By Harlan Chapman-Green
At Baselworld you can expect to see a lot of new twists to pre-existing watches. In fact, a lot of it seems to be just that and sadly people are getting quite good at predicting what will go where, I mean even I saw a steel Sky-Dweller coming at some point even though it’s steel/platinum or steel/gold depending. Breguet is my favourite watchmaker, I’m basically in love with most of the watches that they make and I shall make no secret about that either. I was a little surprised to see a new Marine complication to be honest.
I get the gist in the community that the more complications are put in to the Marine watches the less attractive they seem to become, but I think this one will be the breath of fresh air that is needed in the watch. I don’t remember much happening recently so it’s good to see them back at it. The Marine watches represent something of an enigma a little bit, in that they are the more expensive sea-styled counterparts to the Type XX line, but most of them are unsuitable for real use anywhere near water.
Granted, this new one isn’t one to take into the surf either, but there is more nautical styling around the watch. You’ve got the wave style guilloché on the dial, the little anchor on the retrograde date indicator that runs between 9 O’clock and 3 O’clock. I even like the harpoon design on the Breguet hands that actually adds to the watch rather than taking away. There’s also both day and month indicators around the edge of the watch. There’s even a leap year indicator nestled in next to the month display because of course, this is a perpetual calendar watch. There’s even a running solar hand with a cool little golden sun at the end of it and a power reserve indicator at 8 O’clock.
This timepiece is what’s known as a Grande Complication watch. As well as the perpetual calendar, there’s also the tourbillon open on the dial and an equation of time layered over it. On the reverse we find the non-standard nautilus style rotor seen on other Marine watches, it being replaced by a peripheral winding mass. This clears the way for an awesome engraving on the movement. The ship is the Royal Louis, first built for the French Navy in 1758. Rather than end life either in a museum or sinking with pride from British fire, damage was caused to her in 1771 in a dry dock that could not be repaired and she was demolished the following year. Couple that engraving with the compass style decoration on the barrel and you have an amazing looking watch.
I love it, this is a good sign that Breguet is still the innovator while others seem to be losing focus on building awesome watches. There’s no pricing yet but this will be updated when we get it in.
Any chance of a steel version for us less monied fellows?
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