Like many high-end watchmakers, Breitling is a dedicated ally of the ocean. Earlier in 2018, they announced a partnership with Ocean Conservancy, an NGO working to clean up oceans and beaches. But this wasn’t their first foray into the ocean. Breitling’s connection to the seas goes back over 60 years, to the time they unveiled the Superocean, a stunning high-end diver’s watch. To commemorate six decades of excellence, Breitling redesigned their Superocean Héritage range in 2017, and this year a clutch of new models in gold and stainless steel were revealed in Baselworld.
This iconic collection -- although, technically a professional diver’s watch --- also makes for an enviable style statement. The flagship model in the new collection is the Superocean Héritage II B01 Chronograph 44. There are three versions of this—with a 44-cm black or blue dial embellished with silver hour and minute markers, or with a silver dial with black markers and a black bezel. These are all panda dials—that is to say, three subdials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, so called because of the resemblance of this arrangement to a panda’s face. There is a choice of a steel mesh strap or black rubber one. This self-winding mechanical watch is powered by the Breitling manufacture 01 calibre, a watch movement known for its sturdiness, and giving 70 hours of reserve power. The sapphire caseback is transparent, with the movement visible in all its glory.
The Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44—yes, the names are all mystifyingly similar—has a slightly sportier look. But have no illusions, this one is just as classy as the rest. The models with blue and black dials have contrasting steel markers along the bezel, but it is the black and red gold iteration that steals the show. Its rose gold version highlights standing out on the black dial and bezel, and it is paired with a silver steel or black rubber strap. All the Héritage II Chronograph models have subdials, but in a different configuration, as well as a date window. They run on the Breitling 13 calibre movement, with 48 hours of power reserve. The last lot of Superocean Héritage II watches is the B20 Automatics. They come in similar colour schemes, including a 42-mm one in black and rose gold (older 42-mm versions of the others are also available). They feature a date window at the 6 o’clock position. This collection is housed in an extra-sturdy stainless steel case and is water resistant up to 200 metres. It also features a rotating bezel with a luminescent marker to enable accurate measurements underwater.
Price-wise, all the Superocean Héritage watches fall in the Rs 3 to 5.5 lakh range. There are Breitling dealers around India—11 cities at last count—so availability shouldn’t be an issue. The owner of one of these exquisite timepieces might also take heart from the fact that Breitling plans to donate part of the sales proceeds from some of its Superocean Héritage collection to Ocean Conservancy to help them continue their good work.