Released in 2017 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Breitling‘s first Superocean dive watch, the Breitling Superocean Héritage II has become, according to new CEO Georges Kern, one of the top-selling stars in the company’s largely aviation-inspired lineup. Thus it should come as no surprise that among Breitling’s Baselworld 2018 offerings were a host of new Superocean Héritage II models in new 44-mm cases. Here we take a closer look at the new three-hand automatic and two new automatic chronograph series debuting this year.
First up, the model that Breitling calls the “flagship” of the Superocean Héritage II collection, the Superocean Héritage II B01 Chronograph 44, which is powered by the Breitling in-house Caliber B01, a COSC chronometer-certified chronograph movement with a 70-hour power reserve. Three versions are available, all in stainless steel cases, one with a black dial and a black “Aero Classic” rubber strap (which calls to mind a Milanese-style bracelet); another with a blue dial and an Ocean Classic steel bracelet (which is essentially a type of Milanese bracelet); and a “Panda” dial, silver with black subdials, also on a rubber Aero Classic strap. As per Kern’s new design edict for Breitling chronographs, the dial has a tricompax arrangement with subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and a date window at 4:30, and the movement is visible through a sapphire caseback.
In subtle contrast to the B01 models, the Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 feature a 12-9-6 subdial configuration and a 3 o’clock date window. These contain the self-winding Breitling Caliber 13, built on an outsourced ETA 7750 base movement and hence, again as per the new design policy, ensconced behind a solid steel caseback rather than on display through a clear window. Caliber 13 is no slouch in the reliability and robustness areas either, however, with a COSC chronometer certification, an integrated chronograph function, and a 42-hour power reserve. Two stainless-steel-cased versions of this chronograph are available — one with a black dial and steel bracelet, the other with a blue dial and a rubber strap — along with one two-tone steel-and-rose gold model, with a black dial and bracelet.
Finally, for those seeking a simpler, classical dive-watch look, Breitling is offering the Superocean Héritage II B20 Automatic 44, a three-handed timekeeper with a date window at 6 o’clock. Here also available in two stainless steel references and one in steel-and-gold, the watches are powered by Breitling’s Caliber B20, which is based on the Tudor Caliber MT5612 (itself based on the Breitling B01; yes, I know it’s a bit confusing), which it developed in partnership with the Rolex-owned Tudor brand. This automatic, COSC certified movement offers a 70-hour power reserve and ticks away under a solid steel caseback. The all-steel models have either a black dial with rubber strap or blue dial with steel bracelet, while the two-tone model pairs the black dial with the bracelet. Breitling also revealed that the latter model will also be offered in a 42-mm case size.
The Breitling SuperOcean Heritage II B01 Chronograph 44 is a lovely watch. The 44mm size is a proper size for many wrists and could fit even a smaller wrist. Even a lady can consider it a statement for an active life. The watch feels good on the wrist with a slight weightier wear. Those used to only quartz and/or carbon/titanium watches might find it on the heavy side at first. The ones used to having a solid automatic chronograph steel watch will find the SuperOcean B01 lovely, the extra bracelet weight giving a feeling of assurance and robustness.
The pushers are easy to use. The initial stuttering in the video was caused by the author’s incertitude by handling through camera viewer. The chrono pushers respond well, creating a robust feel without effort.
While not a dress watch, the Breitling SuperOcean B01 still boosts enough comfort and confidence for a daily use. In these times, where etiquette is more casual and relaxed, the piece can be a good conversation starter even on a business attire. But the watch requests and deserves action, beach or cold mountain lakes. It deserves adventure.