer embarked upon their voyages with Breguet timepieces. For several decades, Breguet’s son and grandson continued to supply the navy as well as merchant ships with chronometers.
In 2017, Breguet decided to give its Marine collection a new aesthetic. The brand therefore chose a new style that would link its history with modernity: new lugs, revised fluting, and a crown with waved decoration and a larger “B” were henceforth part of the design codes to which the Marine timepieces succumbed. Breguet is now launching two versions of the Marine Tourbillon 5577 at once, giving its customers the choice between an 18-carat rose gold or platinum case. The case of the novelty has a diameter of 42.5 mm and a height of 9.35 mm.
The dial of the Marine Tourbillon 5577
The aesthetic that starts upon the case continues onto the dial. The hour markers and Breguet hands with the so-called “pomme” ring tip are covered with a luminous material. However, the attention is focused on the rotating tourbillon at 5 o’clock, which rotates around its axis once per minute. It is important to note that once upon a time, the tourbillon mechanism offered a significant technical advantage primarily in pocket watches, as they were usually attached to the crown and carried in the breast pocket. In wristwatches, on the other hand, the tourbillon effect is often neutralised by the continuous movements of the wearer. Therefore, in modern times, the tourbillon is more a symbol of the craftsmanship of watchmaking. To emphasise the mechanism’s presence on the dial, the Breguet manufacture has placed the hour indicator off-center.
Inside the Marine Tourbillon 5577 ticks the calibre 581 with automatic winding. The movement consists of 330 individual parts and has a height of 3 mm. The construction was made possible by the use of a peripheral oscillating weight. The balance works at a frequency of 4 hertz and the power reserve is 80 hours. In addition, the movement, which was decorated with a combination of different decorative motifs during finishing, can be viewed through the sapphire crystal caseback. On the barrel drum, the manufacture opts for engraving a compass rose, while the characteristic pattern of the Marine collection, the Geneva stripes, complete the picture.
Price and availability
The Marine Tourbillon 5577 in 18K rose gold is offered with either a brown alligator leather strap or a black rubber strap. The platinum model, on the other hand, comes with a blue rubber strap and an alligator leather strap. Interested parties can purchase the platinum version of the Marine Tourbillon 5577 for €175,900 and the rose gold version for €159,800.
|MODEL||Marine Tourbillon 5577
|REFERENCE||Rose gold: 5577BR/G2/5WV
|CASE MATERIAL||Platinum or rose gold
|DIMENSIONS||Diameter: 42.5 mm
Height: 9.35 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||Rose gold or platinum
|STRAP/BRACELET||Rose gold: brown alligator leather or black rubber strap
Platinum:blue alligator leather or blue rubber strap
|POWER RESERVE||80 hours
|FREQUENCY||8,800 vph (4 Hz)
|FUNCTIONS||Hour, minutes, seconds, tourbillon
|PRICE||Rose gold – EUR 159,800
Rose – EUR 175,900