Breitling has just launched a redesign of its sporty sea watch. The new collection retraces the pared-down aesthetic of the original SuperOcean Slow Motion from the 1960s and 1970s while adding modern features and a bright palette of color. Plus, it’s no longer strictly a dive watch—surf with it, swim with it, hit the beach bar with it.
In the 1960s, the emerging sport of scuba diving was all the rage, inspired by the adventures of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. In diving, the timing was everything—measured almost exclusively in minutes—and Breitling wanted to not only provide the best tool watch for the task but to give it a sense of style.
To create this early SuperOcean, Breitling’s designers eliminated any superfluous features that didn’t support the lifesaving needs of divers underwater. A high-contrast dial ring was introduced to the crucial minute’s scale. Out went subtle indexes in favor of chunky luminescent batons for easy readability. And, in the boldest move of all, Breitling did away with the second hand, since divers … didn’t really need it. In its place came a revolutionary minutes-based chronograph, dubbed the “Slow Motion” because it took an hour to make a full rotation of the dial.
Available in four sizes (46, 44, 42, and 36 mm), the collection’s colorful dials are paired with three different case metals—steel, steel-gold, and bronze. The special alloy used in the 44 and 42-mm bronze versions has excellent resistance to corrosion but will still develop a subtle patina over time that makes the watch even more unique. The two strap options (a sporty rubber strap and a new three-row metal bracelet) have a folding clasp that allows for micro-adjustments of up to 15 mm for easy wear over rashies and dive suits.
Aside from looking good, the new Superocean is also a technical marvel. Water-resistant to 300 m (1000 ft), it features broad hands and indexes coated in Super-LumiNova® that allow for exceptional readability underwater. Its scratchproof ceramic-inlayed bezel means it will never wear or fade. For safety, the bezel is unidirectional on most sizes and bidirectional with a patented lock on the 46 mm. This watch is also shock-, sand-, and saltwater-resistant. Its automatic Breitling Caliber 17 comes with a two-year warranty and an approximately 38-hour power reserve.
Best of all, Slow Motion’s distinctive square minute hand has made a comeback. So has the high-contrast minute scale. Fans will also remember “the dot,” a circular window at 6 o’clock that displayed different colors depending on whether the minutes-based chronograph was engaged, paused, or off. In the new Superocean, a circle near the tip of the second hand gives a wink to that much-loved feature.
2022 Breitling SuperOcean More Information