Early Breitling Superocean Heritage Replica watches have gone on to become very collectible – the first two references, in good condition, are now high five-figure timepieces (nothing like the crazy money being spent on rare Submariners, but still very respectable). This year is the 60th anniversary of the Superocean, and to mark the occasion Breitling has released a new version of the watch which looks back to the originals for its design cues, while at the same time looking very much forward from a technical standpoint – including the movement, which is being supplied to Breitling by Tudor (with modifications).
There are two sizes available for the Breitling Superocean Heritage 42 Replica – 42mm and 46mm, with a 46mm chronograph available as well – and all three models are available in brown, blue, or black. We had the blue and brown models in the office and the brown model on a strap was the one I wore for a week. The blue version on a steel mesh bracelet is just as handsome as the brown model, and for the same reasons: clarity of design and great depth of color. I can only assume the black model would be just as handsome, although the rich colors of the dials and bezels for the blue and brown models is hard to pass up, if you're going to go for color in a dive watch at all. (Officially, the colors are "copperhead bronze" and "gun blue," per Breitling).
The strap on the brown version is rubber-lined leather and it's quite thick, giving every impression of being nearly as durable as the steel mesh bracelet. Ordinarily, I would prefer something a little less heavy, but as the 42mm Breitling Superocean Heritage II Replica watches are 14.35mm thick, the strap works well and actually harmonizes better with the overall feel of the watch than would a thinner strap (for comparison, the Tudor Black Bay is about 14.8mm thick).
The buckle has a micro-adjustment feature, which lets you fine-tune the fit, although basic strap length is a little harder to adjust, as it requires cutting the strap to the approximate correct length first. The micro-adjustment mechanism is simple to use: Just push in to unlock it, and you can shift the point of attachment of the strap inside the buckle to suit. (Leaving nothing to chance, Breitling Navitimer Replica has helpfully labeled the relevant locking mechanism "push.")
Fit and finish on this replica watch is very good indeed. The hands and dial markers pick up light beautifully and the Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 Replica is, as it should be, instantly legible under pretty much any lighting conditions you'd care to throw at it (including total darkness). Aside from legibility, though, it struck me during the time I wore it as a genuinely beautiful watch, with a kind of elegance I've missed in some of Breitling's more recent creations. The shapes of the hands and indexes, as well as the warm richness and saturation of the dial and bezel colors, goes to show you that making an aesthetically nuanced tool watch needn't be an oxymoron (I still can't quite believe I'm describing a Breitling as "aesthetically nuanced," but there you have it).