Breitling Introduces the Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection

The funky, retro diver reborn.

Following the Navitimer 1 Airline Editions and the Aviator 8 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Breitling has now introduced its next limited-production capsule collection, the Superocean Heritage ’57. Modelled on the brand’s first dive watch, the SuperOcean ref. 1004, the new range also includes a lively rainbow limited edition with multi-coloured hour markers.

As scuba diving and other aquatic sports became popular in the early 1950s, dive watches being a thing, with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster 300 all making their debut that decade. Breitling’s entry into the dive watch stakes as the SuperOcean.

While the watch is now less known than its contemporaries, the SuperOcean had a strikingly bold and unusual design despite being some six decades old.

It was characterised by a wide bezel with a concave surface intended to protect the domed acrylic crystal, and a dial featuring dagger-shaped indices with additional oversized spheres at the quarters. The quirky, retro style has been reintroduced in full with the Superocean Heritage ’57.


Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection

The capsule collection consists of three iterations: in stainless steel with a blue or black dial, and a steel case with a rose-gold bezel paired with a black dial. All are powered by the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 10, which is an ETA 2892-A2.

Entirely polished, the case measures 42 mm wide and 9.99 mm high, making it 4 mm thinner than the standard Superocean Heritage 42. And the case is shaped differently, with the lugs in particular being faceted and narrower.

Unusually, the Superocean Heritage ’57 is depth rated to 100 m, instead of 200 m as the original was – which is inconsequential and perfectly sufficient for recreational diving.

Naturally, one of the most outstanding features is the wide, concave bezel that rotates bi-directionally just like the original. But it now has a scratch-resistant ceramic insert with a luminous marker at 12 o’clock.

The dial also hews close to the original with some streamlining. For one, the markers are shorter with flat tips, while the quarter markers are flat rather than faceted. But as with the vintage SuperOcean, the quarter-hour markers are combined with large discs, a key part of the design’s distinctive and quirky character.


Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition

More striking than the watches in the capsule collection is the psychedelic, boutique-exclusive Superocean Heritage ’57 with a striking rainbow-marker dial. The case and bezel are identical to the standard model, but the dial has hour markers and hands filled with Super-Luminova in a graduation of colours, going from yellow to purple.

Aside from the usual strap or bracelet options, the Superocean limited edition is also available with a matching NATO-style strap made from Econyl, a material made from recycled fishing nets and waste nylon by surfing apparel label Outerknown. The Econyl strap can be purchased separately, and is offered six different colour combinations to match the colours on the dial.

The Superocean limited edition on an Outerknown Econyl strap


Key facts and price

Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection
Ref. A10370121B1A1 (steel with black dial) and others

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 9.99 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Caliber 10
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; elapsed time
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Leather strap or steel bracelet

Availability: To be updated
Price: From US$4,380 in steel on strap, to US$5,225 in steel-and-gold on strap


Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition
Ref. A103701A1B1A (strap with pin buckle)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 9.99 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Caliber 10
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; elapsed time
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Leather strap or steel bracelet

Limited edition: 250 pieces
Availability: To be updated
Price: US$4,520 on strap with pin buckle, US$5,025 on bracelet

For more, visit Breitling.com.


 

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Breitling (Re)Introduces the Chronomat with Rouleaux Bracelet

The 1990s icon returns.

One of the most fashionable watches of the late 1980s and 1990s was the Breitling Chronomat with the distinctive Rouleaux bracelet, specifically the two-tone, steel-and-yellow-gold model with a dark blue dial.

The watch of choice for assorted air force squadrons, the Chronomat was also spotted on major Hollywood stars of the era, most prominently Jerry Seinfeld and Bruce Willis. Breitling’s supercharged success after the Quartz Crisis – having been rescued by Swiss entrepreneur Ernest Schneider – was largely down to the Chronomat.

Now the Chronomat on the Rouleaux bracelet is making its comeback, after having been discontinued several years ago. Abandoning the styling of recent, unsuccessful facelifts, the new Chronomat B01 42 returns with a tightly-executed design that incorporates several elements of the 1990s classic.

A historic hit

Launched to mark the 100th anniversary of Breitling in 1984, the Chronomat marked the brand’s return to mechanical watches. In 1979, the late Ernest Schneider took over an ailing Breitling, which until was then making mostly quartz watches with a military flavour.

Having delivered the inaugural version of the Chronomat to members of Frecce Tricolori, the aerobatic team of the Italian air force, Schneider had a hit on his hands once the Chronomat was sold to the public.

A page from the 1987 Breitling catalogue showing several versions of the Chronomat

Though it had the same name as a vintage Breitling chronograph, the Chronomat launched in 1984 was a thoroughly new design. It was strikingly modern for the 1980s, with several peculiar elements that gave it a novel look, including the four “rider tabs” secured by screws to the bezel, allowing the wearer to convert the bezel into a countdown timer. In addition, the Chronomat was available on a rouleaux, or “roller”, bracelet, made up of long, cylindrical links with rounded tips resembling tiny bullets.

These elements that defined the original Chronomat have been revived in the new model, and in a nod to its history, the line-up once again includes a Frecce Tricolori edition.


Chronomat B01 42

Like the 1984 original, the revamped model is available in a variety of material combinations, eight references in all. The line-up ranges from all-steel to two-tone with a steel case matched with either gold rider tabs or an entirely-gold bezel. And the top-of-the-line version is entirely in 18k pink gold. The movement inside the robust, in-house B01 that has a column wheel and vertical clutch – it’s the same movement used in several other Breitling models, including the flagship Navitimer.

The new Chronomat measures 42 mm across and 15.1 mm high, making it substantially more wearable than the immediate-past generation model that was 44 mm by 16.95 mm. That said, it’s still substantially larger than the 1984 original that was just 39 mm – extra-large back then.

Though the new case takes its cues from the original, retaining the same short, pointed lugs, the finishing has been upgraded, with brushed tops and sides separated by a wide, polished bevel. In addition, while the new model retains the signature fluted-onion crown, the matching screw pushers of the original have been replaced by more conventional pump-style pushers, giving it a much cleaner look.

And the trademark rider tabs have been dialled back, making them less prominent. The rider tabs are brushed while the bezel is entirely polished for contrast.

But staying true to the original, the 15- and 45-minute tabs are interchangeable, allowing the bezel to go from being an elapsed-time counter to a countdown timer. All markings on the bezel are all engraved and filled with black ink, which improves legibility as well as offer a stronger look especially since there isn’t a bezel insert.

Because the new Chronomat is smaller than the immediate-past generation model that had the same movement, the dial proportions have improved. At the same time, the date display is now smartly integrated into the sub-dial at six o’clock, with the date disc matching the colour of the counter. This makes the date less obvious, while also giving the dial symmetry.

As with the case, the details on the dial have been refined. While the indices and hands retain the original shape, they are now faceted lengthwise, giving them more depth. In addition, the chronograph counters are deeply recessed, while having with raised centres finished with concentric guilloche.

And finally, perhaps most significant aspect of the revamp is the resurrected Rouleaux bracelet that retains the look of the 1984 original but executed in a more refined manner.

The cylindrical links are brushed, but fitted with polished rings on alternate links for contrast. And the ends of each link are flat rather than rounded, with each end topped by a pronounced, polished bevel.

Brushed, cylindrical links with polished bevels on the ends

The two-tone Rouleaux in steel with pink-gold rings


Chronomat B01 42 Bentley

Alongside the new range, Breitling has also introduced the Chronomat B01 42 Bentley, perhaps one of the most striking watches Breitling has made for the British automaker.

The Bentley edition has two features that distinguish it from the standard model: one being the dark-green dial, and the other the being the carmaker’s logo on the case back. The rest of the watch is identical to the standard Chronomat B01, and it is part of the regular collection.

The Chronomat B01 42 Bentley


Chronomat B01 42 Frecce Tricolori Limited Edition

And last comes a watch that harks back to the launch of the original Chronomat in 1984, the Chronomat B01 42 Frecce Tricolori.

The watch pairs a steel case with a blue dial that has the aerobatic squadron’s logo taking pride of place at 12 o’clock, with Breitling’s own logo reduced in size and placed just below. Limited to 250 pieces, the Frecce Tricolori edition is otherwise identical to the standard model.

The 1983 original (left) and the new model


Key facts and price

Breitling Chronomat B01 42
Ref. IB0134101G1A1 (steel with “panda” dial)
Ref. AB0134101B1A1 (steel with “reverse panda” dial)
Ref. AB0134101K1A1 (steel with beige dial)
Ref. UB0134101B1U1 (steel case with gold bezel)
Ref. RB0134101B1S1 (pink gold case rubber strap)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 15.1 mm
Material: Steel or pink gold
Water resistance: 200 m

Movement: Caliber B01
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Rouleaux bracelet

Limited edition: No
Availability: To be updated
Price: US$8,100 in steel on bracelet; US$9,350 with pink gold rider tabs; US$12,100 with a gold bezel; and US$20,200 in all-pink gold with rubber strap


Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Bentley
Ref. AB01343A1L1A1

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 15.1 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 200 m

Movement: Caliber B01
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Rouleaux bracelet

Limited edition: No
Availability: To be updated
Price: US$8,250


Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Frecce Tricolori Limited Edition
Ref. AB01344A1C1A1

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 15.1 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 200 m

Movement: Caliber B01
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Rouleaux bracelet

Limited edition: 250 pieces
Availability: To be updated
Price: US$8,250

For more, visit Breitling.com.


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Montblanc Introduces the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Enamel Dial

Titanium and grand feu.

Just last year Montblanc unveiled the 1858 Split Second Chronograph, a Minerva-powered watch that was warmly received for being well-finished and complex, yet reasonably-priced. A retro-inspired, rattrapante mono-pusher chronograph, the watch cost US$30,000 – a solid deal as such things go. A few months after, Montblanc debuted the one-off Only Watch edition with titanium case and blue-agate dial that sold for a whopping 100,000 Swiss francs, with proceeds going to charity.

The brand has now stepped things up a notch with the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 that channels the spirit of the Only Watch edition, featuring the same titanium case and paired with a fired enamel dial in graduated blue. Despite the similar styling, the new watch costs a lot less than the record-setting Only Watch Edition – but isn’t quite as good value as last year’s model.

Smoky blue

And that’s because while the bronze model had an ordinary dial of brass, this has been upgraded with a grand feu enamel dial, leading to a jump in the retail price of about US$7,000, which is about the typical premium for such a dial.

The enamel dial starts off as a solid-gold disc, which is painted with a mixture of enamel powder, water and oil. It is then fired in an oven at over 800℃, melting the enamel powder and fusing it to the gold base. The process of adding enamel powder and firing is repeated multiple times so as to achieve the desired depth of colour.

But unusually, the dial is a smoked blue that darkens towards the edges, a delicate graduated finish is achieved by carefully varying the thickness of the enamel; a thicker layer of enamel results in a darker shade. Once complete, the dial is finished with a layer of translucent enamel, and the markings on the dial are then printed on top.

Appreciably, the dial dispenses with the faux-aged “lume” found on the original bronze model, removing the vintage affectation found on most 1858 models. The cathedral hands and numerals are instead filled with clean, white Super-Luminova.

The design of the dial is otherwise identical to the original version. Inspired by 1930s aviator’s chronographs made by Minerva, it features a telemeter on the outermost track and a snail-shaped tachymeter in the centre.

Old-school mechanics

The case is 44 mm wide and 14.55 mm high but being titanium is fairly lightweight despite the dimensions. It’s finished identically to last year’s bronze version, with matte brushing for the case flanks and top of the lugs that’s separated by a wide, polished bevel.

Visible through the sapphire case back is the hand-wound and hand-finished MB M16.31. It is essentially the MB M16.29 that’s derived from a 1930s pocket watch movement, but with the addition of a split-seconds mechanism. With the vintage origins, the movement is replete with vintage details. The large balance wheel beats at a low frequency of 2.5 Hz and is attached to an in-house, overcoil hairspring adjusted with a swan’s neck regulator.

With its bridges in rhodium-plated German silver, the movement is exquisitely decorated with Geneva stripes on the bridges, perlage on the base plate, as well as prominent polished bevels on the edges of the chronograph levers.


Key facts and price

Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100
Ref. 126006

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 14.55 mm
Material: Titanium
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: MB M16.31
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; split-seconds chronograph
Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour (2.5  Hz)
Winding: Hand-wound
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Alligator with titanium pin buckle

Limited edition: 100 pieces
Availability:
In boutiques from April onwards
Price: €39,500

For more information, visit Montblanc.com.


 

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G-Shock Introduces the Full Metal ‘Grid’

Looking like the future.

Casio’s best selling G-Shock Full Metal – essentially the original G-Shock design of 1983 executed entirely in steel (or titanium) – is now available in yet another iteration. The G-Shock Full Metal ‘Grid’ (ref. GMW-B5000CS) is covered in a square-lattice motif that represents the “time tunnel that connects the past with the future”, a nod to the vintage inspiration of the Full Metal model.

The case and bracelet are stainless steel that’s first finished with a black ion plating, and then laser engraved with the grid pattern, bringing to mind the laser-engraved pixel pattern on last year’s camouflage model. The laser not only light etches the surface, but also removes the black coating, revealing the steel substrate beneath. Both the case and bracelet are covered in the etched grid, with the motif continuing onto the crystal as a printed pattern,

Aesthetics aside, the Full Metal ‘Grid’ is identical to the standard steel model. The case is the same size as well as weight, and contains the same electronic module that has the usual functions as well as smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth. It’s solar powered and charged via solar cells on the face; at full charge it’ll run almost two years with the power-saving function turned on.

The screw-down case back also features the laser-engraved motif

The Grid is priced at US$800, which is a step up compared to the US$550 for the entry-level black-coated model. That’s because it’s a limited-production special edition like last year’s Full Metal Aged IP, which means it’ll be in production only for a couple of months.


Key facts and price

G-Shock Full Metal ‘Grid’
Ref. GMW-B5000CS

Diameter: 49.3 mm by 43.2 mm
Height: 13 mm
Material: Steel with black coating
Water resistance: 200 m

Functions: Digital, multifunction, Bluetooth connectivity
Winding: Solar
Power reserve: 22 months with power-saving function on

Strap: Steel

Limited edition: No
Availability:
 From May 2020 at G-Shock stores and retailers
Price: US$800

For more information, visit Gshock.com.


 

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