The Marine collection, an interpretation of a luxurious yet sporty watch selon Breguet, welcomes the Hora Mundi 5557, a traveller’s watch with an instant time zone jumping mechanism and synchronised date and day/night indications. Displaying a world map on the dial against a guilloché sea of choppy waves, the Hora Mundi is a GMT watch with an ingenious technical twist that lets you switch back and forth between two time zones at the push of a trigger. Launched onboard the Classique ref. 5717 in 2011 and protected by four patents, the Breguet Marine Hora Mundi 5557, in white or rose gold, joins the Marine’s nautical fleet with a practical complication that will delight globetrotters. Thanks to a prodigious memory that calculates the time and date by an intricate system of cams, hammers and an integrated differential, the Hora Mundi might well be one the most complex GMT watches below deck but an easy to handle above.
One pair of hands, two time zones
Most conventional GMT models designate the central hands to indicate local time. Reference time can be displayed using an additional central hours hand linked to a 24-hour scale on the dial or a rotating bezel, and even with subsidiary dials. At first glance, the Hora Mundi seems to be missing a reference time indication. There’s a date window at noon, an aperture for the city discs with 24 cities at 6 o’clock, and even a day/night indicator in a semi-circular aperture at 4 o’clock – but where are the extra GMT hand and the 24-hour scale?
Breguet’s Hora Mundi still relies on the central hands for local time but, and this is a BIG but, they also indicate reference time on demand. And it’s not just the central hands that jump instantly, indicating either reference or local time, but the date window and the day/night indicator also jump. Pretty impressive!
To illustrate the convenience of this complication, let’s say that I am in Madrid and flying to San Francisco and want to let my brother know I will catch a cab at the airport. My watch is set to local Madrid time (11:00 am) with the correct date and day/night indication. To determine the time in San Francisco, I pull out and turn the crown at 8 o’clock until SF appears in the city window. By pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock, the complication automatically makes all the necessary calculations. The central hands will instantaneously jump to San Francisco time (9 hours behind, so 2:00 in the morning and the Moon is out, so not the best time to call). Press the pusher again, and I’m back to Madrid time. But there’s more: not only do the central hands give you reference and local time, but the day/night indicator lets you know if it’s am or pm, and the date will jump backwards or forwards. Naturally, local and reference cities can be switched as many times as necessary to accompany you around the world.
Recognised as an outstanding scientist and technician, Abraham-Louis Breguet became a member of the Bureau des Longitudes by royal decree in 1814. One of the bureau’s roles was to solve astronomical problems related to the determination of longitude at sea. In 1815, King Louis XVIII named Breguet Watchmaker to the Royal Navy. One of the most prestigious titles for a watchmaker of his day, Breguet began producing precision marine chronometers.
Harking back to this particular phase of his career, Breguet launched its first Marine watches in 1990. The collection was revamped from head to toe in 2017 with a hyper-complicated Marine Équation Marchante 5887, a mighty vessel with a perpetual calendar, an equation of time and a tourbillon on board. Since then the collection has grown with a simpler time -and-date model, the Breguet Marine 5517, an unusual Marine Alarme Musical 5547, a Marine Chronographe 5527 and a host of other upgrades, including integrated bracelets. Still a Breguet thoroughbred with fluted casebands, beautiful finishings on the movement and guilloché dials, the Marine collection underscores its sporty nautical character with contemporary shaped cases with central lugs, pennant-shaped 5-minute markers, bold colours ,water-resistance varying from 50 to 100m and luminescent elements on the dial.
The gold base dial features a blue background of engine-turned (hand-guilloché) waves that lap against the shores of the continents with their coastlines outlined with a metallic turquoise border. An additional sapphire plate with metallised meridians covers the continents and hosts the distinctive Roman numerals that are treated with luminescent material. The blue chapter ring with the nautical pennants and dots and the classic Breguet hands are also luminescent, a useful feature for travellers. The pleasing symmetry of the dial is achieved with the arched rectangular date window at noon balanced by the larger arched city window at 6 o’clock. At 4 o’clock is the day/night indicator with a hand-hammered rose gold Sun and rhodium-plated Moon.
In-house Calibre 77F1
Available in white or rose gold, the case has a diameter of 43.9mm and a height of 13.8mm. Like all Marine models, the distinctive rectangular lugs give the watch a contemporary vibe and are brushed to contrast with the polished finishings on the case. The screw-locked crown with guards ensures the 100m water-resistance.
A sapphire crystal porthole on the caseback offers a glimpse of Breguet’s in-house calibre 77F1, an automatic movement powered by the nautical wheel-shaped rotor with the additional patented modules for the instant jump dual time display and the programmable mechanical memory wheel. The balance wheel beats at a frequency of 4Hz/28,800vph, and the escapement is made of silicon to protect it from corrosion and magnetism. Finishings include Côtes de Genève and perlage, in line with Breguet’s traditional Haute Horlogerie standards.
Availability & Price
The Breguet Marine Hora Mundi 5557 can be ordered with a leather strap, a rubber strap or a gold bracelet. Part of the permanent collection, the price of the rose gold model (reference 5555BR/YS/5WV) and the white gold model (reference 5557BB/YS/5WV) is CHF 71,000 on strap.
More information at Breguet.com.