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Thread: Breguet Marine 5817 Big Date - Review with pics!

  1. #1
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    Dec 2014

    Breguet Marine 5817 Big Date - Review with pics!

    The Breguet 5817 Marine is a watch that I have desired for quite a while. Its flitted about near the top of my wishlist for a few years now and I recently got the chance to pick one up on the secondary market for an excellent price. The watch, an early model from 2004, is itself is in very good condition with mostly the expected hairline scratches on the case. The clasp on the other hand has some rather more noticeable scratches but that doesn’t bother me.

    I’ve now had the watch for about 3 weeks and so I’ll try to put across some thoughts though mostly this is about the pictures

    Vital stats

    Case: 39mm, stainless steel
    Thickness: 11.82mm
    Water Resistance: 100m
    Indications: Hours, Minutes, Central seconds, Big date
    Power reserve: 65 hours
    Rate: 4hz (28,800 bph)

    The Marine has a 39mm stainless steel case which may surprise some as it wears larger than that figure might suggest. Key to this are the rather large and aggressive lugs.

    The overall design of the watch combines cues from classical Breguet dress watches with more sporting elements. For some people the effect is neither here nor there. However, fans of this watch such as myself find it to be a superb combination that creates a casual sports watch appropriate for daily wear but with a great deal of flexibility. I think smart casual is an ideal word to describe the watch on bracelet or rubber although on a leather strap it could easily be taken for a purpose built dress watch. In usage situations it probably overlaps the most with my 116520 Daytona.

    I have always loved the detailing on Breguet cases and the Marine does not disappoint. The case is polished on all surfaces and features a double stepped bezel. The sides are fluted in the traditional Breguet fashion. It should be noted that the fluting is created by cold rolling onto the case before finishing by hand.

    The crown screw in crown is signed with the B from the logo and protected by two interesting curved crown guards. The watch is rated to 100m of water resistance.

    The crystal is uncoated but slightly domed which helps reduce reflections somewhat. It tops off the watch at a reasonable 11.82mm thickness.

    The previous owner had it on a dark brown leather strap which did not suit the watch at all IMO. I switched it to the original black rubber strap (which was included). I think I will try to get the navy blue rubber strap which was originally made for the blue dial version as the dark blue should be a nice complement to the blued steel hands and markers

    The strap is secured with a deployant clasp which itself is adjusted with an oversized tang and buckle and two large steel loops. Again I suspect this will evoke mixed feelings but I quite like it.

    As with other Breguet watches the strap is held by a screwed bar instead of a spring bar. It’s secure yes, but a pain to change straps it looks like. It took the dealer a good few minutes to switch the strap from the leather to rubber (although that included changing over the buckle hardware as well). If that were not the case I might consider the bracelet as option.

    The lugs are welded onto the case and are quite large. However since they are shaped to fit the wrist, it is not a problem for me. On the wrist, it wears extremely comfortably and is a good fit for my 6.7inch wrists.

    And now on to the star feature of the watch… the dial. Breguet’s dials are made of solid gold and engine turned by hand on a rose lathe before being silvered.

    Unlike most Breguet watches which utilise a few different guilloche pattern, the 5817 features only one. However this one pattern is a beautiful and mesmerising wavy spiral that plays with the light in many interesting ways. I am not kidding when I saw that I am regularly distracted by the dial when I am wearing this watch as I catch myself just staring and moving it around in the light

    The chapter ring is stepped and detailed with circular brushing. The hour markers are applied Roman numerals and heat blued. The minute markers are on an outer track and include subtle luminous markers on the hours.

    The hands are of course open tipped Breguet hands, a signature so closely associated with the brand that it’s on the logo not to mention that even other watchmakers refer to them as such. In the case of the Marine, the open tips are actually filled with lume and are of course heat blued to match the hour numerals.

    The big date is integrated into the chapter ring very nicely. The windows are nicely detailed and its placement means it does not disrupt the beauty of the centre of the dial. Thus the date is both highly legible and out of the way when not needed. The switchover is instantaneous at midnight.

    Watch centric instagram: @tempocalypse

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  3. #2
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    The watch is powered by the Breguet 517GG movement which is Breguet’s version of the Frederic Piguet 1150. The 1150 is these days more closely associated with sister company Blancpain.

    The movement is an ultra thin full rotor automatic movement with 65 hours of power reserve from double barrels. Breguet increased the beat from 3hz to 4hz for their version; the Blancpain versions deliver 100 hours with 3hz. Introduced in 2004, it unfortunately does not have the latest Breguet tech such as the silicon hairspring and escape wheel nor does it feature a free sprung balance (it is regulated by a Triovis fine adjuster). The date can be quick set from the crown but the movement does not hack.

    The movement is however one of the more attractive full rotor automatics I’ve seen. The bridges are very shapely although the rotor obscures half of it at any given time (waving the watch lightly and letting the rotor spin freely gives a nice view though).

    This picture of the Blancpain manual winding version of the movement shows the architecture quite nicely. The pic is from an article by Walt Odets on Time Zone and is worth a read.

    When it comes to the finish my main frame of reference is the Glashütte Original Panograph, which is admittedly a more expensive manual wind chronograph.

    A fuller examination of the GO movement can be seen here

    Compared with the straight 45 degree cut anglage of the GO the Breguet edges are curved from top to bottom and more highly polished. The edges of the bridges are a delight to behold and gleam with a bright polish. There are a couple of sharp exterior angles but no sharp inward angles.

    The screws are black polished and counter sunk (again with nice polishing on the sinks), however I noted that the inner slot of the screws are not beveled while on the Panograph they are bevelled and polished.

    Edit: correction, that only seems to be the case with the screw below which seems to be holding the second barrel. I'll take a closer look at the others.

    edit 2: Ok I haven't been able to determine if the other screws are bevelled on the inner slot either. I am getting some reflections off the edges but my loupe is not powerful enough to be sure and I have reached the resolution limit of my lens and camera. Perhaps if I get the new 1:1 Ziess 50/2.8 macro I can find out. In the endit is not of major consequence, but it has piqued my curiosity to find out. If the inner edges are indeed beveled then there are smaller than the ones on the Panograph on which it was easier to determine.

    The gold rotor is decorated with engine turned guilloche like the dial and is shaped like a nautilus shell in keeping with the marine theme (did Patek miss a trick here?)

    The plates of the movement are decorated in geneva stripes while the regulator is brushed and the mainspring barrels have a radial pattern.

    I would be curious to compare the movement up close with something like the AP 15400 movement. In any case I believe it to be well finished although nowhere near as spectacular in overall terms as the Panograph (anglage notwithstanding, The Panograph has more flair and uses more techniques including extensive black polishing of steel parts ). Just as importantly, it simply looks good through the caseback.

    A thorough look at the Panograph movement for comparison can be seen here:

    I have not conducted substantial accuracy tests but average rate over the course of daily wear on the wrist has consistently been between 1.5 and 6 seconds per day which is pretty good.

    In conclusion I can say I am very satisfied with the Marine. It looks great on the wrist and is a no fuss and supremely comfortable daily wear. It is both refined and rugged and it has that Breguet style to boot.

    Thanks for reading and viewing!

    Next to my father's 7337

    Watch centric instagram: @tempocalypse

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