First launched in 1957, the original Breitling Superocean II was water resistant to 200 meters, making it inarguably a serious divers’ watch. But that’s been far surpassed: recent versions of the Superocean have been water resistant to as much as 1,500 meters. In the last few years, it’s also come to have an in-house movement, Breitling’s Caliber 17, based on the ETA 2824-2 with quick-set date. This movement is also to be found in the Superocean II.
In developing the Superocean II, Breitling has made some subtle but important design updates. The font for the numbers on the rotating bezel is less stylized than on Superocean, and this bezel now has a luminous dot at 12 o’clock. The bezel has graduations for the last 15 minutes of a dive, but these markings are now large rectangular markings, not the small pips seen on models like the current Superocean 44.
The dial has also gone in for a redesign. There is now a full complement of Arabic numerals to mark the hours, all with white luminous coating. What’s more, the Superocean II has an internal circle of indexes for reading 24-hour time – something you won’t find on any other Superocean model. A red outline for the arrow-tipped seconds hand is standard on all sizes of the Breitling Superocean II .
The case of the Superocean II is slimmer than its predecessor. Whereas the Superocean 42 (the number comes from its case diameter) is 15 mm thick and the Superocean 44 is 16.7 mm thick, the Superocean II is 13.3 mm thick with a 42-mm diameter and 14.2 mm thick with a 44-mm diameter. Additionally, the Superocean II comes in a distinctly different size that’s not available in the Superocean line. The 36-mm-wide Superocean II looks nearly identical to its larger siblings, though it’s also available in a white-on-steel version for ladies.
On all three sizes, the Breitling Superocean II has a screw-locked crown, unidirectional rotating bezel that ratchets into place, and a cambered sapphire crystal. The caseback is embossed with a circular Superocean motif. The movement, Caliber 17, is chronometer certified and beats at 28,800 vph. The watches are available on a rubber “Ocean Racer” strap or steel bracelet.
On the 42- and 44-mm models, dials are available in either black or deep blue. The 36-mm model comes with a black or a white dial. The cases of the 36-mm and 42-mm versions are polished steel; the 44-mm case is satin-brushed steel. The water resistance of the models ranges: it’s 200 meters for the 36 mm, 500 meters for the 42 mm, and 1,000 meters for the 44 mm.