Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

As I mentioned in my recent review of the Breitling Transocean 38 watch, Breitling was not really a brand that I found myself drawn to, as they felt overly-complicated for my own daily use and preferences. The Breitling Transocean collection, however, shows a slice of their lineup that takes things in a different (and dare I say, cleaner) direction. It is in this collection that we find an homage to the first chronograph with an independent pushpiece, in the form of the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I have to say, I was surprised by how much I liked this watch. I mean, yes, there was a lot to like with it's relatively clean dial, and plenty of vintage cues, including a domed (and raised) sapphire crystal which gives the sense of the high-rise acrylic crystals of the past. It is also a chronograph, however, which is a complication that I, frankly, have not found a lot of utility for in my life. As such, the design seemed to not sit well with me. While the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 is not making me rethink that stance, it is one that I was happy to spend time with.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

First and foremost, I think it is due to the monopusher design, which is right up at the 2 o'clock position. So, not only have we dropped one of the pushers that would normally flank the crown, we also have a different shape, curving gracefully up from the side of the case. Actually, if you look below the crown, you can see the horn shape actually starts there, with the line continuing through the crown. Yes, it is a little odd to see something jutting out from the case like the pusher does, but I appreciate the design they created here. Also of note? The pusher is nicely rounded off, so I did not experience any issues with it getting caught on a shirt cuff, or even feeling like it dug into my wrist.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Secondly, the almost monotone vintage-inspired dial helps the sub-registers blend in quite nicely. Overall, I would call the tone a champagne color (not overly yellowed, thankfully) with a lume hue on the numerals and in the hands that gives that aged feel. I will not pretend that the subdials disappear, which they don't. You have them set slightly lower than the main surface of the dial, so there is a crisp delineation around the subseconds (at 9 o'clock) and chrono minutes (at 3 o'clock), along with them having a slightly darker shade. It still worked to make it so it was not screaming that it's a chronograph at you, and that is something I liked.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

On the dial, the one miss I felt was included (surprising, given how well thought-out the other elements were) is the date display, and this, I felt, had two things working against it. First, we have it cutting off the 6, while no other numeral has that offense committed. Not that more of that would make it better, but it just really stands out. Second, we have it in a very rectangular form, when the rest of the dial and its elements are rounded and/or circular. It just makes those straight edges and right angles stand out. While a circular cut out would be the simple fix for this, I am not sure how it would look on the dial, so perhaps deleting the date (as much as it pains me to say, as it is a useful complication) would be the better route to go.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

It was funny to me that the date window caught me out as it did. I have reviewed other watches with numerals cut off, and of course, read reviews of watches with that styling, as well as comments about those watches. While it has been a polarizing design direction (at least it seems that way to me), it was something here that, on the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915, finally got stuck in my teeth. Perhaps that was its destiny, given that the Transocean lineup finally has me warming up to Breitling. That, or I finally just reached the tipping point on this, and that particular switch has flipped for me to set another preference that has formed from the watches crossing my desk.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I think I have pretty well-covered the dial side of the watch, so let's flip it over. Here, we see through a fairly large sapphire crystal the new Breitling B14 manually-wound double column-wheel movement. This is not, perhaps, the most stunning movement that I have ever seen, but it is well-finished (to my untrained eye), and it is interesting to watch those column wheels in action when you kick the chronograph off. Realistically, when you are looking at a movement like this, unless you are really into the intricacies, you are looking for the kinetic bits - the balance wheel and then pieces related to the chronograph. So, in that regard, it's well done. I am also of a mind to equate it to what we are seeing on the dial - understated, and supremely functional.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

For our review, we were sent the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 on the Ocean Classic Mesh strap, which I also spent time with in the Transocean 38 review. I do like mesh straps, especially for summer, as it mixes things up a bit from the standard steel bracelet. I am also a fan of how Breitling sets the bracelet up for adjustment, with actual links down by the deployant clasp that can be removed to get things sized. Sizing on this one was a bit trickier for me, for some reason, perhaps due to the 43mm case. I could not find quite the perfect fit by utilizing the links and the spring bar in the clasp (which makes an adjustment similar to what removing the link would), so I had to settle for it being just a tad tighter than I might prefer. This held it in place on the wrist just fine, but I would occasionally feel the deployant digging into my wrist. Of course, your mileage will likely vary on this, as everyone's wrists are different, and I had the same style of bracelet fit just fine on the Transocean 38.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

At the end of the day, the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 was a chronograph I was glad to have cross my desk. The overall style did resonate with me, and it marked off the right checkboxes for me when it comes to a vintage-inspired piece. For those looking to get their own, the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 is available in a limited edition of 1,915 pieces (see what they did there?) at a price of $9,090 on leather or $9,275 on the steel mesh bracelet. As I mentioned here, when I first saw images of the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915, this is certainly a classy look - and way - to get a historically-inspired chronograph on your wrist. breitling.com

Necessary Data
>Brand:  Breitling
>Model: Transocean Chronograph 1915
>Price: $9,275 (on the Ocean Classic mesh)
>Would reviewer personally wear it: If I were picking a chronograph, this would be a top contender.  For daily wear, though, probably not.
>Friend we'd recommend it to first:  I think this is best for someone who appreciates where chronographs started "back in the day" and can pick up on the influences on its design.
>Worst characteristic of watch:  The rectangular date window.
>Best characteristic of watch:  Just how unlike a chronograph it looks and feels in daily wear.
What do you think?
  • I love it! (3)
  • Thumbs up (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Classy (0)
  • I want it! (0)
  • mrbst

    No Tachymeter = Not a proper chronograph

  • DG Cayse

    While the adjustment concern about the mesh bracelet are noted, I must say, just looking at this watch makes me smile.

  • nickyb66

    At last a ‘tasteful’ watch from the company. Never been a fan of https://www.ablogtowatch.com/watch-brands/breitling/, all that aviator stuff. Every other week I get an email from the company on yet another ‘new’ model, or should I say a re-design of there existing models.

    However I do like this model, the crystal back and it one I could wear without thinking I’m a used car salesman.

  • I agree that they should have deleted the date – to keep the ‘6’ intact. Plus if this is a “1915” recall that date complications were around in this form back them. I like bi-compax chrono layouts, but an hour had on the chrono minutes sub-dial would be the perfect addition (like Omega does with the Speedy). I get that it is an in-house movement, but it’s still a lot for a hand wind chrono with traditional materials. Compare the price of this watch ($9100) with a Speedmaster Snoopy ($6100 and also hand wound) or a Speedmaster 57 ($7450) or even the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon (starts at $10,750). I’m not Speedmaster obsessed, but this is the sort of competition this Breitling has. 
    I like that this is clean looking (except for the date) for a Breitling even if a bit retro for my tastes – but that’s the style they were shooting for, so why not. But the price kills it for me. Thanks for the review Patrick.

  • mrbst Unlike a lot of people, I have used a tachymeter on a chronograph (determining ground speed while flying with my father as a kid over the mile set roads of the Midwest), but honestly most people have no use for a tachymeter let along how to use it. But I get that it’s a traditional element if that’s your point. But these days, it would not be a deal breaker for me. Cheers.

  • hatster

    nickyb66 I have to agree with you. It is a brand that I have struggled to warm to, despite trying. This, however, is something that I would love to wear. I am a particular fan of the strap (which will have a whole range of lovers and haters in itself). What would make or break it for me, price aside, is the face colour. Too often these ‘off-white’ faces are too cream/yellow in hue.

  • iamcalledryan

    I am a fan of mono-pusher chronos and vintage bicompax styilings, and this, despite being made by Breitling, is no exception!
    Agree about the date window comments below.

  • iamcalledryan

    Yes i agree. A tachymeter is cool (telemeter even more so), but far from a requirement for a chrono. A lot of people are attracted to busy dials and the tachy does a great job of making it busy, add a slide rule in there and you are cooking with gas!

  • iamcalledryan

    MarkCarson Aside from wanton price inflation, I guess it might also have something to do with needing to fund the investment in the in-house move. They are relatively new to that game and sell far fewer in-house units than Omega so it will take a while before they can offer in-house at competitive pricing.

  • DanW94

    I read the review and looked at the photos and thought, this watch just doesn’t do it for me aesthetically, I find the elements a bit dull, but then I clicked on the link Patrick provided to his initial review and saw it on the leather strap. Big difference.  The dial really pops against the dark leather.  The mesh bracelet washes it out. Not a big fan of the mesh anyway, it always reminds me of medieval chainmail armor.

  • jguitron75

    No a big fan of the most popular Breitlings but this watch is magnificent. I agree with the date window, especially having kept all the other numbers intact. Not a deal breaker for me. What turns me off is the big size it has! It looks awesome in photos but disproportionate on most wrists I’ve seen it on. Takes away a lot. Perhaps if they had gone for a more traditional 36-38mm case then the date window would be less of an issue because the 2 registers would cut into the other numbers like the vintage models do. $10K puts the nails in the coffin for me. Beautiful pictures though! Cheers.

  • Sevenmack

    This is a Breitling I could wear. The dial is classic-yet-modern. The mesh bracelet is gorgeous and adds an old-school look to it. And that mono-pusher for the chronograph function! Not the most-stunning Breitling (that’s the Transocean Chronograph Unitime). But it’s definitely a handsome watch.

  • bichondaddy

    Very nice, vintage look.  Love the chronograph sub-dials…but like others have noted…why chop off the “6” with the date??  Other than the price being out of my budget….I’d love to be the proud owner of one.  ( C’mon lotto numbers!!!)

  • ZL

    I’m kind of into these…

  • Bill Barfett

    Probably the nicest looking modern Breitling.. I’d still rather have one (or 3) of their Vintage Chronos though. They were on point back in the day.

  • Fraser Petrick

    A watch I’d be pleased to own. I don’t really need a chronograph, and too bad about the chopped off 6. Overall, though, a beautiful old fashioned watch. (Over priced?)

  • Chronic

    The square cornered date window doesn’t bother me, and neither does the cropping of the six o’clock numeral. However 43mm is too big for me, so I won’t be lining up to buy this particular model.

  • iamcalledryan

    ZL handsome

  • AtotheG

    After seeing the picture, I kind of expected to first line of the review to start, “Breitling and Ernst Benz have joined forces to produce…”  That said, I still can’t help but like this piece.  Lose the date, bring it down to 39-40.5mm, and price it at $6250 USD, and I’m in..

  • Refreshingly different for Breitling…

  • DG Cayse

    MarkCarson mrbst I just used a stop watch or simply looked at the second hand of my watch.

  • Jimxxx

    DanW94 Not to mention the gap between the watch and bracelet which is odd looking. Mesh is also meh…

  • spiceballs

    First Breitling I’ve seen with some class (but my memory’s not so great?) and its still a bit of a  “wounded bull” for me.

  • somethingnottaken

    MarkCarson I addition to the Speedmasters, there’s also the Zenith El Primero is in the same price range.

  • frustin

    it’s not bad but at first glance it reminds me of the mickey mouse watches my mum used to buy me as a kid. i think it’s the font.  I do sort of like it.

  • mrbst

    iamcalledryan ZL nice pump pushers!

  • egznyc

    Like so many others have said, this is a stealthy Breitling – a wolf in sheep’s clothing? – and that’s a good thing. I like the retro look a lot and it’s not too cluttered. No problem with a date window but it just cuts off too much of the six. So lose the date window or, perhaps, the six and keep the date. One or the other. Great lume shot – so maybe lose the date. Those contrasting subdials are gorgeous and I also like the inner circle/outer circle, which doesn’t always work for me.
    Yes it’s more than I’d be willing to pay given the competition. But nice to see something from this brand that I can actually get excited about.

  • egznyc

    I don’t know – would a used car salesman spend over nine grand on a wristwatch? Aren’t they going for the “there is goodness in austerity” crowd? 😉

  • egznyc

    And what’s wrong with medieval chainmail? Just remember, back in those dark days if you weren’t wearing chains you probably wore leather for protection in battle. And you probably didn’t wear a luxury timepiece.

  • Biffo10

    Outside of the classic Navitimer, I’ve never been drawn to Breitling……..like Tag, too many similar models in
    the lineup . This model looks to have a dumbed down dial & just doesn’t scream Breitling ( or class ) to me.
    The usual bold Breitling script with the logo in black would have lifted it, but I’ve got vintage watches from
    way back with that style of applied hour numerals.  My mother bought me my first watch pre me being able 
    to actually tell the time lol ! It was a Westclox ,& this Breitling reminded me of it ha ha, although how I’d have
     grown up & coped with 0 o’clock is a thought lol !

    For the money, I’d buy a solid gold Top Time..

  • DanW94

    egznyc
    I guess the flip side of that is if you’re a professional in a suit you probably don’t need chain mail armor to make it through that 8:00am meeting…..lol

    I can see it…..Rangard the Viking says to his fellow warrior, “that new Breitling you pillaged goes well with your mace and battle axe”

  • somethingnottaken

    egznyc despite the popularity of leather armour in fictionalized medieval settings, there is little evidence for it ever being used in the real world – and the evidence that does exist is for boiled leather (which is rather like hard springy plastic) worn under mail.

    In the pre-medieval and early medieval periods soldiers who couldn’t afford mail would have fought unarmoured except for a shield and (usually) a metal helmet. By the late medieval period most soldiers were professionals who would have worn at least a metal helmet and cloth armour (with 20 – 30 layers of linen providing rather good protection against the weapons of the day). Those who could afford it would add mail, brigandine and/or other metal armours to the ensemble, while the richest would have had plate armour.

  • somethingnottaken

    DanW94 egznyc Now that would be one way make meetings more exciting.

  • egznyc

    That’s a great little history lesson. Are you a(n) historian or is it just a hobby? (I never liked the “n” before this word.). I can see how only the wealthy could spring for actual metal plate armor. It would be like choosing precious metal over stainless steel, except it wasn’t merely an aesthetic choice.

  • I_G

    ZL Finally tri-compax layout! Yummy

  • I_G

    egznyc Only used Bentley salesmen, all the others buy two-tone Datejusts.

  • I_G

    The logo should be smaller.

  • egznyc

    Those aren’t cheap, either – they just look cheap!

  • JohnFrancisBorra

    OK, as a professional in the graphic arts, I’m finally gonna get this off my chest: Breitling’s logo, that appalling mix of two irreconcilable design elements, an anchor and pair of wings.  Really?  What self-respecting designer spun that confused assemblage?  But then, I can imagine it wasn’t a designer at all, but a committee of marketing types who were responsible.

    There was a time I was tempted by Breitlings, but the thought of that annoying logo on my wrist was just too much.  At least on this particular piece it’s been relegated to the clasp.

  • mrbst

    JohnFrancisBorra still not as nauseating as Rolex’s continued use of the white date hole on a dark dial w/ a cyclops. Greates offender: : Skydweller

  • Biffo10

    JohnFrancisBorra

    I doubt a lot of owners pay any close scrutiny to the Co logo as to it’s makeup,
    even on the ludicrously large Breitling Bentley lol !  It’s a feature, like any other,
    you like or dislike with a watch, that may or may not influence purchase.  They
    are registered trademarks going way back to the founding of the brand, so I’m
    prepared to cut Breitling some slack on this accent.  Given  a choice, I infinitely
    prefer the logo you dislike , to this text font look .

    Breitling isn’t alone to have incongrous logos. I’m pretty sure you’d dislike the
    Rotary one for the same reason……it’s a ‘ winged wheel’  .???

  • frustin

    Biffo10 JohnFrancisBorra yes but at least Rotary logo says, “the wheel of time” and “time flies”.

  • JohnFrancisBorra

    Biffo10 JohnFrancisBorra

    Agreed; the font is awful.

  • JohnFrancisBorra

    frustin Biffo10 JohnFrancisBorra My favorite watch logo is Longine’s winged hourglass, especially when it appears on a pilot’s watch.  About as good as it gets.

  • somethingnottaken

    egznyc Just a hobby – I have an interest in historic arms, armour, and martial arts.