Time is a great global unifier but have you ever taken a moment to consider the science behind how it’s measured? The time that you are familiar with is a standardised system that can be followed across the world.
So, when is noon truly noon? The answer is that it depends - there is actually a distinction between what we consider as civil or standard time and solar time.
Since Antiquity, the sun has been used as the basis of time. Nonetheless, the visible motion of the sun is irregular, while watches and clocks display time which each day has the same duration of exactly 24 hours.
True solar time may show a discrepancy with mean solar time ranging from minus 14 minutes to plus 16 minutes. On just four days a year, the two times are exactly the same - April 16, June 14, September 1 and December 25 – Christmas Day.
The watchmakers designed a very elegant and easily readable way to display the solar time on the dial of the wristwatch.
It is a timepiece that displays both the solar time and the standard time simultaneously, through a highly sophisticated mechanical movement and a specially designed differential gearing system. The watch has two separate minute hands, with the solar hand adorned by a facetted golden sun.
The unique wristwatch is just one example of Breguet’s innovative achievements. In 1801, the Swiss watchmaker’s founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, patented his famous tourbillon mechanism, which negates the effects of gravity on movements, improving accuracy. It’s a principal that is used in luxury watches to this day, including the Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante.
In 1815, Breguet was honoured as the official chronometer maker to the French Royal Navy, a role where he was responsible for making it possible for the fleet’s ships to establish their position at sea.
In 1840, a Breguet creation became the first timepiece to reach the Antarctic.
This maritime legacy is reflected in the Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante, with hand-guilloche wave patterns on the dial and a unique hand-crafted engraving of the flagship of the French Royal Navy, visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.
Breguet’s scientific prowess and sense of style meant that the watchmaker’s masterpieces adorned the wrists of some of the most famous figures in history, ranging from Marie Antoinette and Napoléon Bonaparte to Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill.
These uncompromising standards, which attracted some of the world’s most illustrious individuals, remain today and are reflected in the watchmaker’s inimitable Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887.