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Horology picks: Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887

Horology picks: Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887

It features complex horological feats including a tourbillon, perpetual calendar and an equation of time function

Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887.

With the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, it’s been a challenging first two quarters of the year for luxury brands across the board. The watch industry is no exception to the crisis. A few of them were even forced to postpone the unveiling of their 2020 novelties.

But that wasn’t the case with 245-year-old Swiss watchmaking powerhouse Breguet. In March, it announced its latest launches for the year, and among them this Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887.

The Tourbillon Équation Marchante with its distinct wave motif on the dial made its debut in Breguet’s arsenal three years ago.

While the 2017 model featured a platinum case and blue dial, this updated version for 2020 has a 49.3mm rose-gold case and a slate grey engine-turned dial engraved with a wave motif.

The silver accents on the minute ring are a hat tip to a ship’s steering wheel. An anchor-tipped hand meanwhile indicates the date off the retrograde display. The day of the week is indicated at 10 o’clock while the month of the year is read off a display at 2 o’clock.

It’s a significant timepiece for the brand keeping in mind that it boasts a tourbillon – a complication patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801 – as well as an equation of time complication.

At the bottom of the watch, and visible on the dial, is that tourbillon. Fittingly, it’s equipped with an extra-thin tourbillon Caliber 581 which offers a perpetual calendar mechanism and an equation of time marchante complication.

A kidney-shaped cam is visible over the tourbillon cage, which makes a single rotation each year and controls the equation of time function.

An equation of time is essentially the difference between mean civil time and apparent solar time. In simpler terms, consider it as the difference between the local time within a region be it GMT/UTC, EST, CET, etc. (mean civil time), and the time indicated off any sundial (apparent solar time) within that same region.

The difference between these can be 14-minutes shorter or as much as 16 minutes longer than what we consider to be a stan­dard 24-hours-or-1,440-minutes-in-a-day cycle – the Earth, which itself is tilted along its axis, follows an elliptical path around the sun causing the variations in solar time.

The local civil time is indicated by the two circle-tipped hour-and-minute hands on the dial of this timepiece.

The apparent solar time meanwhile is indicated by a hand, one end of which is pivoted from the centre of the dial while the other is hollowed out to resemble the sun, and is read off the same minute track as the civil time.

It’s a fascinatingly complex mechanism, made effortlessly simple on this Breguet timepiece.

Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887.
An image of the Royal Louis, an 18th-century first-rate 116-gun ship of the French Navy, is hand-engraved across the four bridges of the movement

Turn this timepiece over and you’ll find a stunning image of the Royal Louis, an 18th-century first-rate 116-gun ship of the French Navy, hand-engraved across the four bridges of the movement.

It’s a tribute to Abraham-Louis Breguet who was appointed by France’s King Louis XVIII in 1815 as Horloger de la Marine Royale, the official watchmaker of the French Navy.

Over the barrel drum, a hand-engraved compass rose motif is another nod to the timepiece’s marine connection.

Priced at approximately $215,000, this manual-winding timepiece with an 80-hour power reserve features a discreet power indicator at 8 o’clock on the dial.

It isn’t a limited-edition timepiece, but given the sheer craftsmanship on it, there’s a very good chance that spotting one in the wild will be a fortuitous treat.

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