In 1815, King Louis XVIII of France recognized the exceptional qualities of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s marine chronometers, appointing him Chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy.
1815 Chronometer-Maker to the Royal Navy
In a report written in 1796, Abraham-Louis Breguet stated that he had already made some marine chronometers, and that these had made his name known in Spain. He had almost certainly started started this work as early as the 1780s. Subsequently, it was not until his appointment as Horologer to the French Royal Navy in 1815 that he began producing chronometers on a regular basis. In his usual fashion, he endowed the instruments with a variety of different escapements, and constantly introduced improvements, including notably his twin-barrel chronometer, designed in about 1815, in which the entire escapement is mounted on a small interchangeable plate. For several decades, Breguet’s son and grandson continued to supply both the navy and the merchant navy with chronometers.
In the twentieth century, the firm continued into the 1960s to supply the navy with precision instruments such as torpedo-boat clocks and siderometers, not to mention pocket watches with twenty-four-hour dials and the Type XX chronograph ordered by the navy for its Fleet Air Arm pilots. In tribute to this long tradition, in 1990 Breguet launched its first ‘Marine’ line of sporting watches, waterproof to a depth of fifty metres. In 2005, a new generation of ‘Marine’ watches was launched.
BREGUET LA MARINE
In 2017, Breguet gave a new face to its Marine line through a revamped aesthetic style, combining a sense of modernity and dynamism: an original bracelet lug, reworked fluting, as well as a crown surrounded by a wave decor and adorned with a wider “B.”Symbolising this new generation, the Marine 5517 displays the date at 3 o’clock, housed in an hours chapter with Roman numerals. The latter are coated with a luminescent material, as are the minutes markings and the Breguet hands. The maritime world is evoked by the seconds hand bearing a “B” in a reinterpreted version of the corresponding maritime signal flag. Breguet is offering several variations for its Marine 5517 - in white gold, rose gold and titanium. The latter material was chosen for its remarkable properties as well as its resistance to both salty air and corrosion. It is also a light and particularly robust material.
MARINE ALARME MUSICALE 5547
The alarm is a multi-purpose function suited to a number of daily requirements, including wake-up calls and reminders of appointments or events. When the striking mechanism is triggered, a ship’s bell appears through an opening at 12 o’clock, a subtle nod to the maritime world of the collection. The alarm and second time-zone indications appear in two separate subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock. The striking mechanism power reserve is discreetly visible between 9 and 12 o’clock. When the model is fully wound, the arrow points to the all-red indication at 9 o’clock. The Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 also features a date display at 6 o’clock. Its luminescent hands and markings ensure easy reading of the time by day or night.
LADIES MARINE BY BREGUET
The new Breguet Marine collection for women is a celebration of the marine world in many aspects. Depending on the variant, the Marine dial is adorned with an ocean-blue lacquer with light reflections, or with polished or engine-turned mother-of-pearl. The engine-turning artisans of the House of Breguet have created a unique design evoking the sea as it laps the shore. This pattern, called marea, or tide, incorporates curves; in contrast to the classic guillochage, which consists of straight lines and circles, the curves in this design capture the natural movement of the water.
The sapphire-crystal caseback shows the self-winding 591A caliber and its bars decorated with double engine-turned côtes de Genève calling to mind a ship’s deck boards. The words Horloger de la Marine (Chronograph-maker to the Navy) are engraved on the rim of the case, referring to the title of Chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy bestowed upon Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1815.