Breitling Steps Back in Time

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Breitling has launched a redesign of its original SuperOcean Slow Motion with modern features and a bright colour palette.

Let’s take a little step back in time. In the 1960s, the emerging sport of scuba diving was all the rage, inspired by the adventures of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. In diving, timing was everything—measured almost exclusively in minutes—and Breitling wanted to not only provide the best tool watch for the task, but to also give it a sense of style.

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To create this early SuperOcean, Breitling’s designers eliminated any superfluous features that didn’t support the lifesaving needs of divers underwater. A high-contrast dial ring was introduced to the crucial minutes scale. Out went subtle indexes in favor of chunky luminescent batons for easy readability. And, in the boldest move of all, Breitling did away with the seconds hand, since divers … didn’t really need it. In its place came a revolutionary minutes-based chronograph, dubbed the “Slow Motion” because it took an hour to make a full rotation of the dial.

Breitling has launched a redesign of its original SuperOcean Slow Motion with modern features and a bright colour palette.

Now, Breitling has a launched a new Superocean that goes back to the Slow Motion’s simplified tool-watch philosophy. And while the collection has been revised to meet the needs of modern wearers (the seconds hand was, of course, a must), a keen eye will spot several design nods to the original.

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Available in four sizes (46, 44, 42, and 36 mm), the collection’s colorful dials are paired with three different case metals—steel, steel with red gold, and bronze. The special alloy used in the 44 and 42 mm bronze versions has an excellent resistance to corrosion but will still develop a subtle patina over time that makes the watch even more unique. The two strap options (a sporty rubber strap and a new three-row metal bracelet) have a folding clasp that allows for micro-adjustments of up to 15 mm for easy wear over rashies and dive suits.

Breitling has launched a redesign of its original SuperOcean Slow Motion with modern features and a bright colour palette.

Aside from looking good, the new Superocean is also a technical marvel. Water-resistant to 300 m (1,000 ft), it features broad hands and indexes coated in Super-LumiNova that allow for exceptional readability underwater. Its scratchproof ceramic-inlayed bezel means it will never wear or fade. For safety, the bezel is unidirectional on most sizes and bidirectional with a patented lock on the 46 mm version.

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This watch is also shock-, sand-, and saltwater-resistant, while its automatic Breitling Caliber 17 comes with a two-year warranty and an approximate 38-hour power reserve.

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