September 27, 2013
by Mark Bornais
Before I review the Breitling SuperOcean Heritage Chrono 46 I’d like to discuss my own personal history with aviation and the brand. When I received my pilot’s license many, many years ago, I invested in a couple of aircraft. In each of these airplanes was a box called an ELT or Emergency Locator Transmitter. This box was designed to detect a crash and send out a signal to SARsats orbiting the earth so that search and rescue teams could react. The ELT was about the size of a long battery and weighed about as much. It was, in a sense, mostly a battery with some electronics and an antenna thrown in.
I recall reading a pilot magazine and seeing an advertisement for a Breitling Emergency. What caught my eye at the time was the good looking case and the masculine presence of the watch. Then, I was aghast at learning that this wristwatch contained a fully functioning, water resistant ELT. I couldn’t believe that they were able to reproduce that functionality in a package that fit under the cuff of a shirt!
Ever since then, I’ve been enamored with the brand. However, it’s only recently that I’ve been able to spend time and money on beefing up my collection with other than a preponderance of fashion watches.
My first real luxury purchase was a Breitling SuperOcean Steelfish. Again, Breitling’s technical prowess impressed the hell out of me. This watch was good for over 6000 feet of water pressure. Who needs that? Apparently I did!
I’ve always wanted to add a chronograph version of the brand to my collection and about six months ago, I fell in love with the look of the Breitling SuperOcean Special Edition Heritage model with a beautiful blue dial and black bezel.
The Breitling mesh bracelet is the nicest looking, well made piece of hardware that I own. Although the watch came with a blue leather strap, I doubt I’ll ever use it. The bracelet is just that nice.
I love the homage to vintage Breitlings and the larger, more modern case size. The rich blue dial changes hues under different lighting. At times a deep blue and at other times, a reflective patina that adds a bit of bling to an otherwise mostly understated dial.
The date window is black numerals on a white disc at the 3 o’clock position and there are applied hour markers around the edge. There’s a lovely little Breitling “B” in polished gold above the text on the right side of the watch.
There are sub dials for the small seconds, chrono minutes and chrono hours. I’m happy to report that the chronograph functions like you would expect from a Valjoux 7750. The minutes counter only advances as the seconds hand comes around to the top position. For some reason, I detest chronographs where the minute indicator starts moving before a complete minute has been attained. Are you listening Citizen?
Speaking of seconds, the chronograph seconds hand on this Breitling is in polished silver and is a little hard to see at times. There’s no lume on the seconds hand. The hour and minutes hands are nicely sized and all it takes is a very quick glance to read the time. more »