Breitlings Iconic SuperOcean Diver Gets A Modern Makeover

In the 1960s, the emerging sport of scuba diving was all the rage for anyone who could afford the kit, thanks to the inspirational tales of one of the best-known adventures of the ocean, explorer Jacques Cousteau. In diving, timing was everything and measured almost exclusively in minutes, 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 favour of chunky luminescent batons for easy readability and, in the boldest move of all, Breitling did away with the second’s hand, since the diver 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. Today then, Breitling has launched a new Superocean that goes back to the Slow Motion’s simplified tool-watch philosophy, and while the collection has been revised to meet the needs of modern wearers (the seconds hand was, of course, a must), a keen eye will spot several design nods to the original. Available in four sizes a 46, 44, 42, and 36 mm, the collection’s colourful dials are paired with three different case metals of steel, steel-gold, and bronze. The special alloy used in the 44mm and 42mm 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 15mm for easy wear over rashies and dive suits. Aside from looking exquisite, the new Superocean is also a technical master. Water-resistant to 300m, it features broad hands and indexes coated in Super-LumiNova® that allow for exceptional readability underwater. Its scratchproof ceramic-inlaid 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. Best of all, the 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 colours 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. To finish the assortment includes the special-edition Superocean Automatic 42 Kelly Slater. Co-designed with the surf champion and limited to 1000 pieces, the watch features an eye-popping orange dial and a military-green rubber strap. The colour scheme is inspired by a watch Slater’s dad used to wear surfing. From £3,650.00, Available Breitling.com


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