BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
While the entire watch community seems to be losing the plot over Swatch’s partnership with itself, the other end of the Swatch Group’s spectrum has also been hard at work releasing new watches. For 2022, Breguet releases a new iteration of the Marine called the Marine Hora Mundi ref. 5557.
Breguet’s been making the Classique Hora Mundi for years. It’s one of their finest watches, in my opinion, with a super smooth pusher. Unlike most watchmakers at this level, Breguet doesn’t make a world timer watch. The closest they have is the Hora Mundi. Once you’ve set the home time, you can choose an away time from the city ring. Pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock instantly switches the time between the home time and the time you chose to be the away time. Both versions come with a blue dial that has the latitude and longitude lines of the Earth exploding outwards from the North Pole, which in this case is home to the date. This date, and the moonphase subtly placed at 4 o’clock, adjusts as well when pressing the pusher, displaying the correct date and moonphase for wherever you happen to be. Are you going somewhere else? Just re-adjust the away time, and the watch will do the rest.
As far as I can remember, the new Marine Hora Mundi is the first time the Hora Mundi complication has been put in something other than a Classique watch, and it looks stunning. Presented in a 43.9mm x 13.8mm case, you can order it in either 18k rose or white gold. Both models feature a blue rubber strap to match the blue dial, which is composed of a blue guilloché base with the wave motif, then a layer of sapphire is placed over that to show the map of the globe along with those lines I mentioned earlier. The watch is water-resistant to 100m, and if you don’t like a rubber strap, then leather and a gold bracelet will be available.
One quirk of this watch is the lack of Australia and New Zealand, the space for which has been taken by the moonphase. The Classique Hora Mundi had a map on the dial too, but this was different depending on where you bought the watch. For example, buying one from Breguet’s boutique in Bond Street, London, got you a representation of Europe, but if you purchased from Breguet’s Ginza boutique in Tokyo, the map dial would look different.
I’m not sure if Breguet is doing a different watch for those in the southern hemisphere. I do like that the moon’s colour in the moonphase is different depending on whether you have the white or rose gold watch.
Powering the watch is the calibre 77F1, a self-winding movement with a 4Hz beat rate and 55-hour power reserve. One thing I miss from the new Breguet Marines is the guilloché rotor shaped like a Nautilus. Sure, this boat steering wheel design is more nautical to the uninitiated, but I liked the way it looked. Still, this movement doesn’t miss out on attention to detail and receives some of the best finishing around outside of super-low production watches. It’s a shame that Breguet doesn’t reveal more of the hammers and differentials used to make the Hora Mundi work; perhaps there’s just not much to see.
The price for the brand new Marine Hora Mundi 5557 is CHF 71,000. Visit Breguet here.