Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547
The Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 harnesses much watchmaking expertise. Housed in a rose gold case, this timepiece features an alarm, second-time zone indication and a date display, making it the ideal companion for today’s business traveller. Furthermore, its sumptuous styling is enriched with a gorgeous guilloché dial.
This detailed review of the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 includes images, specification details and pricing.
Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747 – 1823) was the greatest watchmaker of all time. No other person has influenced the world of high-end watchmaking quite like the Swiss genius, Breguet.
Born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Breguet moved to France and embarked on a watchmaking apprenticeship. Thereafter, he opened his own workshop in Paris. Owing to political unrest, he moved back to Switzerland and resided there for a number of years before finally returning to post-revolution Paris.
Breguet was an extraordinary trailblazer. His numerous inventions include the tourbillon, the terminal curve and a shock protection device termed the ‘pare-chute’. Beyond his prowess for invention, he was an aesthete, conceiving the legendary Breguet hands and numerals which are widely used today. He was also an early adopter of guilloché dials, a method of engraving which continues to feature on several modern-day watches from the eponymous brand.
Despite Breguet’s death almost 200 years ago, his work remains relevant to this day. A tourbillon houses the escapement within a rotating cage, countering the negative effects of gravity. The terminal curve, sometimes called the ‘Breguet Overcoil’, enhances isochronism, allowing the hairspring to breathe better. Breguet’s ideas were conceived at a time when CAD (computer-aided design), CNC machines and LIGA technology did not exist. His creativity relied on the ability to imagine, sketch ideas and make parts manually. It does beg the question, ‘What would Breguet achieve if he was alive today?’
During his life, Breguet had strong connections with the sea. He held the official title of ‘chronometer maker to the French Royal Navy’. Marine chronometers were used for navigational purposes and, as such, they had to be incredibly precise. An inaccurate marine chronometer could lead a ship into perilous waters. It was Abraham-Louis Breguet’s close ties with the maritime world which led the present-day Breguet brand to produce various ‘Marine’ models.
At Baselworld 2018, Breguet unveiled three new nautically-inspired models, the Marine 5517, a three hand watch with date, the Marine Chronographe 5527, a chronograph with date, and the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547. It is this latter watch which is the focus of this review.
The Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 is available in titanium, white gold and rose gold. I am particularly drawn to the warm, autumnal hues of the rose gold version. The shade of the dial is determined by the case colour selected. The rose gold variant is paired with a sumptuous ‘silvered gold dial’.
Golden hour and minute hands articulate the time. The Swiss company describes the hands as ‘faceted Breguet hands with luminescent material’. I have grown accustomed to thinking of Breguet hands as blued, flat, free of luminescent fill and endowed with circular apertures two-thirds along their form. The hour and minute hands on this watch are very different. The kinked profile of each hand proves adept at manipulating light and their three dimensionality proves most becoming. The apertures on Breguet’s legendary hands have been reimagined for this watch. They are solid, lined with luminescent material and sit below the faceted bones of the hands.
Roman numerals sit upon an hour track adorned with satiné circulaire. While the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 has a modern, almost sporty character, it upholds many of the motifs seen on the brand’s dressier models. Encircling the hour track is a chapter ring, incorporating a combination of luminous markers and dots. By judiciously using luminescent treatment, Breguet has imbued this timepiece with impressive readability, even in restricted light conditions.
At this juncture, I feel an overwhelming urge to discuss the engine turned motif occupying the central dial area. Fittingly, it depicts the ocean’s waves with swooping lines of varying length. Each wave is created with a hand-operated rose-engine lathe. These machines are no longer made, hence Breguet, like other practitioners of guilloché, pamper their 100+ year-old lathes in order to perpetuate the glorious fruit they yield. There is no high-tech substitute for a hand guilloché dial.
Positioned at 3 o’clock is the alarm indication. Once again, this pairs the aforementioned guilloché waves with a circlet of satiné circulaire. In this instance, the hours are depicted with a combination of batons and Arabic numerals. The typeface of the numerals is modern, differentiating this watch from its more traditional siblings.
A second time-zone display is shown at 9 o’clock. The design language employed is similar to the styling of the alarm indication, albeit it is smaller. By separating the indication from the main display reading the ‘home’ time seems easier. Furthermore, with the 24-hour indication, the wearer can easily determine whether the ‘home’ time is day or night.
A lone golden hand, positioned between 9 and 12 o’clock, indicates the amount of stored energy held within the alarm function’s spring barrel. The hand collaborates with small diamond-shaped markings on the hour track, showing whether the striking mechanism is fully wound or depleted of energy.
When the push-piece at 8 o’clock is pressed, the alarm is armed and a bell symbol appears through a circular aperture below noon.
The trapezoidal date aperture reveals a colour-matched date disc. This is particularly noticeable on the blue and slate grey dial versions. The central sweep seconds hand features a counterweight which emulates the maritime flag code for ‘B’. The dial of the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 is an exemplar of horological propriety.
Measuring 40mm in diameter, the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 does not overwhelm the wrist and should prove suitable for a broad audience.
The case design transcends the norm with its intricate contours and exquisite details. The polished bezel is concave, granting a wonderful interaction with the light. Adjacent the bezel, a brushed circlet of gold delineates the top surface of the watch from the caseband. The strap integrates with the watchhead and is secured with purposeful screwbars.
Typical of many Breguet watches, the Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 features a fluted caseband. This motif coquettishly flirts with the light, enriching the aesthetic of the case. The crown positioned between 2 and 3 o’clock nuzzles between crown protectors and is used to wind and set the alarm mechanism. The crown at 4 o’clock winds the watch and sets the ‘local’ time and ‘home’ time. Each crown sports a cursive Breguet ‘B’ on its vertical flank.
The exhibition caseback affords sight of the self-winding movement, the Calibre 519F/1.
While Breguet is often considered a traditional practitioner of fine watchmaking, it has repeatedly embraced modernity and progress. This makes much sense, considering that Abraham-Louis Breguet was an incredible innovator. Both the balance spring and horns are made of silicon (the horns are found on the pallet fork and interface with the impulse pin).
The advantage of silicon is that it has a low mass and is almost friction-free, mitigating energy consumption. In addition, silicon has anti-magnetic properties and is corrosion resistant, making it ideal for use within a wristwatch.
The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 36 jewels. The power reserve is capable of delivering 45 hours of autonomy.
Breguet is synonymous with fine watchmaking and the Calibre 519F/1 proves no exception. The oscillating weight is openworked, granting purists a sublime view of the embellished parts below. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and sport gleaming bevelled edges. A sea of petit perlage can be seen adjacent the balance wheel. Everything is beautifully refined.
The dial of the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 proves highly legible. Furthermore, despite featuring both an alarm subdial and second time-zone indication, the dial of this watch does not feel cluttered.
Often GMT watches use an additional hand to display the ‘home’ time. By displaying the ‘home’ time on a separate subdial, the indication proves easier to interpret. Beyond the functionality of the dial, the contrasting textures of satiné circulaire and the central wave motif coalesce wonderfully, delivering a glorious handcrafted spectacle.
The user-friendly alarm function, in conjunction with the second time-zone indication, makes this watch ideal for frequent travellers.
Breguet has blended traditional craftsmanship, vast experience and state of the art technology in order to produce the Calibre 519F/1. The finishing is beautiful and the silicon components confer meaningful user benefits.
Since 1775, Breguet’s nomenclature has been a byword for innovation and seemly styling, something which was evident in the 18th century and is manifest with the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547.
- Model: Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547
- Reference: 5547BR/12/9ZU
- Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 40mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 5 ATM (50 metres).
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date; second time-zone indicator, alarm function
- Movement: Calibre 519F/1; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 36 jewels; power reserve = 45 hours
- Strap: Brown alligator leather strap with folding clasp
- Price: £30,700 (RRP as at 2.10.2018)