Those after an amazing dive watch might want to look to the Breitling Superocean Heritage. True, it’s only natural that pilot watches may first come to mind when you think of Breitling. The Swiss watchmakers are best known for aviation timepieces and even feature wings in their logo. But they’ve also specialized in undersea pieces for more than half a century. Their dedication to dive watches is no better personified than in the flagship Superocean line. We take a deep dive into an extraordinary timepiece that has impressed watch aficionados for decades.
A Reaction to Omega and Rolex
The history of the Superocean takes us back to the 1950s when dive watches were first in vogue. The Omega Seamaster and Rolex Submariner ruled the niche, both for their rugged good looks and ability to withstand the pressure of deep dives. Breitling knew it had to compete to stay relevant. So in 1957, it debuted the Superocean, a watch which was heralded as water resistant up to 100 meters, doubling the benchmark set by the Seamaster a few years earlier.
Breitling Superocean Heritage
After decades of producing different dive-watch incarnations, Breitling took a trip back to its roots in 2007 with the release of the Superocean Heritage. It was a retro route but never felt like false nostalgia. With the Heritage going for a minimalist style but still feeling modern. Ranging from 38-mm to 46-mm in case size, it never lost sight of its true purpose — a durable dive watch. The Heritage is water resistant up to 200 meters with an easy-grip rotating bezel and it’s a true chronometer.
Now Breitling again takes the Heritage out for a retooled spin, this time as the Breitling Superocean Heritage II. One of the more eye-catching versions is the rose gold and stainless steel model. It is elegantly offset by the sophisticated black of the dial, bezel and Milanese strap. The watch can come off a bit too dressy for a dive watch (of course, most people don’t have a problem with “too elegant”). But as it implies with its name, the watch stays true to the heritage that began in 1957. The bezel’s impact-resistant ceramic inlay, durable domed sapphire crystal and water resistance up to 200 meters.
Since its 2014 debut at Baselworld the Steelfish has been one of the most coveted in the Breitling Superocean line. A true divers’ dive watch, the Steelfish was made for underwater visibility with a formidable unidirectional rotating bezel with rubber-coated indices and numerals. Large Arabic numbers, coated with luminescence, are featured on a dial with a plus-sized day-date window. Beyond the ability to read the watch in extreme conditions, the 44-mm stainless steel case can withstand water pressure up to 500 meters.
Superocean Chronograph M2000 Limited Edition
As you probably guessed from its name, the limited edition M2000 Superocean is water resistant up to 2,000 meters. Of course, that’s kind of a gimmick, since most recreational divers only go about 40 meters tops, and possibly one of the reasons that only 250 pieces were made. But it’s still pretty cool to have a watch this ultra durable. Serious divers will appreciate its large luminescent hands for easy underwater readability and a decompression valve to vent helium. It’s also a watch Batman would be proud to put on his wrist, offered with a black steel case, black dial, black rotating bezel, and black leather strap.
Superocean Automatic 42 Orange Steel
At Baselworld 2019, Breitling rolled out new Superoceans in sizes (and one bold new color) that many did not expect. The case sizes run from a compact 36-mm, to more traditional 42-mm and 46-mm. They even offer a whopping 48-mm for those who want to make a massive statement on their wrists. While most of the shades are pretty much what we’ve come to expect with Superoceans, the Orange Steel received the most attention. Much brasher and flashier than arguably any Breitling Superocean before it. The orange dial with a black bezel makes a striking entrance.
A Glittery Diamond Breitling Superocean
There’s a good reason “bling” and “dive watch” are rarely uttered in the same sentence. They hail from two different worlds. One is for land and the other sea, and so the two would hardly even meet at a cocktail party. But Breitling dispensed with conventional thinking with its Diamond Breitling A13340 Superocean Stainless Steel. One of the most popular in the Superocean line, a diamond-beset bezel with a stainless steel case creates a stunning impression. Worn by men and women with equal enthusiasm, it’s an eye-popping accessory to nearly any outfit.
Breitling Superocean Conclusion
So sure, you can still consider classic dive watches such as the Rolex Deepsea or Tudor Black Bay Heritage. They are some fine pieces with history and heritage of their own. Now you just might think of a Breitling Superocean for the next time you take a deep dive into the blue sea.