Breguet Navigates Tradition and Ambition with the Marine Tourbillon 5577

Adding a tourbillon to the luxury-sports watch.

In the realm of haute horlogerie, few names hold the same level of esteem and reverence as Breguet. The newly unveiled Breguet Marine Tourbillon 5577 is no doubt intended as a tribute to the brand’s visionary founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, by drawing inspiration from his deep ties to maritime navigation, astronomy, and the spirit of innovation. 

Initial thoughts

By introducing a tourbillon for the first time in the Marine collection, Breguet aims to leverage the prestige of the complication to enhance its sport watch offering.

Like many other Breguet complications, the Marine tourbillon possesses a high level of quality, particularly in the sophisticated and impressively constructed movement that’s just 3 mm high, making its one of the thinnest tourbillon calibres on the market. The thinness gives the watch elegant proportions, despite the relatively wide case that’s 42.5 mm, as it stands well under 10 mm high.

Besides its height, the cal. 581 is notable for having a decoration unique to this watch. The Geneva stripes are modified to feature engraved channels separating the stripes, creating the impression of a sailboat’s decking.

However, the devoted Breguet purist might see the addition of a tourbillon to the Marine as a departure from tradition, likely driven by the ambition to compete with comparable sports watches like the Vacheron Constantin Overseas and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Abraham-Louis Breguet never incorporated a tourbillon into a marine chronometer, since he invented the tourbillon regulator for standing clocks and pocket watches. The horizontal balance wheel in a marine chronometer didn’t require averaging out of gravitational errors since arguably there were none.

In my view, the tourbillon finds a more harmonious fit in the Classique, where its design appears more integrated and purposeful, as demonstrated by the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367.

Calibre 581 on show

The Marine Tourbillon 5577 is available in two distinct options: one featuring a rose gold case accompanied by a brown sunburst dial and the other available in platinum with a maritime-inspired blue sunburst dial.

For a sports watch, the balance between diameter and thickness is quite remarkable. The Marine tourbillon is just 9.35 mm high, owing to the exceptional 3 mm-high cal. 581.

Certainly, the 42.5 mm diameter is today considered substantial, particularly since more compact cases are now back in fashion. 

The self-winding cal. 581 is an exceptionally slender movement and comprises 330 components. Despite featuring a tourbillon and relatively large balance oscillating at 4 Hz, it boasts an impressive 80-hour power reserve.

Like most other Breguet movements, the cal. 581 also incorporates modern tech: the escape wheel and balance spring are crafted from silicon, a material favoured for its immunity to magnetic fields and perfect form fresh off the press.

Evocative of the teak deck on a sailboat, the striped decoration on the movement’s bridges and plate adds to the maritime-inspired aesthetic of the ensemble. Further enhancing the maritime theme, the barrel is adorned with an apt compass and rope motif.

The aesthetics of the movement can be fully admired as a result of the peripheral rotor, a narrow ring made of platinum that is hand engraved.

Key facts and price

Breguet Marine Tourbillon 5577
Ref. 5577BR/G2/5WV (rose gold)
Ref. 5577PT/Y2/5WV (platinum)

Diameter: 42.5 mm
Height: 9.35 mm
Material: rose gold and platinum
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. 581
Functions: Hours, minutes, 60 seconds Tourbillon
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Brown and Blue Rubber strap or rose gold and platinum bracelet

Limited edition: No
Availability: Available at Breguet authorised dealers and boutiques
Price: Rose Gold US$151,500, Platinum US$166,900 

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Hands On: An Impressively Preserved Rolex Ref. 6062

In steel and going on the block at Phillips.

Arguably the most storied Rolex model in history, more so than the “Paul Newman” Daytona, the ref. 6062 triple calendar is beautiful, and unusually for Rolex, complicated. At the same time, the ref. 6062 boasts the trademark water-resistant Oyster case, something that its closest cousin, the ref. 8171 “Padellone” triple calendar, lacks.

Soon to go under the hammer at Phillips in Geneva is a particularly impressive example of the ref. 6062. While there have been more storied examples of the ref. 6062 sold in recent years – including the “Bao Dai” owned by the last emperor of Vietnam – the upcoming ref. 6062 is possibly the best preserved. It is a steel example, and while a steel ref. 6062 is rare, the condition of this watch truly sets it apart.

The case appears original in shape and detail, though it shows wear; modest wear considering the seven decades since the watch was made. Phillips describes the case as “unpolished” and while that cannot be ascertained with absolutely certainty, the claim is certainly a credible one.

The Oyster case has its full shape, defined edges, and even the tiny step at the very top of the bezel where it meets the crystal.

More so than any of the other external components, the case back of this model typically shows the most obvious wear as the engravings are shallow. But here the original engravings look almost like they did fresh out of the factory, right down to the rectangular blocks separating the two lines of text.

Interestingly, the back is also personalised, indicating this watch was a gift from “K.B.-S.” to “P.J.W.” in either January or July 1955. Whoever he or she was, “K.B-S.” was clearly very grateful and fortunately also possessed of good taste.

Because the ref. 6062 has a watertight Oyster case, it tends to better protect the dial than the non-water resistant ref. 8171. This example demonstrates the utility of the Oyster case perfectly, with the dial being almost perfect as such things go.

The dial has an impeccable two-tone finish, with a matte, vertically brushed centre and a grained date ring on its periphery. Although both finishes are rendered in silver, the state of the dial is so good that the difference in texture and tone between the two is instantly recognisable.

Another notable detail on the dial are the calendar windows, both of which retain the sharply bevelled edges that characterise an original dial that has not been cleaned or reworked.

Some examples of the ref. 6062 were fitted with luminous dials featuring radium paint, which this example fortunately does not have. Even in a perfectly sealed water-resistant case, the radioactivity of radium causes dials to deteriorate over time, as seen in the ref. 6062 once owned by Continental Airlines chief Gordon Bethune. With its gilded markers, this example avoided radium-induced ageing.

The watch, however, is not perfect – which is reassuring. In particular, the lower right lug has a series of gouges on its upper edge, seemingly from a dragging impact from long ago. Although the case is marred, its honest condition contributes to the overall appeal of the watch.

The last time a sterling example of a steel ref. 6062 came to market was probably Phillips Geneva in 2017, and that watch sold for just under CHF2 million including fees.

The ref. 6062 has an estimate of CHF1.0-2.0 million and it is lot 12 in Phillips’ Geneva auction taking place on November 3, 2023.


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