With Patek Philippe and Rolex appearing to collectively cede their release calendar for the first half of 2020 due to the Covid crisis that unfolded at the beginning of the year, and Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet focusing on collections outside their Overseas and Royal Oak staples, there’s an interesting arms race heating up in the highest echelons of luxury watchmakers who are looking to close the gap with ambitious and youthful new luxury-sport crossovers of their own. Joining the fray this summer is Breguet, which has just updated a trio of precious metal references from the sporty and modern Marine line with solid-gold integrated bracelets.
As the Swatch Group’s premiere prestige brand, Breguet already had a bracelet for the Marine (read Ariel’s hands-on impressions of the grey-dialed titanium variant right here), and all three of these references were already available cased in white or pink gold, but they were also only available on leather or rubber straps. It’s a good move for Breguet to not just stay relevant in the conversation, but to continue to push the envelope with precious metal offerings of its own that can compete directly with the kind of integrated bracelet mastery we’re used to seeing from categorical mainstays like the Royal Oak.
Just as Breguet did with the titanium reference from 2018, the finishing on the new bracelet is exceptional – with slightly chamfered & polished outer edges and a gorgeous alternating satin-brushed and polished surface on the top of each screwed link. The end result is a sumptuous, mostly-brushed appearance that only calls attention to itself at certain viewing angles. There are three options now available on the impressively finished three-link gold bracelet: ref. 5517BB/Y2/BZ0, which is the “standard” 40mm three-hand variant exhibiting a blue engine-turned wave motif dial, and whose case is rendered in white gold and fitted to the new bracelet. This three-hander is also available in rose gold, on a rose gold bracelet, which is ref. 5517BR/12/RZ0. Things get a little more complicated with the upsized 42mm blue Marine Chronograph ref. 5527BB/Y2/BW0 (which is also available in a rose gold ref. 5527BR/12/RW0), and then max out at the top of the range with the 40mm Marine Alarme Musicale — a high-complication available in both white (ref. 5547BB/Y2/BZ0) or rose gold (ref. 5547BR/12/RZ0).
With the exception of the alarm variant, the new gold Marine references are still water-resistant to 100 meters, just like the non-precious metal versions. Pricing starts at $49,100 for the three-hand references and jumps to $56,300 for the chronograph and $60,300 for the minute repeater. For more information, head over to breguet.com.