The overuse of electronic devices is not only anti-social but it is also believed that, due to overexposure to the positive ions they produce, they can cause an imbalance in our body’s magnetic field. This over-exposure, especially during lockdown, has made me feel quite sluggish at times. Thankfully, I found an antidote in my daily trot along the Sea Point promenade. Water in motion — oceans, rivers, and waterfalls — has a superabundance of negative ions, which create more vibrancy and are an instant mood enhancer.
With most of our interactions happening online these days, there is even more reason to get out of the home office for a breath of fresh air. I picked up this information on ions from a Netflix docuseries, which I recalled when I received the first images of Breguet’s Marine novelties for 2020 with their entrancing guilloche-wave-patterned dials and new integrated bracelets.
By summer, let’s pray for a return to more active, shared experiences outdoors, with an opportunity to show off some of the new luxury sports timepieces in the lineup for 2020. For now, though, with the two major Swiss watch fairs postponed until next year, the first viewings of new product have been through webcasts hosted by manufactures. So, there’ll be no proper hands-on experience of the new novelties until they reach our shores — hopefully in time for the holidays.
While the Breguet Marine collection references the company’s historic links to the marine world as chronometer-maker to the French royal navy, I think the wave design is also a lovely nod to watchmaking’s much earlier links to the sea and Englishman John Harrison who invented the marine chronometer in the early 1700s, revolutionising ocean navigation. This dial detail, first introduced in 2017, also adds a contrasting texture for better legibility. Breguet was the first to use guillochage on timepieces and is acknowledged as the industry leader in this technique.
The Marine collection was launched in 1990 but has evolved over time into a more modern, sportier line featuring a range of complications. As founder Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the tourbillon in 1795, the collection includes a tourbillion, as well as equation of time, GMT, chronograph, and the charming alarm of the 40mm Marine Alarme Musicale to remind us when to dip our toes in the ocean.
The characteristic fluted case flanks of the Marine and its sculpted lugs accentuate its shape and, together with the robust, applied Roman numerals, contribute to its bold, contemporary design. There is ever-increasing interest in premium luxury sports timepieces with integrated metal bracelets, particularly the more affordable all-steel models. But for collectors who prefer theirs a little more luxe, Breguet has introduced complementary metal bracelets in rose and white gold to three of its Marines — an option previously only available for titanium models. They include the time/ date Marine 5517, Marine Chronograph 5527 and Marine Alarme Musicale 5547, presented in rose gold for white dials, and white gold for blue dials.
My favourite, the Marine Alarme Musicale is powered by an in-house calibre 519F/1 automatic movement, which can be seen through its open caseback. Its complications include an alarm, date, and second time zone. The alarm gets its power from a dedicated mainspring barrel with its 45-hour power reserve read off the diamond-shaped markers positioned between 9 and 12 o’clock. Alarm time is read off the larger subdial at 3 o’clock, with the on/off indication displayed in a window at noon. The smaller subdial at 9 o’clock shows a second time zone. Water resistance is to 50m.
• From R757,400. Visit breguet.com or call Swatch Group (SA) on 011-911-1200.
• From the August edition of Wanted, 2020.