Established in the eighteenth century Breguet is among the oldest watch manufacturers in the world. Initially set up in Paris by a Swiss horologist, today this famed Maison is based in the heart of the watchmaking world: the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland.
A pioneer in the world of high-end watchmakers, Breguet is credited with developing a variety of revolutionary timekeeping innovations, such as the tourbillon and the wristwatch. Makers of exquisite and complicated watches, as well as writing instruments, jewellery, and cufflinks, today the company sits alongside the greatest Manufactures of the industry.
A Quick History of the Brand
Founded in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the Maison got its start at 51 Quai de l’Horloge on Paris’s Île de la Cité where Abraham-Louis was based after he married into a wealthy French aristocratic family. This placement earned him an introduction to the Court where he met Queen Marie Antoinette who would go on to become a client, along with King Louis XVI and the Swedish count, Axel Von Fersen. In fact, as a gift to Marie Antoinette, Count Von Fersen commissioned a watch from Breguet that contained every complication developed at that time. Known as the Marie Antoinette No. 160, this instrument was a Breguet masterpiece that took decades to complete.
During the late eighteenth century, Breguet and a number of other Swiss watchmakers were attempting to perfect the perpetual watch, or what we now recognise as an automatic movement. Having successfully developed a version of this instrument by 1779, Abraham-Louis would go on to create numerous embellishments to the automatic watch, such as the ressort-timbre for repeater watches in 1783, as well as the design for Breguet’s characteristic à pommes hands and Arabic numerals. By 1786, Breguet introduced their guilloche dial and in 1790 the “Pare-Chute” anti-shock device was created to ensure that these timepieces not only looked astonishing, but would also stand the test of time. Before the end of the 1700s, Abraham-Louis also invented the Pendule Sympathique, the perpetual calendar, the Breguet Spiral, the Souscription watch and the musical chronometer.
Horloger de la Marine
Breguet’s mastery continued into the nineteenth century with the invention of the Tourbillon Regulator in 1801 and the wristwatch in 1810. An alternative to the pocket watch, the wristwatch was first developed for Caroline Murat, the Queen of Naples and sister of Emperor Napoleon l. By 1814, Breguet was invited to become a member of the Bureau des Longitudes and the following year he was officially appointed by royal decree as the watchmaker to the French Navy.
The importance and prestige of the role would help cement Breguet as a master horology creator in all of Europe, as precision timekeeping was a pivotal tool for navigating the seas and keeping the French Empire in a position of power. Following the traditional build of sea clocks, Breguet’s first marine chronometers were housed in wooden boxes. These featured many technological innovations including a suspension system, two barrels, and a détente escapement. And this is where we can trace the origin of Breguet’s now famed Marine Collection.
The Modern Marine Collection
Initially launched in 1990, Breguet’s sporty Marine Collection epitomises the Manufacturer’s values of creating enduring watches that reflect quality, resilience and a timeless elegance. With robustness at the heart of the collection, each of the models boasts a reinforced case to ensure durability to everyday wear-and-tear and — as expected with a ‘marine’ watch — improved water resistance of up to 100 metres.
It was 2005 that signalled a change in the look of the Marine Collection, a shift in style which persists in the series today. The collection became even sportier with the case’s design becoming more streamlined and pragmatic, in addition to a distinct redesign of the crown’s protector. The Breguet Marine Gents 5817 Watch also introduced three considerable feats for the Manufacture, including a large date display, the option of a steel case, and a rubber watch strap.
Breguet Marine Gents 5817 Watch
The Breguet Marine Gents 5817 Watch, which pairs 18-carat rose and white gold with a sporty look, is a prime example of this brand’s modern yet enduring aesthetic — and Xupes offers the perfect pre-owned model.
As one of the oldest watchmakers in the world, Breguet is in league with some of the most well-respected haute horology creators including Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. This means investing in a Breguet watch, even a pre-owned one, is a solid venture, because — as with all true luxury products — they only get finer with age. What’s more, with such a rich brand history that spans technological innovations and enduring collections, Breguet has demonstrated that it stands the test of time.
Sized at a comfortable 40mm in diameter, the Breguet Marine Gents 5817 Watch boasts a rose gold case offset by bold lugs, a crown and crown protectors in white gold. Featuring a black dial with Breguet’s signature guilloche pattern, a white chapter ring sits in sharp contrast upon which we find bold applied Roman numerals. The watch face also holds the Marine Collection’s famed large date window at six o’clock. Though originally designed for men, this watch is a beauty on the wrist that can be proudly worn by men or women alike.
Powered by an automatic calibre that can be admired via a sapphire crystal case back, the Breguet Marine 5817 watch — Xupes reference W4749 — is paired with a black rubber bracelet that matches the dark dial and complements the warm glow of the gold case. An 18-carat rose gold deployant clasp allows the wearer to easily wear and remove the watch, while the strap is adjustable up to 20 cm in length to ensure maximum comfort and conformity regardless of wrist size.
A collection that has roots that began over two centuries ago yet still persists today, the Breguet Marine Collection is one of the best examples of why haute horology is worth the investment. Discover this pre-owned Breguet Marine Gents 5817 watch online at Xupes today and browse their full line-up of previously loved Breguet watches to find more from this enduring brand.