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 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.
For those fans of the Superocean Héritage to whom the existing 42-mm models are too small and the 46-mm versions too large, these new timepieces may just hit the sweet spot. Like their predecessors, they feature screw-locked crowns ensuring a water-resistance up to 200 meters; Super-LumiNova on the distinctively shaped hands; and a ceramic bezel ring in the smoothly rotating, 120-toothed unidirectional diving bezel. Prices are as follows: $7,665 to $7,990 for the B01 chronographs; $5,915 to $6,240 for the Caliber 13 chronographs in steel, $7,620 in steel and gold; $4,560 to $4,885 for the B20 Automatics in steel, and $5,935 for the B20 Automatic in steel and gold.