Last week we posted an article on the new Top Time and it would appear Breitling are not slowing down with new releases. Last week, alongside the announcement of the new Chronomat, they also introduced another limited edition inspired by the iconic SuperOcean. As mentioned before, Breitling were facing something of an identity crisis and something they needed to get to grips with sharpish was reducing the size of the current catalogue of watches. The best way? Introduce new pieces and discontinue out dated models – something which is currently ongoing. While some of their new releases have been greeted with much scepticism, this latest addition has been greeted with more thumbs-up than thumbs-down.
Breitling’s long history in aviation has perhaps overshadowed its venture into the dive watch world in the late 1950s with the superb SuperOcean timepieces. As stated in an advertisement from the late 1950s: “Breitling had the honour of supplying 25 of the world’s leading airlines and aircraft companies. From now on, Breitling offers you the same vital precision under the sea: the new Super Ocean 20 atmos (600 feet) was specially created by Breitling for deep sea exploration and to cater for the fast growing popularity of underwater sports.”
Breitling’s foray into dive watches is lesser known than other legendary dive models from the era including Rolex Submariner, JLC Deep Sea or Blancpain 50 Fathoms just to name a few, the SuperOcean was made in much smaller quantities than any of those famous models from the same period, making it a little known but extremely rare gem – hence finding a vintage Breitling SuperOcean from the early production years is quite a challenge. However, Breitling’s latest re-edition now offers collectors and enthusiasts a chance to own a slice of yesterday with a modern twist.
SUPEROCEAN HERITAGE ‘57
The design of the original SuperOcean was considered quite radical with its large convex bezel indented to protect the large domed crystal and a black dial, accented with dagger shaped luminous markers for all hours other than 12, 3, 6 and 9, and large round luminous markers underneath applied dagger indexes for the latter providing for a visually arresting result.
The new SuperOcean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection is available with two dial options. One has a classic black dial and is presented on a black vintage-inspired leather strap with a pin or folding buckle, while the other has a blue dial and is equipped with a brown vintage-inspired leather strap with a pin or folding buckle. Of course, both are also available with an integrated Ocean Classic stainless-steel bracelet with a butterfly clasp. There is also a two-tone version featuring a bi- directional rotating bezel in 18 k red gold with a black ceramic ring.
Perhaps the standout design of this model is its bidirectional concave stainless-steel bezel with an ultrahard scratch and shock-resistant ceramic bezel ring, with a luminescent dot at the 12 o’clock – an newly added feature as the original piece didn’t make use of this detail. All timepieces form the Breitling SuperOcean Heritage ’57 capsule collection house the Breitling Calibre 10, which is a modified version of the ETA 2892, that offers a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. As expected from Breitling, the movement is COSC-certified.
But wait, there’s more – Breitling is also proud to be launching a watch that makes its own style statement. The SuperOcean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition shares some unmistakable design DNA with its cousins in the Capsule Collection but makes use of a more colourful palate. Of course, the watch makes use of the same 42mm case and steel bezel, however, this piece is all about colour. The dial features splashes of colour marking the hours at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock on the dial. The hour markers and the hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova in a rainbow graduation of yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, red, and orange.
And if that wasn’t enough, it can be matched to what Breitling are calling a vibrant Outerknown ECONYL yarn NATO strap, which is separately available in one of six colour combinations: blue with dark blue stripes and lining, light blue with dark blue stripes and lining, yellow with orange stripes and lining, grey with black stripes and lining, red with black stripes and lining, and green with black stripes and lining.
I’ve always been a fan of the Breitling SuperOcean, the art deco design and layout of the dial draws you in, while the wide concave bezel frames these features. As already mentioned, Breitling seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment, though this latest iteration hasn’t been universally greeted with glee. Could this be down to the 42mm case, which is up some 4mm from the original, or maybe enthusiasts perhaps think this is one too many re-editions – who knows? But I personally think this is a step in the right direction for Breitling as the look to re-establish their identity and I for one can’t wait to see this piece in the metal.
The Breitling SuperOcean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection is available in steel with a classic black dial and is presented on a black vintage-inspired leather strap with a pin or folding buckle, or with a blue dial on a brown vintage-inspired leather strap with a pin or folding buckle. It is also available in a two-tone version featuring a bi- directional rotating bezel in 18 k red gold with a black ceramic ring.
The SuperOcean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition is a boutique watch limited to only 250 pieces. The caseback is engraved with the words “ONE OF 250. For more information on pricing and availability visit breitling.com.