Best Dive Watch: Breitling Superocean 44 Special Watch
With the Superocean 44 Special, Breitling introduces their second (at the time of writing) 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 Breitling 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.
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 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.
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 dive 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.
Inside the Breitling Superocean 44 Special is the brand’s calibre 17 automatic movement which is a base Swiss ETA. The movement has been COSC Chronometer certified, as is the case with many other Breitling timepieces luxury brand for sale. Current strap options for the Breitling Superocean 44 Special watch are both rubber, but with different styles and are the Breitling Ocean Racer or the Diver Pro. Price is $4,980. breitling.com