Breitling Introduces the Superocean Heritage ’57 “Rainbow” – Again

For a good cause fortunately.

Just in April this year, Breitling unveiled the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Rainbow, a limited edition of just 250 pieces that it sold out within a few hours according to Breitling chief executive Georges Kern. With the presses for the 250 barely cool, Breitling has announced another rainbow-theme diver, the Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition II.

This time, the limited edition is 1,000 pieces – but with a charitable twist: 500,000 Swiss francs from the sale of the new edition will go to charities that support healthcare workers. The bulk of the sum has already been donated, split evenly amongst six charities in six countries that are amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initial thoughts

Issuing an almost-identical edition after the initial home run is not cool. It feels a bit too blatant. That said, it is substantially redeemed by the generous donation, which is equivalent to about 10% of gross revenue from the new “Rainbow II”. It is encouraging to see watchmakers leverage on their brand equity to aid relief efforts.

As for the watch itself, the Rainbow II is actually a better looking watch. While the first edition had had a black dial and bezel, the new edition employs a blue dial and bezel that I find to be even more striking.

The primary attraction is of course the rainbow-graduated hour markers that inject a playful element into what’s otherwise a serious-looking retro dive watch. While the rainbow markers may be divisive – I love the look – they make for a fun and characterful watch in a genre that is saturated with homogeneous, monotonous designs.

Blue dial aside, the Rainbow II is identical to the first edition. The 42 mm steel case has a ceramic bezel insert and contains the Calibre 10, which is an ETA 2892. I have no qualms with the largish 42 mm diameter, which is a standard size for a contemporary dive watch.

For a cause

As soon as the edition was announced, Breitling donated part of the sales from the Rainbow II to charities that support medical professionals dealing with COVID-19 and its victims. The donation will go to six organisations, in France, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States respectively – which, it has to be said, are also Breitling’s largest markets.

And the company will also contribute an additional 1,000 Swiss francs from each of the first 100 watches sold via Breitling’s e-commerce store. Breitling’s donation will total 500,000 Swiss francs, split equally among the six charities.

One of the Rainbow II watches will be sold in an online auction on Charitybuzz, a site that raises money for good causes by selling unique experiences. In addition to the watch, the winning bidder will get a live chat session with Kelly Slater, an American professional surfer who’s one of the all-time greats. The proceeds from the online auction will go to American charity Direct Relief.

Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition II
Ref. A103702A1C1X1 (leather – tang buckle)
Ref. A103702A1C1X2 (leather – folding clasp)
Ref. A103702A1C1A1 (steel mesh bracelet)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 9.99 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Caliber 10
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Winding: Self-winding
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours

Strap: Steel mesh bracelet or calfskin leather

Limited Edition: 1,000 pieces
Availability: Available online from Breitling
Price: US$4520; or 6380 Singapore dollars (leather – tang buckle)
US$4770; or 6680 Singapore dollars (leather – folding clasp)
US$5025; or 6980 Singapore dollars (steel mesh bracelet)

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