Breitling’s iconic Superocean was first inspired by deep-sea diving, but even non-divers will be able to appreciate the Swiss company’s latest take.
The new version harkens back to the Superocean Slow Motion from the 60s and 70s, when scuba started rising in popularity. Back then, Breitling eliminated a number of features that divers didn’t need and added some that they did. Among those were a high-contrast dial ring and luminescent batons that made the watch easier to read when underwater. And the second hand was replaced with a minutes-based chronograph, which is where the “Slow Motion” name came from, since it took an hour to make a full rotation of the dial.
“There’s a certain sameness to the look of most dive watches, but the Slow Motion always stood out from the crowd,” Georges Kern, the CEO of Breitling, said in a statement.
Available in four sizes ranging from 36 mm to 46 mm, the current, more modern Superocean retains many of those additions (the high-contrast minute scale, the square minute hand) but brings back the second hand. And it has some fun with colour: The steel, bronze, and steel-and-gold options come with dials that call to mind the ocean, featuring pops of white, orange, turquoise, black, blue and green.
If you’re actually going to take your Superocean for a dive, it’s water-resistant to 1,000 feet and is also shock-, sand- and saltwater-resistant. Additionally, the rubber strap or metal bracelet can be adjusted up to 15 mm so that it can be worn over a rash guard or dive suit. Of course, there are also features that will appeal to the landlubbers among us. The automatic Caliber 17 movement has a 38-hour power reserve, and the 42 mm and 44 mm bronze editions have a corrosion-resistant alloy that will develop a subtle patina over time.
All of this makes for a decent divewatch. But if you’re looking for something really special, the surfer Kelly Slater has partnered with Breitling to make his own version of the Superocean, an orange and green piece that’s being limited to 1,000 pieces.
“I’ve been co-creating watches with Breitling for the past few years, but this one, in particular, is very personal,” Slater said. “It’s inspired by my late father, who had a watch with an orange face that he used to wear surfing for as long as I can remember. The green and orange together is a colour scheme I used to like for the airbrushes on my boards growing up. That combination has always stuck with me.”
The new Breitling Superoceans are on sale now, with prices ranging from US$4,600 to US$6,700 (about RM20,400 to RM30,000). Dive in to the collection on their website.
Previously published on Robb Report.