Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

The Breitling Superocean 44 Special made its debut just over a year ago to relatively little fanfare, which is somewhat of a shame, as it remains one of the brand’s more cohesive, pure dive watches to come around in a few release cycles. But despite largely appearing as though a footnote in Breitling’s 2016 releases, the 44 Special apparently did well enough to justify two more editions. Previously available exclusively in Breitling’s stealthy Blacksteel PVD finish, these new models have a matte stainless steel case with black or blue dial options.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

Diving slightly (ok, five times) deeper than Breitling's entry-level automatic Colt sport watches, the 1000m-rated Superocean II watches deliver the full suite of modern features that many luxury tool watch fans crave (insane depth ratings, a knurled unidirectional bezel, blinding luminosity, and even a helium release valve), while dialing back the ultra-macho, military-inspired aesthetic that defines the Avenger range of aviation watches.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

While Breitling still insists on calling the Superocean II an “ocean pilot,” the Breitling Superocean 44 Special is anything but. In addition to checking off the aforementioned requisite features for a diver of this ilk, the Special differentiates itself from the standard Superocean II by going with a matte steel case finish, a more minimalist dial with square applied indices instead of the busy Arabic numerals, and a solid, ceramic bezel characterized by its singularly smooth surface and extremely sharp, grippy serrations.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

Said ceramic bezel isn’t new technology for Breitling, as we’ve already seen the black variant on the first Blacksteel 44 Special, and a similar version of the deep, matte blue introduced on this Boutique-Edition Chronoliner. Generally speaking, the singular color of the bezel looks great here, but it remains to be seen whether or not a ceramic bezel (usually the first errant contact point for a dive watch against a boat gunwale, dive ladder, or door frame) will stand up to the frequent impacts that characterize the life of a well-worn tool watch.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

Traditional dive watch bezels shrug off these bumps and dings by utilizing a solid metal bezel with a replaceable insert containing the numbered demarcations glued in. So while this might be an aesthetic design choice rather than a functional one, we’ll be the first to admit both ceramic color options are the perfect fit to contrast the steely aesthetic on the new 44 Special, and one that we’re looking forward to seeing on the wrist.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

Compared to the standard Superocean II, the new Breitling Superocean 44 Special is much more austere in its execution, putting it in league with the Tudor Pelagos or 2014’s Rolex Sea Dweller 4000, both of which are equally clinical in their application of contrast and texture. The added contrast of the new stainless steel case finish is a welcome one, as the previous Blacksteel edition tended to overwhelm the wrist, as most all-black watches tend to do. As mentioned previously, the end result is one of the more cohesive, purpose-built divers in the Breitling catalog, but one that is altogether modern and masculine without appearing to be making great pains to remind you.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch New Variations Watch Releases

The guts of the Breitling Superocean 44 Special remain unchanged – inside still beats Breitling’s Calibre 17, a chronometer-grade ETA 2824-based automatic movement with 25 jewels, and a power reserve of around 42 hours. Pricing for the Breitling Superocean 44 Special at $4,350 for the stainless steel finish on bracelet and $3,850 on rubber is a bit less than the existing Blacksteel variant at $4,980 on the rubber strap. breitling.com

What do you think?
  • I want it! (50)
  • Interesting (15)
  • I love it! (11)
  • Thumbs up (7)
  • Classy (5)
  • Now with 25% more cutoff numerals.

    • Pete Pete

      my deepest condolences to the families of number 13, 15, 21, 23 and especially number 18.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Awful ! . Why would they do that. ? Either reset or smaller font. What are people thinking !

      • Saddest Factory

        Shit, I thought that was a 10. Well, he’s 6 feet under now. Which I guess means he’s 12.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    This would be a descent watch, but the price is a little high for a 2824. We’ve seen more expensive than that but a chronometer certification would be nice.

    • WINKS

      “inside still beats Breitling’s Calibre 17, a chronometer-grade ETA 2824-based automatic movement with 25 jewels”

      • Sheez Gagoo

        I’ve read that but I thought it’s just ordered that way from ETA with no certification because there’s no “chronometer” on the dial. But on the back. Sorry.

    • Saddest Factory

      “a descent watch”?
      Well punned, and completely punintentional.

      • Sheez Gagoo

        Autocorrect. Sorry.

        • Saddest Factory

          should have left it…it was a brilliant double puntendre

    • Every Breitling, whether it’s a superquartz, an ETA base, or their in-house manufacture B0X movements are chronometer-grade, and are certified as such.

  • TrevorXM

    At this price range I would expect to see the Tudor co-op movement inside.

    • Kuroji

      Those ones are sold out.

  • John Smith

    How many more dive watches do we actually need by now ?

    • Raymond Wilkie

      But this one goes to 1000m ! A total must have ! …………

      • BNABOD

        Thought 5000 was now the new craze

    • The correct answer to this is N+1, where ‘N’ equals the current number of dive watches owned.

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        I need more dive watches. (Although its one in, one out – nearly).

  • Raymond Wilkie

    All together now # In the navy ,you can sail the 7 seas #…………………

  • Word Merchant

    Those cut-off numerals are a complete mess. Pass.

  • SuperStrapper

    I really like this blue vaiant, but the cut off numerals are certainly bizarre.

  • Lawrence

    They look better than the regular version… I think street price will be at 2500 to 3000 in a few months.

  • otaking241

    Holy crap this thing is way too cluttered. You’ve got:

    – Knurled bezel with 4 different styles of marking for all 60 minutes
    – Printed rehaut with 2 types of marking for every 2.5(?!) minutes
    – A chapter ring with marking for all 60 minutes
    – 3 types of oversized indices for the hours plus a date window
    – Military time markings (that don’t even fit!)
    – 5 lines of branding and model information plus an oversized Breitling crest
    – All covered by 3 oversized hands

    At least the date disc color matches the dial?

    Other nit to pick is the cutout between the lugs, which would look much better if it followed the radius of the dial instead of doing what it does. Why?

  • Marius

    To be honest, I quite like this watch. Granted, as other commenters have pointed out, this watch does have a few design inconsistencies, especially if you look at the dial & bezel. However, overall, this is a decent-looking watch with a very good water resistance, produced by a good brand.

    As for the price, I agree that $3,800 is a high price for an ETA-powered watch. However, the reality is that this price is, more or less, in line with what lesser brands such as Bremont or Tag Heuer charge for similarly-equipped ETA watches. Not to mention the $1,550 asked by Daedalus & Aeschylus & Oedipus for their diver. Well, I’d much rather cough up the extra $2,000 (which for me equals my daily lunch at the Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse restaurant in Monte Carlo), and purchase the Breitling.

    • Sevenmack

      Agree on all counts. I would prefer the Superocean Heritage over the Superocean 44. But for those folks who want a more-traditional diver with the numbers on the bezels, yet don’t want to pay more for a Submariner, a Superocean 44 works great.

      As for the argument over the lack of an in-house movement: Not everyone cares about having one. Many prefer an outsourced movement that can be serviced by the watchmaker at the jeweler than an in-house that can only be serviced by the watchmaker back in Switzerland.

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        I’ve seen that SO Heritage and its lovely. Works a treat on the mesh too.
        Have to agree about movements. Though I’d do anything to own an R Smith with bespoke movement. For an everyday, wear anywhere, knock-about watch, it’s much more practical to have the repairability of a bog standard movement.

    • Excellent points on all fronts.

    • proudAmerican702

      I’m kinda a newby in this watch game, and for the most part I can’t stand Breitling—their watches are just way too busy for me.

      I like the looks of this one, but I can’t find the answer to this in the story (maybe Zach can answer): Is the red-tipped hand a GMT hand (to go with the 24-hr markers on the dial) or is it a seconds hand?

      Thanks to anyone who can answer.

      • Saddest Factory

        Pretty sure it’s a seconds hand.

        • proudAmerican702

          Thanks. Then that begs the question, why is there a 24-hr scale on the watch if there’s no way to clock a 24-hour time period with this watch??

          • Saddest Factory

            Breitling does have 24-hour watches. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a91e3f787ecf07e186c6109c9ed1a056f01052cd2070d7faf936728eb304465d.png But there are other watch companies that do the same as this model. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2903a1751c1b2315718add4f4565f62f6f3bab51aba7b039f657aa1208bb0b61.jpg I guess it’s designed to provide some (very) limited functionality (adding 12) for those in the military. Or, if you’re being cynical, it’s designed to just “look” like a badass military type watch for those not in the military.

          • Kuroji

            The 24 hour main dials are great, unless you like to know what time it is.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            It’s called dial garbage. At times it’s too much writing , other times it’s ill fitting 24 hour markers.

          • proudAmerican702

            Now THAT makes sense to me. On any other watch, a red/whi-tipped triangle-shaped hand would indicate a GMT hand. Thanx.

          • Kuroji

            Just be glad there’s not a tachymetre scale.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Or a chronograph ! :- )

          • Saddest Factory

            Ever seen a tachymeter without a chronograph, other than on that Citizen Desk/Wall Clock?

          • Kuroji

            Like that would stop them.

          • Thomas H

            When the sun’s out the time is 10:09, when it’s dark the time is 22:09.

          • proudAmerican702

            Exactly. I’m a pilot, so I live by military time. But if a watch can’t “tell” military time, why clutter the dial with military time??

      • Marius

        The red-tipped hand is a seconds hand, and the 24-hours markers are used to indicate military time. For instance, I always have lunch at the Le Louis XV restaurant at 14:00 hours, so this Breitling would be a valuable tool for my military precision.

        • Saddest Factory

          And off to the water closet at precisely 14:45 hours.

    • Lincolnshire Poacher

      Marius really? That might cover a good bottle of plonk. What about aperitifs, liqueurs, cigars, and don’t forget the food.

  • Yan Fin

    Another Invicta design

  • Fantastic. I’m not sure about the 2 1/2 minute marks on the rehaut (what are those for?), but I actually like the cut-off numbers on the 24-hour scale (as per MIL-PRF 46374G: “Concentric with and adjacent to the numerals 1 through 12, in a smaller font, shall be the Arabic numerals 13 through 24.”) quite a bit. Just a little quirky, and moves the emphasis to the markers, which is as it should be on a diver’s (is it tested as per ISO 6425?) watch. Speaking of the markers, Breitling always hits it out of the park with the finish on their handsets and markers. Über legible, well-proportioned, and…1000M? Sign me up.

    • Kuroji

      I guess they are for symmetry? Does seem weird.

    • But doesn’t that wording state that there are 1 through 12 numerals? On this dive watch they don’t exist, so no way they are “complying” with the milspec. I don’t care for the cut off-numbers (which a number of people have noted). Otherwise, I like the watch – especially in blue.

  • Kuroji

    I actually like the blue one. The Superoceans always lose me when I see them in person though.

    • Bossman

      Complete opposite here. Saw them on the website and thought nah!
      Saw it in person at the Dubai Airport and bought the blue one despite intention of only looking and definitely not buying.

      • Kuroji

        Nice!

  • DanW94

    The dial’s a bit cluttered, what with the extraneous text and numbers but it’s otherwise a good looking tool watch. Personally for the money, I’d choose a more classic diver like the Pelagos.

    • egznyc

      I’m right with you. But it’s not bad for a Breitling – overpriced though it may be. Maybe another brand with a little gesture to the vintage trend – and sense of humor – will put to market a smaller version of diver that they’ll call a “38 Special”?

      • Saddest Factory

        Hold on loosely, that could happen. But not if you cling too tightly.

        • egznyc

          The hands of the watch would need some space to breathe in …

          • Saddest Factory

            Cruise-ing down the Autobahn
            Got my Breitling in sight
            I’m getting kinda anxious
            Oooh, like Travolta in flight
            Waiting, anticipating…
            For a Breitlight™ in the night
            Now I swear that I am seein’ Xenu
            But I guess it’s just a kite

            And now I’m watchin’, watchin’, watchin’ a flying kite
            Xenu ain’t here tonight
            Oooh, watchin’

            Spaced out in Bangkok
            Buying love where I can
            I meet a sweet kathoey
            Oooh, with Dianetics in her hand
            (S)he’s waiting, anticipating…
            To be hooked up to the E
            Well I brought my brand new e-meter
            But I don’t do shit for free

            And now I’m auditin’ through the night
            The Pontiff just needs a Sprite
            Maybe two Sprites, yeah!

        • Berndt Norten

          Give it a seconds hand chance

  • Mark1884

    Would prefer sword hands and Arabic numerals. Other than that, very nice.

  • Pete L

    Blue one is lovely but the overlap on the 24hr scale would drive me mad.

  • Tim Archer

    I love the design of some Superocean models, especially their heritage models which I was close to pulling the trigger on. This model looks a bit dated and somewhat ordinary. BUT the only two watches I have had fail in the last 40 years are both Breitlings, both bought new, both gently used. Off to the AD this morning to drop off my Navitimer.

  • BNABOD

    What happened to 15 18 and 21 did they simply not fit? Smaller markers or remove the digits but can’t have both like that. It would drive me nuts.
    The price as usual for this type of watches is optimistic but I am getting used to it. We complain MAT at 1400 is too much yet here for 3800 we feel okish. Granted Breitling and MAt don’t play in same league but at almost 4 Gs I would have expected the Tudor movement in it.

  • BRIAN

    I am in no way a movement knowledgable person but is this the reason we always get these watches with dials that are have some compromise?

    I mean if they were given a blank slate without having to accommodate a movements date placement would we no longer have theses dial issues?

    I don’t get when we are paying this kind of money how they can send out a watch with numbers cut in half or date windows that cover 1/2 a number. Nice looking watch but come on this isn’t a $500 watch make the necessary adjustments to make the dial perfect.

    • Brian Valta

      What are you even talking about?? Dial is perfectly clean and diver-level legible. Date window nicely and somewhat subtly substitutes a 3 o’clock index. It’s a simple three-hand movement with a date function, not to mention a very heavily modified Chronometer grade version. Like… I don’t even get what you just said. 15, 18, and 21 of the military time are partially overlapped with systematically prolonged indices to help differentiate the quarter-hours…

  • Ulysses31

    Not only does the dial have those little ugly minute and hour numerals (that I hate on any watch I see them on) but some of them are cut-off! Of course it was designed that way intentionally, but was it really not possible to leave them whole? Nudging them two millimetres inwards wouldn’t have hurt. The SuperOcean Heritage is still the classiest and cleanest SuperOcean there is.

  • watchman

    Love this breitling design. Dial is clean and eye catching.
    http://smartwatchpalace.com/product-category/brands/breitling/

  • You wouldn’t expect a matte blue ceramic bezel to look that good!