Breitling Superocean Heritage 46

Angus Davies reviews the Breitling Superocean Heritage 46

The Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 is a COSC certified timepiece sporting a gorgeous Milanese style bracelet. Available in a choice of case sizes, which model would you choose?

Breitling Superocean Héritage 46

Breitling is often associated with pilot’s watches but seldom is its name associated with aquatic environments. However, this is a shame as the Swiss watch company has a history of creating divers’ watches. It unveiled its first diver’s watch in 1957 to critical acclaim. The aptly named Superocean featured a ‘monohull case and armoured glass guaranteeing water resistance to 200 meters’. in 1957, this was a significant technical achievement. The Superocean was intended for use by professional and military divers, but soon became a popular choice for leisure divers.

Over the years which followed, Breitling released further models, each proffering enhanced water resistance, ‘boasting water resistance to depths of 500, 1500 and even 2000 meters’.

The Breilting Superocean Heritage 46 features water resistance up to 200 metres, the same as the inaugural model. It also captures some of the aesthetic allure of yesteryear with its period steel bracelet.

The dial

The ‘Stratus Silver’ dial appears almost cream in some light conditions. Its softly spoken, unassuming tones provide the perfect backdrop for presenting the time.

Breitling Superocean Héritage 46

The chunky hour and minute hands are lined with luminescent material and feature strong angular lines. Their significant scale grants excellent ease of read-off. The applied hour markers are faceted, enhancing ease of interpretation. Ideally, I would have preferred the hour markers to also feature luminescent material in order to enhance read-off in dim light conditions e.g. underwater. However, I concede small luminous dots adjacent the indexes will provide some limited nocturnal / deep-sea visibility.

A central sweep seconds and date display complete the inventory of functions.

The case

The Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 is no shrinking violet, measuring 46mm in diameter as its name implies. The watch has a height of 13.60mm. The watch accorded a congenial fit on my wrist, despite its significant dimensions. The Ocean Classic woven steel bracelet (steel Milanese bracelet) is supremely flexible, ameliorating wearer comfort.

Breitling Superocean Héritage 46

The sky blue bezel is glorious and shimmers resplendently in ambient light. It is unidirectional and turns with a smile-inducing positive click. The edge of the bezel is fluted, aiding grip and proffering additional visual allure. The crown echoes the fluting on the bezel with a similarly styled knurled motif.

The movement

The Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 contains the Breitling Caliber 17, a self-winding movement. The frequency of the balance is 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 25 jewels. The movement is sufficiently powerful to confer at least 40 hours of autonomy.

Only a few watches possess COSC chronometer certification (6% according to COSC). The primary reason this number is not greater is due to the inability of many movements to meet the criteria. Moreover, COSC certification also incurs additional cost which many watch companies are unwilling to absorb. Remarkably, despite its modest price of £3,590 (RRP as at 7.6.2017), the Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 is supplied with COSC certification.

Closing remarks

This is a stunning watch, especially in the configuration shown. The case on this model is significant in size, but an alternative version of the watch is available with a 38mm case. Moreover, a similar, newer timepiece, Superocean Heritage II 42 shares similar styling but is more diminutive, measuring 42mm in diameter.

The Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 represents superb value for money, particularly considering it comes with COSC certification. I adore the retro Ocean Classic woven steel bracelet. It looks wonderful and grants a sublime wrist feel. 

Technical specifications

  • Model: Breitling Superocean Heritage 46
  • Reference: A1732016 G642 152A
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 46mm; height 13.60mm; water resistant to 20 bar (200 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date
  • Movement: Breilting 17; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve min 40 hours
  • Strap: Ocean Classic woven steel bracelet
  • Price: £3,590.00 (RRP as at 6.6.2017)

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