Manufacture Royale ADN
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Best of the Indies: 10 treasures from Independent and smaller watch brands

Manufacture Royale ADN

Manufacture Royale ADN

The big brands aren’t the only ones introducing interesting watches in and around Basel during the watch fair. The unique creations of independent watchmakers are the main reason many aficionados make the pilgrimage to Basel every spring. They all have one thing in common: they combine traditional techniques with contemporary design and inventive watchmaking. They are also all about outstanding workmanship, and because they are made in very limited quantities, they are inherently rare, so getting your hands on one is a rare opportunity. Here are 10 timepieces not exhibited in Hall 1.0 at Baselworld 2017.

Romain Jerome Engraved

Romain Jerome Engraved

Romain Jerome Engraved

The Steampunk Auto model from Romain Jerome’s Engraved collection celebrates the industrial revolution. Zeppelins, steamboats, locomotives and submarines are engraved in red gold over the PVD-coated steel case. Notable details include the pistons at the 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock positions; hands shaped like the anchors of transatlantic steamships; rough-finished Roman numerals; and a propeller-shaped small seconds wheel.

Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 StingHD

Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 StingHD

Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 StingHD

Christophe Claret has embraced the Memento Mori trend in timepieces with this variation of the X-TREM-l, known for its innovative magnet-driven minute scale. The skull is subtly placed on the carriage of the flying tourbillon. Also, if you breathe on the sapphire crystal, a skull appears. It comes with two straps as well as a bracelet made by StingHD, adorned with a black diamond encrusted skull with ruby eyes. The case is titanium with black PVD.

MB&F Destination Moon

MB&F Destination Moon

MB&F Destination Moon

MB&F is unique in the world of watchmaking for its spaceship meets high-watchmaking aesthetic and its policy of partnering with unique talent. This is the brand’s sixth collaboration with Swiss clock maker L’Epee 1839. Destination Moon is a clock shaped like a rocket, with a vertically structured open-worked movement. Two aluminum disks indicate hours and minutes. The frame is made of stainless steel, with PVD coated landing pods that ground the clock.

Arnold & Son Instrument DSTB

Arnold & Son Instrument DSTB

Arnold & Son Instrument DSTB

This is a new steel version of the DSTB (Dial Side True Beat), with the true beat mechanism shown on the dial. Seconds are the focus here, and are indicated on a large subdial at 11 o’clock. Hours and minutes are shown on a lacquered dial at 4 o’clock, with a blue dial plate as background. The 43.5mm case is steel and looks bigger than it is.

Greubel Forsey Balancier

Greubel Forsey Balancier

Greubel Forsey Balancier

Greubel Forsey is known for its tourbillons, but the Balancier is a time-only watch with scrupulous finishing and the marque’s signature asymmetrical case. The focus is th large (12.60mm) adjustable balance, made in-house, and place in a diagonally inclined position. The base plate is made of German silver that is scrupulously finished. The words engraved on the caseback – including “exclusive,” “inventive,” “original,” and “architectural” – reflect the company’s mission statement. It is limited to 33 pieces.

MCT Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack

MCT Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack

MCT Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack

Vantablack (Vertically Alligned NanoTube Arrays) is a new wonder material that at least two other brands are using this year. It is composed of carbon nanotubes that trap light, so it has a 99.965% absorption rate. The point? It makes things seem to disappear into an abyss: the skeletonized movement appears to be suspended in space against the vantablack dial plate. The hours are indicated by five prisms in four positions that flip.

Hautlence Labyrinth

Hautlence Labyrinth

Hautlence Labyrinth

To call this a timepiece is a stretch since it doesn’t actually tell time. It is, as its name suggests, a labyrinth, the child’s game of jiggling a ball through a maze. Worn as a wristwatch and set with diamonds, it is more like a bracelet for men. The dial is carved out of gold and the ball is platinum. The case is titanium.

Hautlence Vortex Bronze

Hautlence Vortex Bronze

Hautlence Bronze

Okay, this one tells time. The case is bronze, with a titanium crown, place at the top of the case instead of the side. The three-dimensional sapphire crystal displays the bridge-shaped caliber from both front and back. This is a big watch (52 x 50 x 17.8), with two barrels. Hours are displayed by a 12-link chain, hinged on a pallet system. It is limited to eight pieces.

Manufacture Royale ADN

Manufacture Royale ADN

Manufacture Royale ADN

This is a big watch (46mm) but the hinged horns (composed of more than 67 components) pivot to hug the wrist, which makes it wear much smaller and fit comfortably. The rubber strap also helps with fit. The skeletonized manually wound Caliber MR09 is a flying tourbillon with two time zones, including a jump hour for local time. The case is either steel, steel-DLC and forged carbon or pink gold and forged carbon.

H. Moser & Cie Heritage Perpetual Moon

H. Moser & Cie Heritage Perpetual Moon

Moser & Cie Heritage Perpetual Moon

Normally, a flinqué enamel finish on a timepiece is displayed on the dial or on portions of the dial. H. Moser breaks the rules with this stunning case-side application. Traditional elements include a luscious white grand feu dial, hand-painted Roman numerals, classic moonphase indicator, tubular lugs and lavish swallow-tail hands. This a 30-piece limited edition.

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Best of Baselworld 2017: New Watches From Blancpain, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Bulgari and more

Baselworld 2017 opening day.

New introductions at Baselworld this year tended to fit one of two categories. 1. Trends that reflect the times – and by “times” I mean an industry that is entering its third straight year of decline (see my story on that here) – with watches that are smaller, less complicated and more realistically designed and priced. And 2. Watches that reflect the fact that Baselworld is also about showmanship and haute horology, with high complications (like the Breguet Equation of Time) and metiers masterpieces (like the Dior VIII Grand Bal). Here are my top five men’s and top five ladies’ introductions for Baselworld 2017. Click on each link to find more pictures and detailed descriptions. Read more

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph For Ladies: Because Women Also Drive

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph for ladies.

There is more to Chopard for women than Happy Diamonds and high jewelry watches. The ladies’ Mille Miglia is a smaller, diamond-set version of this year’ special-edition Mille Miglia for men, a mechanical sports watch with substance. Chopard has been a supporter of the Mille Miglia, a scenic, 1,000-mile race from Brescia to Rome, since 1988, and each year introduces a new special-edition timepiece in commemoration. A couple of years ago, Chopard started producing ladies’ Mille Miglia editions, and this year the men’s and ladies’ are identified as a duo.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph for ladies.

Essentially they are the same model, but the ladies’ is 39mm compared to the men’s, which is 42mm. The ladies’ model has a mother-of-pearl dial with or without a diamond-set bezel (the two elements that most often distinguish a ladies’ watch from a men’s watch), and the men’s has a black or silver dial. Both contain the same COSC-certified automatic chronograph movement, ETA Caliber 2894-2. The rubber strap is inspired by the tread on 1960s Dunlop racing tires. Hands and indexes are coated with Super-LumiNova. Prices range from $4,800 to $12,140.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph; men's on the left, ladies' on the right.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph; men’s on the left, ladies’ on the right.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Ladies' without diamonds.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Ladies’ without diamonds.

 

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Ladies’

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Five Watches Tough Enough To Wear On A United Airlines Flight

Scheduling a flight on United Airlines? You’d better dress for the occasion. In addition to padded head gear and a gel mouthguard, you will need a timepiece that can help you not only count down the minutes until your flight safely leaves the ground but that can take a few knocks in the event of spontaneous re-accommodation. It should also have at least 100-meter water resistance in case you are thrown from the plane mid-Atlantic. Here are five timepieces tough enough to survive an encounter with United Airlines.

Casio G-Shock.

Casio G-Shock.

The Casio GST-W300 is part of the G-Shock line, built for high-impact sports activities. This model has a Layer Guard Structure, a fusion of metal and resin materials that make it possible to reduce the size of the watch without losing shock resistance. It is solar-powered and radio-controlled, with functions that include a world timer, 1/100-second time measurement, split timing, a countdown timer, calendar, battery level indicator, super illuminator and alarm functions. It is water resistant to 200 meters.

Sinn US 1..

Sinn U1 S.

The case and crown of the Sinn U1 S diver’s watch is made of the same steel used for German submarines. It is known for its extreme seawater resistance and high non-magnetic properties. Also, the case was made using Tegiment technology, a surface-hardening process that raises the hardness of the base material. The US 1 is given a shock resistance rating of DIN 8308 which means it has survived a drop test from a vertical height of one meter onto hardwood. It is water resistant to 1,000 meters.

Omega Planet Ocean Big Blue.

Omega Planet Ocean Big Blue.

The Omega Planet Ocean Big Blue is a combination GMT (second time zone) and diver’s watch with an indestructible case made from a single block of ceramic. The bezel is also made of blue ceramic, with an orange 15-minute countdown index. Even the folding clasp on the rubber strap is made of ceramic. An orange GMT track runs along the inner bezel. The hands and indexes are 18k white gold, coated with Super-LumiNova. It is water resistant to 600 meters.

Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days.

Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days.

The size alone of the Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days should intimidate or at least block any would-be attacker. This 49mm watch is almost entirely composed of carbon based or carbon-coated materials. This includes movement components which will never need traditional lubrication. Panerai guarantees the watch for 50 years. The case is made of a composite carbon material that is very light and “resistant to external stresses.” It is water resistant to 100 meters.

Citizen Eco-Drive Pro-Master Professional Diver 1000.

Citizen Eco-Drive Pro-Master Professional Diver 1000.

The Citizen Eco-Drive Pro-Master Professional Diver 1000 is water resistant to 1,000 meters. The case is made of Super Titanium, a titanium that has been hardened by other metals, including DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon). It is light-powered, with a running time of 1.5 years when fully charged, and the hands and indexes are luminated for readability even in the dark depths of a United Airlines flight.

Baselworld 2018 Will Be Two Days Shorter; Ongoing Declines Plague Swiss Watch Industry

Baselworld 2017 opening day.

Baselworld, the annual watch and jewelry show in Basel, Switzerland, will run for six days instead of eight days next year, in the wake of lower attendance and declining sales in the Swiss watch industry. The decision comes on the heels of the 2017 show, which ended March 27. The fair officially hosted 200 fewer exhibitors (a drop of 13.3%) and for next year, there will be at least one defection by a major brand – Hermès – which announced it will join the Geneva Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, held in January. In a post-show statement, Sylvie Ritter, managing director of Baselworld, said “the industry is currently going through a challenging phase, which particularly affects smaller companies. Listening to our exhibitors and in agreement with the members of the different committees, we have decided to reduce the duration of the show and adjust the prices accordingly.” Baselworld 2018 will be held from Thursday 22 to Tuesday 27 March 2018.

Hermès will decamp for SIHH next year.

The reduced presence at Baselworld is a reflection of the state of the industry, rather than the show itself. Following two straight years of decline, global exports of Swiss watches have continued to tank for the first two months of 2017. According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), exports declined 10% in the month of February, with a 26.2% decline in exports to the crucial U.S. market. In 2016, the value of Swiss exports stood at 19.4 billion Swiss francs, which is 9.9% lower than in 2015. “With this result, the industry has returned to its 2011 level and seen an end to the growth of 15% achieved between 2011 and 2014,” says the FH. If the two-year decline becomes a straight three-year decline, it will be the first time such a long slump has occurred since the 1980s, the height of the quartz crisis.

There are more than 2,000 exhibitors at Basel, and the fair is attended by 106,000 visitors.

Industry expert Joe Thompson of Watch Time magazine, who has been covering the industry for more than three decades, says the situation is worrisome. “Even the great recession of ’09 only lasted a year; we have just had two straight years of decline, and first the two months of this year are off to a bad start. So, if it hasn’t hit bottom, then it’s getting serious.” The reasons for the current downturn are more complex than the quartz crisis that edged out mechanical watchmakers in the ’70s and ’80s. Significant forces have plagued the industry over the past two years. The boom in China during the 2000s has been stifled by the Chinese government’s crackdown on luxury gift-giving, resulting in a 50% drop in exports to Hong Kong over the past four years. Currency fluctuations have also had a negative effect, particularly the strong Swiss franc, and declining tourism in the U.S. and Europe for political reasons have curtailed luxury shopping.

Evening rush hour at Baselworld 2017.

The result is a watch industry that is overstocked and, many say, overpriced, resulting in a surge in the grey market. Richemont, whose brands include Cartier, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin, bought back millions of euros in inventory from retailers in 2016, and cut 200 jobs from its watchmaking staff. As for coping strategies, companies have been reducing prices and revising product development strategies, boosting lower-priced categories and putting the brakes on new high-horology showpieces, a trend that was evident at this year’s Baselworld fair.

Baselworld 2017: The Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time Lets You Have It Your Way

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Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time

Bulgari has found a way to give buyers 312 options in one timepiece. The company that has made horological history with the world’s smallest tourbillon and minute repeate, and introduced a ladies’ complications, including the Serpenti Incantati Tourbillon and the Lucea Moon Phase, has now created the ultimate fashion watch. The Serpenti Twist Your Time program literally lets you co-design a watch with Bulgari, and you even get to engrave your own name, in the font of your choice, on the caseback.

There are 312 possible variations.

Variations using different case, strap, dial, gemsetting and caseback engraving options add up to 312 possible variations. Bulgari has even developed an app to facilitate the selection process, so you can watch your watch being created on-screen and change your mind about the combination as many times as you want. The 27mm case can be steel or pink gold, with or without diamonds. Dials are black, red, green or white, in mother-of-pearl, sunburst guilloché or lacquer. Strap options include calfskin or exotic Karung (snakeskin) in several color choices – Karung in black, red, white, green or chestnut brown; calfskin in sapphire blue, agate white, ruby red, sandy beige, black or emerald green. Since they are double-wraparound style, the colored straps make a strong statement, and two of them are included with each watch. By the way, they are easily interchangeable, even by a tired journalist on the final day of Baselworld, which you can see here:

 

Bulgari has created an app for choosing your combination.

Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time

One of the options is to engrave the caseback with your name, in the font of your choice.

Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time.

The Serpenti Twist Your Time contains a quartz movement, and it is water resistant to 50 meters. The program is being rolled out in a select number of brand boutiques this year.

Baselworld 2017: Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G with flawless gems and a legendary caliber

Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava.

Patek Philippe’s best men’s debuts at Baselworld 2017 – including the wonderful Ref. 5320 Perpetual Calendar – had to compete for the spotlight with the sensational Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava. I have seen many gem set watches from Patek with impressive carat content and perfectly executed setting, but never have I seen something this creative. It is spectacular without being over the top, which is pure Patek, and a loupe will tell you that it is set with perfect, perfectly-matched gemstones: 149 flawless diamonds and 182 pink sapphires in several shades, for a total aggregate weight of 4.35 carats. The background on the upper dial is natural pink mother-of-pearl, which is rare. It is also delicate, so it is a testament to the steady hand of the engraver that the mother-of-pearl is carved with feather motifs. Another subtle but exquisite detail is the engraving on the 18k gold hands, also to resemble feathers.

Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava.

The movement is the ultra-thin automatic Caliber 240 with an integrated micro-rotor, silicon-based components and a 70-hour power reserve. Patek celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 240 this year. Remarkably, the movement was developed at the height of the quartz crisis in 1977, when men’s wristwatches were much smaller than they are today. Any movement developed at that time had to be slim to compete with the much smaller proportions made possible by quartz technology.

Automatic Caliber 240 in the Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava.

Creating a slim automatic was a particular challenge. The key to keeping it slim was a small off-center rotor, recessed into the plate. The micro-rotor kept the 240 to the proportions of a manual-wound movement (it is 2.53mm thick), and today it is a mainstay of the slim Calatrava collection. It has also served as the base for several high complications, including the Celestial Ref.5102 and the World Time Ref. 5110, as well as several perpetual calendars. The Caliber 240 is used in three variations in new introductions this year from Patek Philippe, including the high jewelry Ref. 4899-900G – for which the 240 is perfect, allowing space for the gemsetter to work his magic.

Even the buckle is set.

Case side of the Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava. Perfectly integrated strap.

Baselworld 2017: Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320 G

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320 G.

There are many reasons to love the Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320 G, introduced at Baselworld 2017: The stepped case, the claw lugs, the generous lume, the vintage font, the 40mm diameter, the cream-colored lacquer dial. It is firmly at the top of my list of men’s watches I’d love to own. The dial seems both retro and modern at the same time, with those elegantly readable Arabic numerals and detailed minute track. The watch was in fact inspired by Patek models from the 1940s and 1950s. Patek Philippe has created some 30 perpetual calendars in the past 90 years, beginning 1925 with Ref. 97-975, the world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch – it resides in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. Beginning in 1941, the perpetual calendar with a Patek movement became a regular part of the company’s collection, establishing some of the brand’s signature design codes for that function, including the double window for day and month displays.

Plenty of lume on the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320 G.

Arabic numerals appeared on the original 1941 piece, but the 5320G has a font closer to a 1944 perpetual calendar, Ref. 1591, in a font that has not since been used on a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar; with a few exceptions, most have had simple straight markers or Roman numerals. On the 5320G, the large applied blackened-gold numerals with plenty of lume have a 3-D quality, sitting there on the dial like Stonehenge monuments that glow in the dark. The five-minute cabochons are also treated with luminous coating, as are the large hands, and overall that gives it almost the look of a sports watch. In fact, the fine-tipped baton hands are inspired by those on a Patek Philippe chronograph, Ref. 1463 from the 1950s. The 18k white gold case was inspired by the Ref. 2405 a Calatrava, from the 1940s with fluted sides and a complex, three-tiered lug profile. A greated nouvelle-vintage feature is the thin bezel with a boxed crystal, which we saw a lot of at Baselworld 2017. The crystal is dramatically cambered with parallel inner and outer sides to prevent optical distortion of the dial from any viewing angle. In the 1940s and 1950s, it would have been technically impossible to craft such a sapphire crystal to current quality standards. Back then, easily formable but highly scratchable Plexiglas was often used instead.

Clawed lugs and stepped case on the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320 G.

The lush, cream-colored lacquered dial has a small round day/night aperture between 7 and 8 o’clock and a round aperture for the leap year cycle with Arabic numerals from one to four between 4 and 5 o’clock.The caliber 324 SQ is an updated version of the self-winding Caliber 324, with a large central rotor in 21k gold that rests on ball bearings. Through the sapphire crystal caseback, you can see the decorated bridges with round-chamfered and polished edges, côtes de Genève striping and gold-filled engravings, polished screws, chamfered slots and polished countersinks. Its maximum rate deviation ranges between -3 and +2 seconds per day. It is priced at $82,784. I want this watch almost as much as the Haute Joaillerie Calatrava Ref. 4899-900G.

Baselworld 2017: The Flirty Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

The moon phase indicator on the Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase is small, but very special: it is feminized.  If you look closely, you will see that the moon has eyelashes and, what’s that? – a beauty spot. The latter is a historical reference to ladies of the aristocracy, whose placement of beauty marks conveyed secret messages at royal court – the watch is part of the historically inspired Villeret collection after all. The artificial mole or beauty spot (known as a mouche for its similarity to a fly) was regarded in 18th century France as symbolizing a playfully teasing attitude. Mouches were used by ladies of the Court as messages to their suitors that differed according to where these coquettish signs were placed. The caliber 913QL, with a 40-hour power reserve, is based on an ultra-slim automatic movement introduced last year specifically for ladies’ watches. It is fitted this year with a moon phase module, a wheel with 59 cogs covering two complete 29.5 day lunar cycles. The moon phase is a signature complication of the Blancpain brand.

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

The movement has a glucydur balance wheel with gold micrometric regulating screws as well as a silicon balance spring, which contribute to accuracy and reduce the need for maintenance. Silicon’s low density makes it lighter and thus more shock-resistant, as well as impervious to magnetic fields. The sapphire caseback reveals a red gold oscillating weight with a snailed bevel, polished chamfers and straight and circular côtes de Genève patterns. This is a very small watch (29.20mm) considering there is a moon phase plus a seconds hand, evidence of Blancpain’s commitment to producing size-appropriate high-grade calibers dedicated to ladies’ watches in its elite collections. The bezel is set with 48 diamonds. There are two references, one in 18k gold, priced at $19,900, and in steel at $16,600. It is delivered with five different straps.

Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

The Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase has a feminized look, including eyelashes and a beauty mole.

Breguet at Baselworld 2017: The Marine Équation Marchante 5887, a triple complication

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887.

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887.

Like the minute repeater and the perpetual calendar, the equation of time is rooted in the history of watchmaking and is therefore a collector’s favorite. Breguet’s complex version, the Marine Équation Marchante 5887, is a triple complication that also includes a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar. It celebrates Abraham Louis Breguet’s appointment in 1814 as a member of the Bureau des longitudes in Paris, a group of experts who measured the earth’s physical properties. As the official marine chronometer maker to the French Royal Navy, Breguet was a key member of the group. The Marine Équation Marchante 5887 is unique in that it displays the running equation of time at a glance using a “running” (marchante) central hand on the dial rather than on a subdial that shows the minutes to be added or subtracted to the current civil time. It even displays the cam that controls the equation of time function – alongside a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar.

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887 in rose gold.

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887 in rose gold.

The equation of time is essentially the addition of a sundial to the modern wristwatch. It measures time according to the current position of the sun, by which the length of a day can vary by -16 to +14 minutes compared to average or civil time. The difference is called the equation of time. For practical reasons, man has divided each year into 365 and a quarter days, each day into 24 hours, and the hours into 60 minutes each. However, because the Earth’s orbit is elliptical rather than circular, the time in relation to the sun varies daily. It is exactly twenty-four hours long on only four days: April 15th, June 14th, September 1st and December 24th. Because these variations occur identically on the same dates, they can be programmed into a watch movement by means of a cam making one complete rotation a year. The cam is often linked directly to a perpetual calendar so that the display of the equation of time always corresponds to the current date. The cam on the Breguet Marine Equation Marchante 5887 is shaped like a figure eight, and visible on the dial through a window that also displays the tourbillon carriage. It runs on a sapphire disk so as not to block the view of the tourbillon.

Breguet Marine Equation

The fluted caseband of the Breguet Marine Equation of Time is more widely fluted than other cases in the collection.

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887, a running equation of time.

There are different ways to show the equation of time. Most watches use a hand sweeping a subsidiary dial or arc, graduated from 16 to +14 minutes. Only a few have a running equation of time, which consists of a second minute hand that runs according to solar time, making the difference readable at a glance on the central dial. This hand on the Marine Équation Marchante 5887 is identified by a sun motif. A fourth central hand, tipped by an anchor motif in honor of marine chronometers, indicates the date on a retrograde scale as part of the perpetual calendar function. In keeping with the marine theme, the inner dial is engraved to resemble waves. The self-winding caliber 581DPE runs at 4Hz and includes a 60-second tourbillon with a titanium carriage and a silicon balance. It has an 80-hour power reserve, the status of which is displayed in a very subtle aperture between 7 and 9 o’clock. Thanks to a peripheral rotor, the decorated movement can be seen through the caseback, including bridges engraved to depict a the Royal Louis, a ship in the French Royal Navy, and a barrel engraved with a windrose motif. The crown is topped with a polished B and, in another departure from the traditional Marine design, the fluted case band is more widely grooved. There are two references, one in 18k rose gold, priced at $215,000, and the other in platinum, priced at $230,400, with a blue dial. The cases are 43.9mm wide. It is water resistant to 100 meters.

 Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887

Caseback of the Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887.

One of the things that makes this complication valuable and collectible is its rarity: while many brands makes tourbillons and minute repeaters, only a handful make an equation of time, including Vacheron Consantin, Patek Philippe, Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ulysse Nardin, Audemars Piguet and Breguet.