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WATCH REVIEW - The Breitling SuperOcean

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Scott D

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Published on 01-26-2010 02:15 PM

Number of Views: 10888

Review of the


January 26, 2010

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YEARS OF PRODUCTION: 2003 – 2009 (though other versions predate the current version)
MODEL VARIATIONS: Stainless steel case on stainless steel bracelet; Diver Pro strap or leather
VERSION REVIEWED: Stainless steel case on stainless steel bracelet

Features & functions: water resistant, date
Dial displays: Date aperture display at 3 o’clock; 24Hr time on dial

The SuperOcean is a member of Breitling’s Aeromarine watch. This version of the of the SuperOcean was released in 2003, though the SuperOcean was originally developed in the 1950’s for professional and military divers, and particularly special forces units. The latest version, released in 2009, made slight cosmetic changes to the dial, but the technical specifications, case & bracelet remain the same.


A constant staple in Breitling’s Aeromarine line for over 50 years, the SuperOcean continues to exert itself as a serious dive watch. At a respectable 42mm’s in size, the SuperOcean is a comparable size to many dive watches on the market.

The stainless steel case has a highly polished finish, with only the bezel being brushed in a satin finish. While the finish is superb & makes the watch look dressier than most dive watches, the polished finish will likely show many of the scratches & marks the wearer puts on it, especially on the bracelet. Many people may say a brushed or satin finish would have been a better finish for a watch as sturdy as the SuperOcean. While I find that hard to disagree with, the all polished look is a refreshing look you won't find on many dive watchs. For buyers who truly want the satin finish, the SuperOcean’s sister model, the Steelfish, is finished in satin with only polished highlights. A large, crown guard protects the crown while providing a visually pleasant appearance.

With a water resistance of 1,500 m / 5,000 ft, the SuperOcean has excellent water resistance, and will provide the wearer excellent protection from water for virtually any wet environment. The left side of the case contains an automatic safety-valve to allow balancing of pressure inside & outside of the case after prolonged stays at great depths.

The cambered sapphire crystal is slightly domed, and protected by both the bezel and bezel rider-tabs. The crystal is coated with anti-reflective (AR) coating on both sides. The strap opening is squared, allowing the bracelet or strap to be attached without showing any space gaps, providing a clean finished look, especially when paired with the Pro Diver or leather strap.

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The overall case design is finely finished & shaped to fit comfortably on the wrist without any sharp edges. The bezel is easily handled & rotated thanks to the rider tabs, and the crown is easy to unscrew, adjust & re-screw into the case. An above-average water resistance is a plus as the owner shouldn’t need to worry about water or moisture issues in virtually any environment. Though very few reports of issues with the outside AR coating have been posted or reported, many people do not like outside AR coating in principle, and this feature will be a negative to them.


The dial on the SuperOcean is clean and easy to read. Arabic numbers mark all hours except 3, where the date window is located. In addition to the lume-dot above each number, the numbers themselves are coated in Superluminova, providing excellent low-light visibility. The hour & minute hands also have Superluminova, as does the tip of the second hand and bezel pearl. The SuperOcean is available in 3 dial colors, black, blue and orange – all with excellent contrast for easy viewing. The blue dial has a slightly iridescent quality to it, making it very unique and visually pleasing shade of blue.

The Breitling wings logo situated at the top of the dial is an applied marker, rather than a painted logo. 24 hour time markers are situated on the outside of the 12 hour markers, providing the wearer instant conversion to 24 hour time.

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The SuperOcean dial is clear, easy to read as well as visually pleasing with excellent low-light visibility.

Available materials: Stainless steel Professional bracelet, Pro Diver strap; leather strap.

For the SuperOcean Breitling used the 20mm 3-link Professional bracelet, used and proven repeatedly on a variety of other Breitling models in the Aeromarine and Professional lines, and tapers to 18mm at the clasp. With solid steel center and end links, the Professional bracelet has a solid & secure feel. The steel links are secured via inter-locking links, so removal (or loss) of 2 retaining screws would be required for the watch links to separate, providing extra security. A double fold-over "Breitling" signed clasp provides locking security at the clasp. The clasp has 4 micro-adjustment slots to allow for fine-tuning of the bracelet size. There are no sharp edges touching the wrist, and the contour of the bracelet links makes comfort superb.

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The SuperOcean is powered by the Breitling Calibre 17 movement, which is based on the self-winding ETA 2824-2 running at 28,800 BpH with a power reserve of 42 hours. The 25 jewel ebauche is modified by Breitling to meet their strict & stringent quality requirements to create the Calibre 17. As is all Breitling calibres, the calibre 17 is chronometer certified by COSC.

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The Breitling SuperOcean is an excellent diver’s watch. With a water resistance rating of 5,000 feet, there won’t be many diving situations it wont be able to handle. With its 50-plus year history it’s proven itself over & over to be a watch for professional, military & recreational divers. Its larger size wears well, and should be comfortable on most wrists.

The only shortcomings in the SuperOcean are the all-polished finish & anti-reflecting coating on the outside of the crystal. As a watch designed to handle extreme situations the polished finish will likely show virtually every scratch & mark it gets. A satin or brushed finish would be better suited for a robust watch such as the SuperOcean. And while the outside anti-reflective coating resists scratches very well, it does scratch more easily than the sapphire crystal below it, and this is an issue for some people. The good news is any outside AR coating can easily be removed if the owner wishes to, leaving only the underside of the crystal AR coating.

The Breitling SuperOcean is a true sport watch with a rich history, unique appearance, stylish design, reliable movement, comfortable fit and of course Breitling's stellar customer service. The SuperOcean is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a watch able to handle a wide variety of everyday sportswear.

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