Breitling is known around the world for its high quality aviation watches, helping flying enthusiasts tell the time while flying through the skies. Its Navitimer in particular is famous among watch lovers.
But there’s more to this independent Swiss brand than flying. Breitling also offers a popular range of diving watches that marry ruggedness and functionality with the perfect amount of class. If you want a diving watch that immediately says “high seas”, but is still versatile enough for everyday wear, a Breitling Superocean 42 could be for you.
The new Superocean 42 is the perfect example of why Breitling diving watches are so well liked. With its simple, classic aesthetic, and its callbacks to Breitling heritage Superocean Slow Motion, this is a watch that honours its history.
Let’s go back for a moment to the 1950s. Scuba Diving was getting increasingly popular. Diving enthusiasts and those new to the sport were excited to dive beneath the waves without the restriction of being connected to a surface air supply. The freedom to swim among marine life and explore under your own steam was highly appealing.
But for a sport like that, you need a watch that’s up to the task. Timing matters when you’re diving, and especially when you’re diving with your own air supply. Enter Breitling.
Their high calibre diving watches were instantly popular thanks to their reliability, clean design, and high underwater visibility.
The new Superocean 42mm captures all the power and personality of those original watches, redesigned for the modern wearer.
To appreciate the history of the Superocean, we have to go further back. Back all the way to 1884, in fact, when Léon Breitling set up his first watch workshop in the picturesque Jura Mountains of Switzerland. Switzerland has long been associated with precision timepieces, and Breitling is a huge part of that.
It was a different time. It wasn’t long since the first successful flight in world history, and flying in those days was very different. There were no modern instruments or safety precautions. Pilots needed a watch they could rely on down to the last second, with chronograph features that supported their airborne adventures.
Breitling offered them exactly that. The company made such strides in chronograph creation, that they advanced the watch making industry with their discoveries and innovations.
After the First World War, Breitling (now under the command of Willy, Léon’s grandson) continued to build its reputation as one of the top aviation watch makers in the world. Before long, it would also claim the crown of one of the most sought after diving watch manufacturers, too.
Breitling created the Superocean in 1957. It took on all the big name rivals of the time, such as Rolex and Omega, with a water resistance of 200m.
When Breitling developed the Slow Motion calibre to allow divers to more easily read the duration of their dive, it cemented its place as an innovator.
Today’s Superocean retains the most popular features of the Slow Motion:
- Ceramic bezel inlay
- Chunky indexes
- Luminescent indexes and hands
- Statement minutes track
While updating it to appeal to the modern wearer.
Make no mistake, this is a serious looking watch. The combination of pitch black face with brushed stainless steel bezel looks, quite honestly, fantastic. The black face boasts a minute track wrapped around it, for the ultimate in precision timekeeping.
The ceramic inlay and chunky white indexes complete a look that’s thoroughly modern while still celebrating this watch’s long heritage. And the bezel is scratch resistant and protected by a cambered sapphire crystal that has anti-reflective treatment on both sides.
The Breitling Superocean 42 also features broad hands, with both hands and indexes coated in Super-Luminova. Even in the depths of the sea, you’ll be able to tell the time easily. The second hand has a distinctive red tip, and the splash of colour contrasts beautifully with the black face.
The rubber strap looks sporty and absolutely calls to mind deep sea adventures, and it’s practical, too. It has a folding clasp that lets you make micro-adjustments. Whether you want to wear it under a shirt cuff or over a wetsuit, you can tweak the fit to get it just right.
The design calls to mind the Slow Motion, with a particularly strong nod to that heritage watch in the Superocean 42 mm’s unusual square minute hand.
Features and Specs
Here on Watch Winner we know what really makes a watch goes far below the surface. The features and specs make all the difference between a so-so watch, and one you would be happy to get on a waitlist to own. And the Breitling Superocean 42 does not disappoint. Features include:
- Water resistant to 300m (1000ft) which makes it suitable for almost any diving adventure you can imagine.
- Shock, sand, and saltwater-resistant so you can enjoy the ocean and beach without worrying about damaging your watch.
- A 38 hour power reserve so even if you don’t wear it for a day, you don’t have to worry about it losing time.
- Powered by a Breitling Calibre 17 movement that’s more than robust enough for the most active lifestyle.
- Uni-directional bezel for added safety
- A screw in crown and screw down case back with a beautiful steel finish.
One of the things we love about the Superocean 42mm is its wearability. The brushed and polished steel finish give it a sporty look and a good, weighty feel that make this watch substantial and reliable.
Yet the 42mm case stops the Superocean tipping over into being too chunky, or only suiting a small number of wearers. It’s versatile enough to wear with almost any type of clothing, from diving gear to your best suit, while still looking good enough to pair beautifully with short sleeves in summer weather. Even the crown guards seem designed to fit well with your clothes, and keep the watch from being too chunky.
The rubber strap and steel case combine to create a watch that’s resistant to wear, tear, and scratches. Not to mention that the rubber strap is sturdy enough to support the bezel, while still providing a good comfortable fit. This is a watch you can wear all day every day if you want to.
The Breitling Superocean has a long maritime heritage. While the latest model is true to that heritage, it’s also moved beyond its beginnings. This isn’t just a dive watch. It’s a dive watch that’s suitable for swimming, surfing, waterskiing, lounging on the beach, and enjoying a night with friends or a day with the family. It’s a truly versatile model that adds something new and exciting to the existing Breitling line.
One of the things we love about Breitling is their ability to create redesigned watches that look fresh and new while still having a delightful vintage personality. The Superocean 42mm is no different, with an ideal balance between the two.
The Superocean 42mm is technically sound enough to please the most avid collector, and wearable enough to suit hardcore surfers and casual beachgoers alike. It looks wonderful, performs well even under pressure, and promises to one day become a classic just like its predecessors.
The Breitling Superocean 42mm retails for £3,700