Set and Ready: A Hands-On Review of the Breitling Superocean Héritage II

Breitling and Tudor made the decision to bundle their expertise in the design and production of mechanical watches even before changes came to the Breitling company. This became clear, not only in interviews with CEO Georges Kern, but as it is expressed by the timepieces themselves. A modified Breitling movement B01 powers Tudor chronographs as its MT5813, and Breitling is now using the in-house Tudor movement MT5612.

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The Breitling Superocean Héritage II is powered by the automatic B20 caliber that came from a collaboration with Tudor. It’s found in the 42-mm stainless-steel and rose-gold three-hand version we tested here.

The Superocean Héritage II is the first watch to use the three-hand movement since 2017, and bears the name B20 in its modified version. Breitling first issued the 42- and 46- mm models in 2017, followed by the launch of a third size at Baselworld 2018 that measures 44 mm, as well as our test watch – the unusual two-tone 42-mm version in stainless steel and rose gold. Black elements on the watch, like the bezel, dial and the Aero Classics rubber strap with its Milanese-style mesh pattern, lend both presence and elegance.

The unidirectional rotating dive bezel is one of the most striking changes Breitling made to the Superocean Héritage II, while taking care to preserve the character of the watch that made its debut in 1957. The rotating bezel contains an ultra-hard high-tech ceramic inlay that resists both scratches and impacts. The gold rim has a finer look than that of its predecessor, though it is still easy to grasp and turn with half-minute ratchets. It seems a bit loose for use as a professional dive watch.

The Tudor-based B20 movement has a very balanced rate and a power reserve of 70 hours.

The bezel lacks a precise minutes track despite the one printed directly next to it on the dial. This would allow for exact setting of the dive time, to the minute. But this shouldn’t be a problem at all for fans of recreational diving, who just happen to be the main target audience of the Superocean Héritage II. And although the gold seconds hand cannot be seen in the dark for a function check (due to a lack of luminous material), the hour and minutes hands are both clearly visible.

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A study in contrasts, rose gold and black draw our gaze, with a new ceramic inlay bezel.

A design featuring unusual shapes – a triangle on the hour hand, a diamond-shaped minutes hand, and slightly conical hour markers – relies heavily on the original Héritage from 1957. The all-important minute hand for diving extends precisely out to touch the dedicated track around the dial circumference. Unfortunately, only eight points are visible under limited lighting conditions – insufficient for professional divers, in any case. The luminous dot on the ceramic bezel stands out alongside the slightly brighter hands, but this alone cannot help determine a precise, to-the-minute calculation of dive time. In daylight conditions the combination of black, white and rose gold creates an easily legible ensemble.

The old Breitling logo – a curvy “B” – in place of the winged letter and stylized anchor, has returned to the dial. (The earlier logo was introduced in 1979 to show equal kinship to flying and diving.) Proof of its status as an officially certified chronometer stands below the brand name.

The lower portion of the dial features the Superocean name in its characteristic font and references its water resistance and “Automatic” watch movement – which, unfortunately, cannot be seen beneath Breitling’s solid threaded caseback.

And it would be a sight to see. In contrast to the original Tudor design, the Breitling B20 is more finely decorated – with Geneva stripes and satin finishes, and two additional jewels. Otherwise, both versions have the same design and features. The balance wheel is stable and supported beneath a bridge, vibrating at a rate of 4 Hz with variable inertia and a silicon hairspring. Fine regulation is adjusted via screws, to a chronometer-certified level, just like the Tudor.

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The angular B20 caseback blocks the view of the B20 movement.

In actual practice, the Superocean Héritage II can do what the COSC certificate promises. It runs smoothly with a gain of about 3 seconds per day with minimal positional differences. At the end of the 70-hour power reserve, the amplitude falls to slightly below 200°, but the rate remains stable at +2 seconds.

The watch is not difficult to rewind if it winds down completely. The large, deeply fluted crown is easy to grasp and release from its screw-down position. Hand winding is smooth. Clear stops indicate the positions for quick-date adjustment and setting the time. The hands can be adjusted without play, and the date advances at midnight. Only slight pressure is needed to screw down the crown into its locked position.

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The folding clasp opens with two deployment buttons. The upper part contains a strap extension.

It’s no simple thing to fit the Aero Classic rubber strap to the wrist. It must be cut to measure and then can no longer be altered. Only the single-sided folding clasp provides an additional 9 mm of variability; a sliding element offers seven different positions for adjusting the strap length, and is simple to use. The polished clasp has two deployant buttons on the side for opening, with a winged “B” making reference to an earlier Breitling era.

Once the rubber strap has been tailor-fit, the Superocean Héritage II sits snugly on the wrist where, despite its case thickness, it doesn’t seem overly heavy, thanks to its contrasting design features – a truly stunning piece for Breitling fans who go diving for fun.


Breitling Superocean Héritage II B20 Automatic 42 Ref. UB2010121B1S1

Functions: Hours, minutes, central sweep seconds, date, unidirectional rotating dive bezel with ratchet feature, screw-down crown

Movement: Breitling B20, automatic, 28,800 vph, 28 jewels, balance ring with variable inertia, silicon hairspring, screw-type fine adjustment, Incabloc shock absorption, 70-hour power reserve, diameter = 30.8 mm, height = 6.50 mm

Case: Stainless steel and 18k rose gold, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, water resistant to 200 m

Strap and clasp: Black rubber Aero Classic with single-sided folding clasp

Rate results:

Deviation in seconds per 24 hours (Fully wound / after 24 hours)

Dial up: +3.3 / +3.6
Dial down: +0.9 / +0.1
Crown up: +4.1 / +4.3
Crown down: +2.2 / +3.2
Crown left: +4.8 / +5.9
Greatest deviation: +3.9 / +5.8
Average deviation: +3.1 / +3.4
Average amplitude flat positions: 294° / 290°
Average amplitude hanging positions: 256° / 247°

Dimensions: Diameter = 42.06 mm, height = 14.31 mm, weight = 144 g

With mesh strap: ($6,040)
Stainless steel with rubber strap: ($4,560)
Stainless steel with mesh strap: ($4,885)

Price: $5,715

No Responses to “Set and Ready: A Hands-On Review of the Breitling Superocean Héritage II”

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  1. A great watch and a good review. If you want to see that movement, buy a non-diver Breitling. No true diver should ever have a see-thru case back.

  2. D. Felten

    I own this watch (in blue). Absolutely love it. Beautifully balanced and accurate, although not a serious “diving” watch per se as you mentioned in your review. Certainly a favorite in my collection!

  3. Ron Schleufer

    I have owned my Breitling Heritage 42 for less than a year. I have never had so many compliments on a watch. Had four servers at a restaurant gathered around commenting on it’s striking beauty. It is accurate and easy to set. I am so impressed with the 70 hour power reserve and fit/ finish. Love the mesh, Aero Classic strap.

    • Sounds very nice. Which colour did you you opt for? The blue or another. Thanks

  4. Art Spanjer

    Sorry to hear so many negatives on this watch. I have an appointment to view one in person this week. The reviewer mentions the blue band must be custom cut. Highly appreciate him pointing this out since my wrist size is large. I hope everyone finds satisfaction in their next steps. Cheers!

  5. Beware if buying a superocean. The crown deteriorated and it was supposedly repaired under warranty. The exact same thing happened a year later out of warranty and to fix the problem properly they now claim the whole body needs to be replaced. Why they did not do that under warranty I’m not sure. Hence a 2000 euro repair bill. Regardless I will never purchase another Breitling again and I suggest everyone seriously reconsidèrs buying one.

  6. John MOSIELLO

    The watch looks nice but how is the purchasing gonna be because I try to get the special edition rainbow and I was very upset that it was sold out during this coronavirus I thought it was being shipped to dealers and it wasn’t I can’t right now as to where and I’m very upset that I did not get the rainbow

  7. Bob Sullivan

    update I bought this stunner about six months ago. The only issue I have with it is it barely makes us chronometer rating. This is a disappointment. I currently tolerate it because it’s not my daily wearer. But rest assured as soon as this bug crisis is over its going back for adjustment.

  8. Jerry Hom

    I really like this latest version of the SuperOcean Heritage model! I own an older Heritage chrono perhaps with an ETA movement in addition to quite a few other Breitling watches all Cosc certified but have found the timekeeping to be truly accurate only after servicing and timing by Breitling watchmakers. Such has not been the case with my recent Tudor BB watches which keep terrific time from the factory. Breitling needs to compete better if they seek to be relevant in today’s marketplace!

  9. Mike Goch

    The hairspring IS NOT silicon and they do use the cheaper spring in the B20 movement.A very sorry downgrade in a watch at this price point. My personal SO2 is going to be enroute back to Breitling for the THIRD time in 2 years for accuracy issue(running fast @ +14 per day) This Breitling has been a sad disappointment and will be exiled from my collection upon it’s return from Breitling this time.

  10. Andrew Gerfin

    This watch is exactly what I’ve been wanting for quite some time. Truly BEAUTIFUL. Thanks Breitling

  11. Bob Sullivan

    I am not sure your review is right on the silicon hairspring. I believe Brietling swaps it out for. cheaper one that is not antimagnetic. Can you or anyone out there clear this up

  12. Peter Brown

    I would never buy a Breitling with a Tudor movement. In fact I would never buy any Breitling because of this. It cheapens the brand.

  13. I own a Breitling 46 mm Super Ocean Heritage II with the mesh bracelet and I love this watch. I also own a 10- year old Rolex Submariner. I wear the Sub for dress occasions and the Breitling for day.

  14. The Superocean Heritage line has always had the curvy “B”, not the winged “B”

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