Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 Review

by Chamath Gamage
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Breitling as a brand is famously known for its aviation timepieces, with the likes of the Navitimer and Aviator models being very popular. The brand however, has so much more to offer. With watches to suit sport professionals and adventurers, to the more elegant and urban watches such as the Premier collection, Breitling has a wide variety of timepieces to suit everyone.

Breitling has a rich history in the diving sector as well thanks to their SuperOcean and SuperOcean Heritage collections. These two diving collections are different from each other as the Heritage has a more chronograph and sporty appearance, whereas the SuperOcean has a more clean and simple look. Two different styles of diving watches to suit two different audiences.  

What we have on our hands today is a piece from Breitling’s 2019 Baselworld SuperOcean collection release; the SuperOcean 42mm Automatic. When the Breitling SuperOcean was first released in 1957, it was released to make it clear that there was a new player in the diver’s watch market. Since its first release over 60 years ago, the Breitling SuperOcean collection has stayed true to the quality, pure Breitling style and exceptional performance. The 2019 update brings a new facelift with two dial colour choices (black and blue), while keeping the internal mechanics that the SuperOcean is known for the same. 

The 2019 update for the Breitling SuperOcean was a much needed fresh look for the collection. Since Goerges Kern took over, most of the brand’s watch families (Navitimer, Premier, Avenger etc.) have fresh new looks or complete updates altogether, so it was only in due time that the SuperOcean collection would get theirs. Georges Kern’s new Breitling team wanted to create a SuperOcean collection that would fit almost any wrist size. This is why the new collection comes with five models that have different case sizes; 36mm, 42mm, 44mm, 46mm and 48mm. 

The previous SuperOcean models had a busier dial, which included an internal hour track (13-24 hour markers), inner minute track and more lines of text throughout the dial. While showing more information is not a bad thing, it may provide issues in terms of readability, especially during low visibility scenarios such as deep-sea dives. 

The 2019 update for the Breitling SuperOcean Automatic 42 gives the watch a much simpler look while going big on its core dive features. The bezel is stainless steel like the 42mm casing and gets a black varnish inlay. Breitling has opted to keep the bezel ratcheted, which comes in very handy in those deep-sea underwater explorations where gloves are worn. The design of the bezel has remained relatively unchanged from the previous version, which is fine as the bezel was clean and simple to begin with. 

The dial is where a lot of the changes from the 2019 update have been carried out. As stated earlier, Breitling has gone from a more busier dial to a more simplistic look. The trapezoidal hour markers are much larger than the hour markers in the previous version, with Breitling also opting to use Arabic numbers for the 6-9-12 indexes. The hour and minute hands are shaped similar to the hour indexes as well. All of these markers, along with the hands, have been filled with SuperLuminova, which provides exceptional nighttime readability. A simple date window has also been positioned at the 3 o’clock position. 

Another notable feature on the dial is the second hand. This second hand has been given a red arrow tip, which adds a nice touch of colour and is still noticeable against the large SuperLuminova filled hour markers. 

At the heart of Breitling’s SuperOcean is the Calibre 17 movement. This movement is based on the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement which has a quick set date complication. The Calibre 17 movement is known to be one of the most robust movements in Breitling’s line up. Quite rightly so as it needs to perform during high-pressure scenarios such as deep-sea diving. 

The ETA 2824-2 automatic movement has been taken by Breitling and modified in their headquarters in Switzerland. Unlike most mechanical watches, when the bi-directional rotor winds it produces minimal noise, making the Calibre 17 movement is relatively quiet. The Calibre 17 movement has also been COSC chronometer-certified, ensuring that the watch is very accurate and performs to roughly -4 and +6 seconds in a 24 hour period. Calibre 17 comes with approximately a 38 hour power reserve and a water rating of 50Bar (500 meters) for this particular 42mm model. 

How it wears?

Overall, the Breitling SuperOcean 42mm Automatic is a sturdy sports watch with excellent diving capabilities. On a 7 inch wrist, this watch fits almost perfectly, with its a 42mm case size.

The black and white contrast with the large white hour markers and hands against the black dial, provide excellent readability no matter the situation. This is further helped along by the large usage of SuperLuminova giving the dial a stunning at night. 

The watch doesn’t feel too bulky. However, it is certainly noticeable when worn. As you rotate the bezel around the dial, it gives the feedback of a robust and reassuring click with each turn. This can be especially helpful when wearing gloves and being underwater. The thickness of the Breitling SuperOcean 42mm automatic is roughly 14.2mm, which is great for diving. This watch is also suitable for day to day activities. However, some may struggle to fit the watch under a formal shirt due to its thickness. The watch comes with a choice of a stainless-steel bracelet or a dial colour-matching rubber strap (black or blue). 

Breitling has done a great job in updating the SuperOcean models by retaining a classic strong movement while giving it a more simplistic look on the dial. This piece will be sure to attract those that are after a fresh, sporty watch that’s up to any challenge, whether it be swimming, surfing or diving!

Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 Specification

Model Reference: A17366021B1A1
Case Diameter: 42mm
Dial: Black
Case: Steel, Varnish black Bezel
Movement: Breitling Manufacture Calibre 17
Power Reserve: Up to 38 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date 
Water Resistance: 50 ATM

Australian pricing : $5,500.00 Aud

Local Authorised Dealers :

  • Brisbane – The Hour Glass and Hardy Brothers
  • Melbourne – Monards ( Collins Street and Crown Casino) ,Gregory Jewellers , The Hour Glass and Watches of Switzerland
  • Sydney – Breitling Boutique, Gregory Jewellers, Swiss Concept, The Hour Glass and Watches of Switzerland
  • Perth – Watches of Switzerland

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