Breitling Superocean Héritage Watches

Breitling Superocean Heritage

Breitling Superocean Heritage.

The Breitling Superocean Heritage dove onto the watch scene in 1957 with a waterproof rating up to 200 meters deep. At that point in time, dive watches had only been on the market for a few decades, and their design quickly evolved with the burgeoning growth of modern SCUBA. The Superocean was Breitling’s first contribution to the world of dive watches and introduced several features that made it stand out from the competition.

History of the Breitling Superocean Heritage

The 1957 Breitling Superocean introduced features like:

  • A locking bezel that ensured its position would not move during a dive
  • A one-piece case (called a monocoque)

Two versions of the Superocean were initially released. One focused more on style than utility, while the other functioned as a true sportsman’s watch, providing peak performance and reliability, although (according to some) at the cost of style.

The Superocean quickly became popular among divers. In the mid-1960s, Breitling revised the Superocean with the introduction of a unique chronograph caliber called the “Slow Motion” that allowed it to revolve once per hour, rather than once per minute.

Breitling Superocean Heritage

The design of the watch continued to evolve. In 1983, a new version hit the market: the Superocean “Deep Sea.” This watch was targeted toward seasoned divers and offered water resistance up to 1,000 meters. This improvement was made possible thanks to a helium escape on the back of the watch. This function prevented helium buildup and helped avoid damage to the internal mechanisms during ascent.

On the 50th anniversary of the Superocean’s release, Breitling introduced the Superocean Heritage, a modern-day tribute to the original watch.

Value of the Breitling Superocean Heritage

The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 ranges in value from about $4,300 to $5,250. One of the most popular options is the Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition with the Chromatic face and hands, which often sells for $5,000.

The highest value Breitling Superocean is the Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Limited Edition with a black bezel and silver-green face, which sells for close to $8,000. There are only 500 of this particular model in existence, driving up the price.

Another valuable model of the Breitling Superocean is the Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 44 Beverly Hills Limited Edition, a model for which only 50 pieces exist. It sells for around $7,400, with water resistance up to 200 meters deep.

Breitling Superocean Heritage

Breitling Superocean Heritage Design and Features

The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 features:

  • 42mm cases
  • Water resistance to 100 meters
  • Cambered sapphire and glare-proof crystals
  • Breitling Caliber 10 chronograph

Breitling Superocean Heritage

The Breitling Superocean Heritage BO1 Chronograph 44 Limited Edition has a few additional features that, along with the limited number of models, increase the value of the watch:

  • 44mm case
  • Water resistance to 200 meters
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 chronograph
  • Dial aperture calendar

Breitling Superocean Heritage

Each model of the Superocean varies in small ways. The Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 44 Beverly Hills Limited Edition features:

  • 44mm case
  • Water resistance to 200 meters
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 chronograph
  • Breitling Manufacture Caliber B20 chronograph

Breitling Superocean Heritage

Superocean Cleaning and Maintenance

A watch, no matter how elegant it may be, is also a tool. This is doubly true for watches like the Breitling Superocean that are used by adventurers and daredevils. Not only does sweat and dust build up on the back of the watch around the points where the straps connect, but salt can also accumulate after multiple dives. Failing to clean the watch can lead to irritation of the skin, but it can also damage the metal of the watch itself.

To clean your watch, Breitling recommends using a soft toothbrush and liquid soap. Use tap water to give it a gentle rinse, but avoid submitting it to a heavy flow. When you have finished cleaning the watch, dry it with a soft, highly absorbent cloth.

If your watch has a leather strap, do not wear it while diving. Leather does not react well to moisture, and it is best if you avoid letting your strap get damp or exposing it to very humid environments. If you want to use your Breitling Superocean for the sake of diving, invest in a dedicated dive strap, perhaps a rubber one. If the leather strap gets wet, dry it as quickly as possible with an absorbent cloth to prevent damage.

Breitling Superocean Heritage

Watchmaker's Perspective

The Breitling Superocean Heritage is a thoughtfully designed dive watch, with design cues going back to the original 1957 version. As is often the case, the movement underneath the beautifully designed dial has a story to tell. For the Superocean Heritage, Breitling chose to use the Caliber B20, which is a newly developed movement that they share with Tudor. The B20 is based on the Tudor Caliber MT5612, found in Tudor's Pelagos.

There are a few differences between these modern movements. Caliber B20 sports a traditional finishing style on its bridges, referred to as "Côtes de Genève" (Geneva stripes in English). This dazzling finishing style is made using a specialized tool and skilled artisans. In contrast, Tudor's Caliber MT5612 has a more futuristic looking bead-blasted finishing style on its bridges.

Breitling Superocean Heritage

In addition, Breitling chose to equip its Caliber B20 with a traditional metal alloy balance spring, as opposed to the ultra-modern silicon hairspring found in the Tudor Caliber MT5612. This choice makes sense and aligns with the more traditional finishing style.

Finally, the Breitling Caliber B20 has a different style automatic winding rotor, which is a very visible element of the movement. The Caliber B20 inside Breitling's Superocean Heritage is an extremely capable and nuanced movement.

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  • by
    December 26, 2018


    it was exactly what I expected

    Verified purchase: Yes