The Breguet Marine Chronographe ref. 5823 was introduced to us today in BaselWorld and it commemorates the 200th anniversary of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s work as chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy. King Louis XVIII appointed Breguet for this important job (remember that marine chronometers were essential to navigate ships at sea at the time) on October 27th in 1815.
While I believe that one doesn’t need to find an excuse to create a beautiful timepiece (as you – as a consumer – also really don’t need an excuse to buy a watch), it seems that brands think otherwise. Although I have seen stories that are more sought-after, I truly believe that nobody is going to purchase this particular watch because of the 200th anniversary of Breguet being a chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy. What is wrong with just creating a beautiful watch, even numbered or limited, but without story-telling. Perhaps I am being too harsh here, but a good watch doesn’t need a story. This Breguet Marine seems like a good watch, no, a stunning watch to me actually.
This reference 5823 is a chronograph piece, but what I only realized later on is that it is not a column-wheel chronograph. The movement in this Breguet Marine, caliber 583Q/1 is actually based on the Lemania 1372 (a derivative of the Lemania 1350) and has no column-wheel. Although it might not have the silky touch of a column-wheel chronograph movement, Breguet did do a marvellous finishing on it as you can see in the photo below. The two-tone black rotor of this automatic movement is made of 18 carat gold with hand-guilloché finish. The movement has a 42 hour power reserve.
The Breguet Marine Chronographe is limited to 200 pieces only, referring to the anniversary, and will only be available in a platinum Pt950 case. The gold dial, in matte black, indicates the time and has a centralized chronograph second and minute hand. Something we’ve seen more often with Lemania powered chronograph movements. The small sub dial at 9 o’clock indicate the seconds of the running time and the sub dial at 6 o’clock is the hour recorder of the chronograph. All hands are 18 carat white gold. At 6 o’clock you’ll also find the date aperture. While this dial is, with its guilloché finish, Roman numerals, minute track and other subtle silver circular shapes on there not super clean, it is also not a cluttered dial. It is very easy to read time and the elapsed chronograph time.
The case measures 42mm in diameter and has beautiful long lugs that are so characteristic for the Breguet Marine collection. The platinum case band of the Breguet is – of course – fluted, a signature design feature. Being a marine watch, it is also water resistant to 100 meters and comes on a rubber strap.
In the end, I find the Breguet Marine Chronographe to be a beautiful looking timepiece. A very classy timepiece that can be worn under almost any circumstances (normal wear and no extreme activities of course) and perfectly matches with business attire as well as more comfortable and casual apparel. It could be an every day watch, or perhaps even an ‘only’-watch for people who love chronographs.
Price of this Breguet Marine Chronographe has not been communicated, but as soon as we get the official pricing, we will update this article accordingly.