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, you can surf with it, swim with it, hit the beach bar with it.
To create this early SuperOcean, Breitling’s designers eliminated any superfluous features that didn’t support the lifesaving needs of divers underwater. Breitling eliminated 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.
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Today, Breitling 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, a keen eye will spot several design nods to the original.
The collection was unveiled at the Wheels & Waves surf-and-motorcycle festival in Biarritz. 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 that is 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. It has a water resistance of 300 meters and broad hands and indexes coated in Super-LumiNova® for exceptional readability underwater. Its scratch proof ceramic-inlay bezel means it will never wear or fade. For safety purposes, the bezel is unidirectional on most sizes and bidirectional with a patented lock on the 46 mm.
Inside the case, this watch is powered by the automatic Breitling Caliber 17 that comes with a two-year warranty and an approximate 38-hour power reserve. 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 colors depending on whether the minutes-based chronograph was engaged, paused, or off.
The Breitling Surfer Squad, made up of Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, and Sally Fitzgibbons, is back as the faces behind the new Superocean collection. The watch 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 color scheme is inspired by a watch Slater’s dad used to wear while surfing.
There’s something for everyone in the new Superocean. Collectors will recognize the strong influence of the Slow Motion, water sports enthusiasts will appreciate its technical features, and the style conscious will gravitate towards its day-to-night, beach-to-boardroom versatility. The new Superocean perfectly balances the nostalgia of its heritage while making fresh new waves.