Breitling actually debuted these new Superocean Heritage hands on the dial of the the quirky limited edition Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks in 2016 (hands-on here). The hour hand arrow has a line that bisects it (seemingly for no purpose as the hands are already distinctive looking), and now the minute hand rather dramatically tapers. Again, this is more in line with the look of the actual heritage Superocean watch, but I think the modern Superocean Heritage I did the hands a bit better. Not only were the outgoing hands easier on the eyes in terms of simplicity, I felt that they were more proportionate to the overall look of the dial. Now the minute hand feels a bit too skinny most of the time except at the tip – and the odd angles at the base of the arrow hour hand remove from the original’s strength and character. The new hands are certainly more distinctive, and it is entirely possible that they will grow on me, but at first glance, this is the one part of the Superocean Heritage that I thought was a bit better on the first generation model.
The lack of a steel ring around the inner part of the rotating bezel further makes the Superocean Heritage II look different from the original model. This is not an improvement or upgrade, so much as it is a new look for the now modern classic in contemporary vintage-style sports watches. The lack of an inner steel ring means the color from the bezel can blend in with the dial a bit more easily, which makes the most impact on the black-dialed models of the Superocean Heritage II. This is also the case on the blue and brown versions, but on some Superocean Heritage II models Breitling offers contrasting bezels and dials with a silvery dial with a black bezel.
The brown Superocean Heritage II is the new color tone which adds the trendy “chocolate” hue to the collection. There aren’t too many “brown divers” on the market at this point – so here is one for those who have been searching for this look. The blue model is also compelling, while the two-tone black bezel with silver dial has its charm. With that said, I continue to feel that the black-colored Superocean Heritage II will continue to be the top-selling model.
When it comes to strap and bracelet choices, Breitling makes you think rather hard when deciding what to pair your Superocean Heritage I or II with. This was really the first modern luxury watch to popularize the mesh metal “Milanese” bracelet, which continues to be one of the options that comes with the Superocean Heritage II. I really wish Breitling could figure out a way to remove the gap between the case and where metal bracelet attaches to the lugs. While I could be wrong, I feel that some type of end-link system might be welcome here – at least for those of us who don’t always like the gaps between the strap/bracelet and the case.
Breitling also offers up at least one leather strap and a couple of rubber strap options for the Superocean Heritage II. One rubber strap mimics the look of the mesh metal. It looks cheesy until you put it on, and then it looks interesting. For me the most important part of choosing the right strap to go with the Superocean Heritage II is in considering your own lifestyle. If you are going to use it more with formal attire, the leather strap is a good choice. If you intend on being more outdoorsy and activity-oriented, then the rubber straps will serve you well. Those looking for the most outward lifestyle statement wanting a timepiece that will call attention should certainly consider the mesh metal steel bracelet – that comes on Breitling’s very nice folding deployant buckle.