Breitling may be best known for aviation-focused timepieces, but when it pulls a dive watch like the new steel Superocean 44 Special out of its arsenal we sit up and take notice. The latest addition to the brand’s Superocean range which was first launched in 1957, the 44 Special sounds like a lethally capable piece of kit, and its specs don’t disappoint, with a depth rating of 1,000 meters or 3,300 feet.
The New Breitling Superocean 44
The aeronautical Breitling collection has shifted their focus from the skies to the sea with the new Superocean 44. A ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel announces its tool watch cred and it also features a security valve for balancing out pressure differences, marking it as worthy of professional use. Add a ratcheted profile for ease of handling even with gloves and luminescent dial details to enhance underwater legibility and you can see why this might make the Planet Ocean boys at Omega a little nervous.
Specs on the Breitling Superocean 44
The Superocean 44, sized at 44mm of course, comes in two versions: black dial and bezel with a classic black or blue rubber Breitling “ocean racer” strap; and blue dial and bezel on stainless steel. Both feature a twin-gasket screw-locked crown and house a mechanical self-winding movement chronometer-certified by COSC. The steel case on both pieces is satin-finished on top and polished on the sides and crown. Baton-type hands distinguish hours from minutes while differently shaped hour-markers indicate five-minute intervals, quarters and 12 o’clock. A seconds hand with a red tip and a small luminescent triangle allows the wearer to verify that the movement is operating at any given time. Finally the sapphire crystal is “glareproofed” on both sides to enhance legibility under any circumstances.
The brand’s signature “ocean racer” strap is one of our favorite strap designs ever and we recommend it as an option for any Breitling timepiece whose style fits the bill. It is a hybrid between a classic rubber dive strap and a racing-inspired “rally” strap with a row of holes, it’s rugged and unique. Breitling’s other rubber strap is also pretty cool, featuring a raised Breitling signature and finished in blue, giving it a bit more of an aeronautical vibe. Only Panerai does it better, though a Luminor is generally a less accessible timepiece than the Breitlings. However, the 44 Superocean is in line with Breathing’s return to larger timepieces and matches the size of most Luminors. Which would you want strapped to your wrist in the event of an underwater emergency?