For the 60th anniversary of the Superocean dive watch collection, Swiss watchmaker Breitling debuted a model refresh at Baselworld 2017.
Originally produced in 1957 the Superocean Héritage II Diver is an evolution of the most recent collection, that takes design cues from 1950s model, and which most notably, is now powered by a new movement sourced from none other than Rolex owned competitor Tudor.
Referred to as manufacture caliber B20, the new automatic movement is derived from Tudor’s caliber MT5612.
Running at 4Hz, the COSC-certified, 28 jewel movement has a 70-hour power reserve and has been finished to Breitling’s standards so it is slightly different inside. Although, there is a solid caseback preventing a view into the mechanical workings. Nevertheless, (Tudor + Breitling) is an interesting partnership that is beneficial to the customer, considering the version I of the Superocean Héritage, that we previously wrote about, is powered by an ETA caliber, this is a significant upgrade.
Additionally, the dial has been slightly reworked to accommodate a date display at 6 o’clock, versus the previous 3 o’clock location. Other than that the only other noticeable design changes are the addition of a 12 o’clock luminous bezel marker and the large sword-shaped minute hand that replaces a baton-shaped minutes hand.
Apart from a few other changes, the aesthetic and dimensions The sturdy steel case with its screw-locked crown is water-resistant to 200 m (660 ft). The fluted unidirectional rotating bezel, bearing a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock, is fitted with a 120-tooth system enabling extremely accurate adjustment and very smooth rotation – whether it comes to checking a dive time or marking off various time measurements, notably in aviation.
The Superocean Héritage II still comes in both 42 and 46 mm versions, and a variety of dial/bezel colorways, including Volcano Black, Gun Blue, Stratus Silver, Copperhead Bronze. Water-resistance is 200 meters.
As far as straps and bracelets, Breitling offers the option of leather, crocodile leather, rubber Aero Classic or Ocean Racer, rubber-leather/Ocean Classic, and Milanese mesh.
There is also a Superocean Héritage II Chronograph available in a 46 mm diameter case that has the new bezel dot at 12 and the sword-shaped minute hand, but inside, disappointing, the movement is still an ETA.
Retail pricing on the Breitling Superocean Heritage II starts at $4,075 on a rubber strap, $4,500 on leather, and $4,700 on a steel bracelet. The Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 46 will retail for $5,415 on a rubber strap, $5,840 on leather, and $6,040 on a steel bracelet.
Despite receiving a new manufacture movement, the price of existing Superocean Heritage model compared to the new version has not gone up significantly. This is a good thing. And while it is nice that there are two sizes for the three-hand Superocean, we would have loved to see Breitling shrink the 42 mm down a bit in size. Although, their marketing seems to focus on almost entirely on larger timepieces made for larger wrists.
As for the chronograph, which is available in one size, and with the same ETA caliber as before, there are not a lot of compelling reasons to buy. The three-hand versions are clearly the highlight here.
Learn more at Breitling.