back to top

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Of the new crop of Breguet Marine watches, this simple three-hand Marine 5517 in titanium is my favorite option (here as the ref. 5517TI/G2/TZ0 with the matching bracelet). aBlogtoWatch first covered the debut of the Breguet Marine 5517 watch here, and today I go hands-on with this interesting and high-end casual Swiss watch that has a lot of details to discuss.

Breguet recently re-introduced its important Marine collection. The high-end to daily-casual Marine collection was always about marrying Breguet’s rich history of fine watchmaking with the trendiness of a marine-world themed causal sport watch. Between the Marine and the Type XX collection, Breguet has always had the potential to create very good sport watches — when they put their mind to it. The good news is that, moving forward, we have been told that Breguet will still, indeed, focus on sport watches in a bigger way.

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Last year, Breguet debuted the refreshed Marine watch collection with the Marine 5527 Chronograph on a strap (aBlogtoWatch hands-on here). That model is related to this Marine 5517, as it has the same color dial and is part of the same family, but I happen to like the three-hand model more, if only because the dial is more symmetrical in design (the chronograph is “lop-sided,” thanks to one larger subdial).

Breguet’s challenge with the Marine is significant. As the timepiece collector world continues its fascination with other high-end marine-theme watches, such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Vacheron Constantin Overseas, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Breguet Marine isn’t typically part of the same conversation. From a quality and heritage level, it should be. So what is holding the Breguet Marine back? In my opinion, it is partly due to deficient marketing — but more immediately, because the Marine watch isn’t distinctive enough, per se. What do I mean by this? Well, if you see a Royal Oak across the room, you know what it is. Even a semi-trained eye can pick out a Royal Oak in a crowd because of the distinctive shape of the case. Breguet’s problem is that, right now, the Marine doesn’t have that awareness power.

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The easiest way to solve that problem is by making the Marine look very visually distinctive. A more long-term way to handle that challenge is to remind consumers, through an ongoing marketing campaign, what qualities the Breguet Marine has and why it should be regarded any time someone wants a daily-wear luxury lifestyle watch.

Advertisement

In execution, the Breguet Marine 5517 is mostly a wonderful watch. A trained eye will immediately notice a host of fine details the moment the watch is put on the wrist. First and foremost is the incredible light weight of the grade 5 titanium case and bracelet. Breguet machines the titanium so well, and its slightly gray color matches the dial very nicely. At 40mm-wide, the case wears very comfortably, even if it is a bit thicker than the competition at 11.5mm-thick. Case water resistance is good at 100 meters. Little touches such as the gently articulating lugs (for wearing comfort) really do help separate the Marine in a class of its own when it comes to overall engineering effort for all the watch’s parts.

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The bracelet itself has a simple three-link design but is fully of welcome details. Look at the side of the bracelet to notice how most links don’t have screw holes. Rather, Breguet developed a system with a securing mechanism for the links using a screw located on the inside of the bracelet. Also note the fold-over deployant clasp. It might look standard, but Breguet developed an entirely new deployant with elegant pushers that looks and feels very good to operate. All that is missing in the bracelet in my opinion is a micro-adjust system (though I am not sure it would be necessary).

When I first discussed the Marine 5527 Chronograph, I expressed a bit of confusion as to what Breguet was trying to do with the hour markers. They are Roman numerals with filled-in luminant, which makes them a bit difficult to spot for what they are. On the chronograph, they looked a bit more out of place than on the three-hand 5517 version of the Marine. With this cleaner dial, I can, first and foremost, appreciate the lovely hands (even though they still remind me of Baume & Mercier), and finally the hour markers feel a bit more appropriate on the overall design. The dial detailing itself is immaculate, including the beautifully sculpted date window, nicely polished hands, and the sunburst finishing on the anthracite-colored dial which emanates not from the dial center, but from the position of the logo under 12 o’clock.

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One of my favorite case design details is the “wavy” crown guard. The other, of course, is the movement. Hand-finishing on the automatic rotor is a nice hint as to the level of craft Breguet dedicates to its watches. If you put everything on paper, the price of the Breguet Marine makes sense, even if it is certainly premium in its positioning. The movement is the in-house-made Breguet caliber 777A, and it operates at 4Hz (28,800 bp) with 55 hours of power reserve. It features silicon parts for the regulation system, including the balance spring, as well as the escapement. The 179 part movement is wonderfully well-polished and, as I said above, the 18k gold rotor design is just the icing on the cake. Functions for the automatic movement are the time with the date.

For now, if you want a Breguet Marine watch on a bracelet, the titanium models will be the only ones available. This includes this three-hand Breguet Marine 5517, but also the Marine Chronograph and the Marine Alarm. Each come with the same color gray dial and a matching titanium case and bracelet combination. Handsome and comfortable, the Breguet Marine 5517 is a solid daily wear for someone who likes the emotion that donning a Breguet gives them. From an engineering an execution perspective, the newest Marine is a very good product. Breguet will need to invest in the marketing the collection for a while. I hope that they appreciate that it took brands like Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe decades to popularize their competitor watches, and they have the benefit of being able to ride on the Gerald Genta name.

Breguet Marine 5517 Titanium Watch Hands-On Hands-On

To Breguet’s credit, it is probably the most “legitimate” brand when it comes to producing traditional timepieces, and the Marine 5517 is certainly in its own category when it comes to luxury titanium sport watch quality and poise. By further playing with the dial, and perhaps finding ways for the bracelet to look a bit more distinctive, Breguet can easily gain market share where it deserves to in the high-end lifestyle sport watch space. Price for this Breguet Marine 5517 reference 5517TI/G2/TZ0 in titanium on the matching titanium bracelet is $19,900 USD. Learn more at the Breguet website here.

Watch Brands

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 7536261966

  • DanW94

    I don’t think I’ve ever said this about a Breguet watch before, but that thing is fugly.

  • Larry Holmack

    It’s kind of a “Plain Jane” watch….I like the dial…but the rest of the watch doesn’t say…”I spent nearly $20 grand on this watch.”
    It’s a good article…but I think for $20 grand…there are plenty of nicer looking watches out there.

  • dr3

    Was not a fan based on previous photos. In the metal, I must say, it works a great deal better. Even the odd numerals look nice in the real world… It’s just not a photogenic watch.

    • Timestandsstill

      I have to agree. Having recently seen one in the metal it looks much, much better than it photographs. I like it and I’d wear one. When I saw the first press releases I didn’t like it at all.

  • PR

    Those markers are just not high end looking, giving off quite the opposite effect. I really like the white dial previous gen marine and was hoping for a fantastic refresh. But sadly I feel they have ruined the line. Their pricing and market positioning is becoming rather questionable as well off late.

    The 10k ish luxury sports watches bracket has so many very good options with distinctive design and style, going up against the 20k bracket feels like a shot in the foot.

  • Independent_George

    I don’t think any amount of marketing is gonna turn this watch into a hit. Maybe it will do well in certain markets, but I just don’t see this watch having any kind of impact on North American or European collectors of this segment.

    The Royal Oak, the Nautilus, the Overseas, the Laureato, the Octa, all of Breguet’s competitors in the high-end luxury “steel” sports segment offer sleek and modern and balanced designs. This watch doesn’t, it’s a mish-mash of very formal elements — the Roman Numerals and the Breguet handset, the coin-edge case — with modern materials. The bracelet looks to be done right. But the lume on the numerals and handset is a fail. And that trapezoid date window? Well, it is an interesting concept, and maybe it looked cool in drawings and mock-ups, it doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t seem to blend or balance or add or heighten. It just makes me ask why? Why the trapezoid date window? Why the Roman numerals? The lumed handset? Coin-edge case? This watch begs too many questions.

    I remember either Ariel or David, when discussing the Code 11.59, writing something to the effect that when a brand hasn’t designed anything truly innovative, interesting and new in years and/or decades, they lose their design muscle memory, so to speak. A complaint about the Code 11.59 is that it didn’t look like the natural and organic expression of inspired design. Instead, it looked like it was designed off of a checklist prepared by a committee. (ABTW, correct me if I am projecting.)

    This watch also looks like it was designed off of a checklist. The Type 20 Only Watch 2019 is terrific. But Breguet really wasn’t creating anything new, it was incorporating elements from earlier models into a balanced and tasteful whole. I am not sure if Breguet even has the chops to be a real player in this segment. AP, PP, VC, GP and Bulgari are either independent brands or have a very distinct identity and/or pecking order within their corporate hierarchies. Can Breguet really design a worthy Royal Oak/Nautilus/Overseas competitor? Would Swatch even allow it for fear of stepping on the toes and Blancpain and Omega?

  • Flávio Maia

    It´s a 90´s watch…

  • SuperStrapper

    I guess I had another illegal opinion that doesn’t add to the conversation…

    • David Bredan

      What exactly is making you say that?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I’m guessing a comment was pulled.

        • David Bredan

          I was asking SuperStrapper and “exactly.” There are no illegal opinions here (but there are some that we are forced to request to be elaborated on or raised above a certain, let’s be honest, easily greetable standard) and I can’t resist not to take offense to anyone propagating the above on what bar none is the most open comments section in the industry. We were forced to introduce certain basic measures — like someone calling a watch a “miscarriage” (just one of the gems from today) without any meaningful contribution whatsoever will get pulled. Just to give you an idea.
          But don’t let this distract you from the fact that hundreds of negative/critical comments get approved daily, which renders the above guess and comment yet more stale.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            I totally agree. Their is no doubt that vetting messages has hindered any chance of a fluidic conversation but that’s fine. If that’s the lengths you deem appropriate for the site. I do in the main stick to the confines of that decision but at times (mainly late at night ) I may digress.
            I don’t agree that my assumption was stale as SuperSnapper can be “on the edge” at times and has in the passed had some of his comments removed.

            All the best to the ABTW team.

          • David Bredan

            Thank you, Raymond.

  • Gokart Mozart

    I like the colour and the brushed dial, that are modern but the new case shape looks worse. It may look more sporty than the old one but it does not look better.

    Which looks better, new or old? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/579a5dbdec69692504248dccbe6be55d8ad5b18bc6861871470f2df6e937aa10.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0887b1337f9e77a8eec39a7d76abaeda6a81b3f0bbb68fab9637bf9a71ac729f.jpg

    I think the old one just needs the new logo and brushed dial, and a slightly modified numerals so that they can be lumed.

    • Independent_George

      I agree, just lose the big date and the old three hander.

    • spice

      and the bracelet.

    • AlbieC

      I really liked the old ones as they were.

  • Gokart Mozart

    This feels more like an alternative to the Ulysse Nardine marine watches rather than a Genta challenger. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/035a7e97b933eaf30329c6849c4bc44bd677ebe0b316fd82fd0f0cfbc19defb0.jpg

    But the UN is better and a lot cheaper.

    • Independent_George

      Good catch, though I would have paste the blue dial with the bracelet to really drive home the similarities. It does perhaps explain some of the design decisions Breguet made. However, the Breguet still fugly.

  • Mark B

    Love the engineering. Hate the dial and the index markers.

  • FS1900

    I like the numerals. But I guess every village, no matter how small, has a idiot.

    • DanW94

      Where I’m from the villages are chock-full of idiots….

    • Reprobus Marmaritarum

      They say there’s one in every village but honestly, I’ve asked everyone in mine and they’re all real smart.

  • Not a fan of the lumed numerals with the B&M hands. Would also prefer steel over Ti. I think the previous generation was actually much nicer

  • iwantswtortobegood

    Thats disappointing to say the least

  • Joe

    Seems like a great execution but unfortunately this style of watch is not for me.
    If I was a pirate of the Caribbean it might suit me but otherwise I can’t picture a single situation in which I would or could wear this.

    The “serifed” Roman numerals, the abrupt transition from case to lugs, the purposefully asymmetrical crown guards…it simply isn’t to my taste.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Don’t know about Pirates of the Caribbean, but Russell Crowes Master and Commander used breguet watches.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.