With the Superocean 44 Special, Breitling introduces their second timepiece which uses a ceramic bezel. If you recall, last year in 2015 Breitling released the well-priced and good-looking Chronoliner (hands-on here) that has a solid black ceramic bezel. Competing watch brands such as Rolex and Omega had introduced ceramic as a material into their lineup years previously, so it was about time Replica Watches offered their own take on the use of the material. For 2016, Breitling uses ceramic as a bezel material for this “Special” version of the Superocean dive watch.
I have a feeling that the mostly monochromatic design of the Breitling Superocean 44 Special will look better in person than in these marketing pictures. Timepieces like this tend to look a bit boring in images, but in person their high-contrast, legible dials and versatile styling make strong visual arguments. In fact, the brand calls the Breitling Superocean 44 Special their “ocean pilot,” as they feel it combines the legibiltiy of a pilot watch with the durability of a dive watch. Last I checked, most dive watches were more legible that most pilot watches – especially at Breitling… At least the Breitling Superocean 44 Special continues that heritage.
Superocean 44 Special
This Breitling Superocean 44 case comes in PVD-coated black steel and is water resistant to 1000 meters with a screw-down crown (of course) and helium release valve. It looks like Breitling uses the same “mono-block” type of black ceramic bezel as the Breitling Replica Chronoliner. This is not a mere bezel insert, but a solid piece of ceramic all around. This is unlike many other ceramic bezels which are merely rings placed into a metal frame and used as “bezel inserts.” The result should be more scratch-resistant surfaces all around, and such pieces of more complex-milled ceramic are arguably more desirable.
Superocean 44 Special
A look back at Breitling’s modern history with dive watches reveals a stunning variety of designs and themes. Breitling dive watches over the last 10 years have come in both mechanical and quartz variants, with modern or vintage themes, in a slew of different sizes and colors, as well as designs which are either more sports or formal. Of the recent Breitling Replica Watches, the Breitling Superocean 44 Special very much feels like their take on the “professional diver” with a focus on functionality versus things like trendy colors.
Superocean 44 Special
Tool watch lovers will likely celebrate the Breitling Superocean 44 Special for its particular lack of “excess design.” Perhaps the only issue some might take with the dial design is how the 9 o’clock hour marker and the date window slightly overlap the 24-hour markers on the dial inside of the applied lume-filled hour indicator. This won’t bother most people, but I do take notice each time an audience member comments on their dislike of how one element on a dial overlaps or cuts into another.
This Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks watch costs about $40,000. If you haven’t already noticed, pricing doesn’t always seem to make sense in the watch world. There are times when otherwise interesting watches are marred by having retail prices which simply confound the consumer’s sense of reason. Sometimes those prices are actually too high, and other times the prices are fair but the consumer doesn’t understand or appreciate the reason for the high cost. In either event, pricing practices often don’t meld with consumer expectations or perceived values. It is perhaps the biggest “issue” the luxury industry faces, given the highly active Breitling Replica lover community, and the conversations contained therein, that seek to validate or veto many decisions the watch industry makes.
At Baselworld 2016, Breitling shared with us this new “Chronoworks” version of the Superocean Heritage. “Chronoworks” is a term I haven’t heard before from Breitling, and it sounds like their version of a tuning shop where they tweak movements for better performance. In this case, the Breitling Replica Watches Chronoworks team began with their already in-house-made Breilting caliber B01 automatic chronograph. Breitling points to “five innovations” in the movement which, after the “optimization” from their “performance lab” (Chronoworks), is now called the caliber BC01.
What are the innovations? The question isn’t really “what,” but rather “if” these add up to the price Breitling is asking. The innovations in the movement added by the Chronoworks performance lab are a ceramic baseplate and gear-train bridges (versus metal), silicon wheels, a silicon escapement, a variable-inertia balance wheel, and elastic toothing. That all sounds cool, but what does it actually cost and what are the performance gains?
All of these features essentially act to do a few things. First is to reduce the propensity for parts to wear out, to reduce friction, to remove the effects of magnetism, to increase accuracy, and to decrease service times. Cheap Breitling Replica doesn’t per se mention all this, but I can tell you what the point of all these parts is. Interestingly enough, all of this is a source of great controversy in the traditional watch industry. It has to do with the fact that metal parts are being replaced by non-metal parts. If the movements are still mechanical then why all the fuss?
I do appreciate the sentiment of this argument, but I don’t think it will hold a lot of ground in the long term. In my opinion, watch brands have an obligation to offer consumers choice, and it is the consumers who will choose what they want to put their money into. For those who can afford Philippe Dufour’s level of finishing and beauty, then they will easily sacrifice pure performance for beauty. People wanting a reliable everyday wear that isn’t an electronic Cheap Breitling might be better served by a movement made up entirely of non-metallic parts. Truly, that is where I hope we are headed. Brands from Ulysse Nardin to Breitling have been spending years playing with non-metallic parts.