I have been a Breitling fan for a long time. I love the fact that these watches were built for pioneering aviators, not the case today, but it is a slight reminder that the watch was indeed a tool. I have had the privilege to wear and own a couple of watches from the brand but the Breitling Transocean Chronograph stood out for me.
The Breitling Transocean Chronograph line was intended to be the more luxurious Breitling “for the passengers, not the pilot” and you can see that. The case is all polished with a gorgeous bevelling on the lugs, the bracelet is the famous mesh bracelet which is well made and has a substantial clasp. The build quality of the watch is fantastic, it has the fit and finish that you would expect from a luxury watch. The movement in this Breitling Transocean Chronograph is the B01 chronograph movement with a column wheel and a 70-hour power reserve. The movement is well finished, reliable and it is an integrated chronograph. The dial is simply perfect, well balanced, and pays homage to the top time of the ’60s.
The watch is similar to wearing vintage without the hassle that comes with a vintage watch. On the wrist it sits well. I have relatively large wrists so the 43mm case fits well. It is versatile, the watch goes well with casual and semi-formal clothes although the case thickness makes it difficult to wear under a shirt cuff, but overall it is an incredibly versatile watch.
The watch has a water resistance of 100M which makes it ok for swimming but being a chronograph it is not going to be suitable for diving.Overall the watch has impressed me in many ways, the vintage-inspired design, the innovative in-house movement and overall build quality are truly outstanding. I can confidently say that this is one of the best modern Earlier this year, Breitling introduced a new addition to their Transocean collection, the Chronograph 38, a watch that has since received equal parts admiration and admonition. It has been lauded for its lovely symmetrical dial and conservative stature, while being being criticized for having been labeled a ladies watch. After wearing the watch for a week, and having judged its merits free of any gender bias, I believe I can put this controversy to rest.
The Breitling Transocean was first introduced in 1958 in hopes of building on the success of the cult-favorite Navitimer. Breitling went with an understated design and upscale COSC movement for the Transocean, playing nicely into the hands of a post WWII boom and men that we might equate with Don Draper. The slogan for the new watch read: “Men who have faith in the mighty liners of the sky will trust the Transocean, for behind every Breitling wristwatch lies the experience of aviation precision.” And so, the watch was a hit in the new, smaller world enjoying the fruits of transatlantic flight.
In 2010, Breitling Transocean Chronograph saw fit to revive the Transocean in the spirit of the original. Released as a chronograph model, the new Transocean retained the understated design and COSC movement, though this time with the brand’s first foray into the land of manufacture movements, the B01. The size on the other hand, might have left fans of the original a little turned off. At 43mm, the new Transocean Chronograph’s size could be considered average at best within the context of other modern Breitling watches. While the looks and internals certainly make the Transocean Chronograph lust-worthy, they may not be enough for new buyers to forget about the size (43mm) and heft (14.35mm thick).
Breitling’s solution, the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 38, is released 3 years later and is a breath of fresh air to buyers who prefer to stay south of the 40mm border. The design is restrained, just 2 sub dials adorn the dial at 3 and 9 o’clock. The date window moved to 6 o’clock completes the symmetrical dial. A width of 38mm illicits thoughts of “Finally, a new watch sized for a gentleman” from the James May types among us. Then, the tag line hits you: “First class femininity.” It certainly doesn’t look like the stereotypical ladies watch. Where is the mother of pearl, the diamonds, the floral patterns? “It looks like a men’s watch,” you’re thinking. One of the great things about this watch though is that it will challenge any antiquated thoughts you may have of gender specific features.