Breguet’s most famous invention, the tourbillon, returns to the Marine collection. An ensemble of seafaring-inspired sporty timepieces, the Marine honors brand founder Abraham-Louis Breguet’s maritime contributions, notably, his appointment by the King of France as the official chronometer maker to the Royal Navy. Today, the Marine Tourbillon 5577 embodies this legacy in a streamlined execution showcasing an ultra-thin manufacture caliber with a delightful peripheral rotor.

Breguet Marine Tourbillon

The tourbillon

The star of the show here is front and, well, not so centered — the tourbillon. The Marine Tourbillon 5577 places the aperture at 5 o’clock. That positioning is consistent with the tourbillon models in other ranges using the same base caliber. While the perpetually rotating mechanism captivates your gaze, it is fascinating to think it’s been 222 years since Breguet patented its design and construction. He might or might not have been the first to recognize that Earth’s gravity affected the accuracy of pocket watches. However, he was certainly the one who came up with a revolutionary solution to compensate for these gravitational errors.

Yet it wasn’t until 1805 that the tourbillon was commercialized. Breguet would finally unveil it to the public in 1806 at the National Exhibition of Industrial Products in Paris. If you want to read more about this watchmaking feat, RJ has already shared it in more detail, including a little-known tale, here. Interestingly, what Breguet invented did more than just tackle the real problem of the pocket chronometer’s inaccuracy two centuries ago. It also became one of the most appreciated horological contraptions, one that is still very much coveted to this day.

The mechanics of the Breguet Marine Tourbillon 5577

Inside the newest addition to the Marine collection is a modern movement that has, in its multiple variations, powered several Breguet tourbillon models for a decade. Caliber 581 was first introduced in 2013 and was one of the earliest contenders in the competitive arena of ultra-thin tourbillon watches. The tourbillon mechanism benefited from a complete redesign in a structure unique to Breguet. Comprising 334 components and 33 jewels, this complex mechanism incorporates a tourbillon carriage made of titanium and a balance spring in silicon, materials that offer advanced performance.

The movement beats at a 28,000vph (4Hz) frequency and boasts an impressive power reserve of 80 hours. Remarkably, the entire self-winding caliber measures just 3mm thick thanks to the integration of a peripheral oscillating weight. This crescent-shaped rotor donning exquisite engraving is, in my view, a sight to behold in itself. Not only that, but it also offers an unobstructed view of the mechanism through the case back’s sapphire window. On full display for all to admire are the meticulous finishing and decorations typical of the Marine line. Those include straight, ribbed stripes reminiscent of boat decks and an engraved compass rose on the barrel drum.

Breguet Marine Tourbillon 5577

The aesthetics

As a direct result of the flatness of this movement, the Marine Tourbillon 5577 stands out as the thinnest member of its collection. Its case measures 42.5mm in diameter with a slender 9.35mm profile. That is even slimmer than the women’s Marine models. Available in both 18K rose gold and 950 platinum, the case features Breguet’s signature coin edges around the flanks and a polished, stepped bezel. Its brushed extended lugs impart a sporty touch. Fit for nautical pursuits, the screw-down crown, bolstered by protective guards, ensures water resistance to 100 meters.

Breguet Marine Tourbillon 5577

Moving inward, the dial showcases large Roman numerals in the half-serif Marine style atop a smooth, off-center chapter ring. This makes room for the 60-second rotating tourbillon at 5 o’clock to stand out. A luminescent take on Breguet’s open-tipped hands completes the design, set against either a slate-gray or navy-blue sunburst dial for the rose gold or platinum model respectively. As with all Marine models, the dial is signed with Breguet’s wordmark at 12 o’clock rather than the stylistic logo we find in other lines. Dave has previously walked us through this collection that he calls the unsung hero here.

The variations

The Marine Tourbillon 5577 in rose gold comes with choices of a black rubber strap, a deep brown alligator strap, or a rose gold bracelet. The platinum version offers options of a navy-blue rubber strap, a similarly colored alligator strap, or a platinum bracelet. Sitting at the upper end of Breguet’s offerings, the Marine Tourbillon 5577 does carry a premium price tag. The rose gold models on straps (refs. 5577BR/G2/5WV and 5577BR/G2/9WV) are priced at €162,400, while the platinum variants (refs. 5577PT/Y2/5WV and 5577PT/Y2/9WV) are available for €178,900, including 21% VAT. Prices for the bracelet-equipped versions are available on request.

Final thoughts

Since we are on the topic of tourbillons, within this realm, it’s hard to ignore the newly unveiled tourbillon from Greubel Forsey. For a brand hailed for its outsized, over-engineered timepieces, it is said to be pushing the envelope with optimal precision. That latest foray into sportier high-end chronometry introduces a swiveling tourbillon with a swift 16-second oscillation. True to form, however, the watch is quite chunky at a whopping 18.15mm thick — nearly double the Breguet 5577.

Breguet Marine Tourbillon 5577

The Marine Tourbillon takes a different approach. Instead of reinventing the wheel (quite literally), Breguet focuses on refining wearability. While the brand offers several models featuring the tourbillon, most lean towards a dressier or more complicated design. To be honest, I find the Marine’s large Roman indexes somewhat overpowering. That said, the new Marine Tourbillon 5577 does provide a refreshing divergence. It presents the brand’s legendary feature in a more relaxed and versatile package, apt for any setting.

For more information, visit Breguet’s official website.

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Watch specifications

Marine Tourbillon 5577
5577BR/G2/5WV | 5577BR/G2/9WV | 5577PT/Y2/5WV | 5577PT/Y2/9WV
Sunray-brushed brown (rose gold) or blue (platinum) with matte chapter ring, applied luminous Roman numerals, luminous hour plots, and tourbillon aperture at 5 o'clock
Case Material
18K rose gold or 950 platinum
Case Dimensions
42.5mm (diameter) × 9.35mm (thickness)
Case Back
Rose gold or platinum with sapphire display
Breguet 581 — ultra-thin (3mm) automatic tourbillon caliber with peripheral rotor, 28,800vph frequency, 80-hour power reserve, 33 jewels, titanium tourbillon cage, silicon balance spring
Water Resistance
10 bar (100m)
Black rubber or brown alligator (rose gold), navy blue rubber or alligator (platinum). Matching rose gold or platinum bracelet also available on request.
Time only (hours, minutes, small seconds displayed on tourbillon)
€162,400 (rose gold on straps) / €178,900 (platinum on straps)