Slow motion style

Breitling builds on tradition with new Superocean

The local Superocean campaign is fronted by Awat Ratanapintha, Akrapak Phaisitpornpol and Note Panayanggool. (Photo: Kanachai Bencharongkul)

Breitling has been into slow-mo horology since the mid 1960s.

Founded in 1884, the Swiss watchmaker invented the modern chronograph and pioneered the navigational tool watch. Its diver's chronograph was launched in 1957, and modified as the SuperOcean Slow Motion in 1965, to enable easy reading of the diving duration.

The seconds hand was replaced by a revolutionary minutes-based chronograph, dubbed the Slow Motion because it took an hour to make a full rotation of the dial.

The new Superocean collection is inspired by the slow-mo tool watch from the 1960s and 1970s.

Back in the 1960s, the emerging sport of scuba diving was all the rage, spurred by the adventures of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. In diving, timing was everything -- measured almost exclusively in minutes -- and Breitling wanted to not only provide the best tool watch for the task, but to make it stylish on the wrist.

The design of the original SuperOcean Slow Motion eliminated any superfluous features that didn't support the lifesaving needs of divers underwater. A high-contrast dial ring was introduced to the crucial minutes scale and chunky luminescent batons instead of subtle indexes allowed better readability.

The local Superocean campaign is fronted by Awat Ratanapintha (left), Akraphak Phaisitpornpol (above) and Note Panayanggool (below). 

Thanks to the Slow Motion movement, the wearer can directly read the diving duration with the chronograph hand and the minute track on the dial.

However, this makes it almost impossible to tell at a glance if the chronograph is running or not as its hand moves too slowly. The technical solution was an indicator, located at 6 o'clock, which becomes black with a small yellow dot when the chronograph is on hold and returns to an all-black circle when it is reset and stopped.

On the new Superocean watches, Breitling has put back the seconds hand, designed with a circle near its tip to recall the dot in the original's circular window at 6 o'clock.

The SuperOcean Slow Motion's distinctive square minute hand and the high-contrast minute scale also appear on the reinterpretations. The broad hands and indexes are coated in Super-LumiNova for better readability underwater.

The sporty Superocean however is no longer strictly a diver's watch and it can be worn for any occasion and to express oneself through the new collection's variations that come in different sizes (46, 44, 42 and 36mm), case materials (steel, steel and gold, or bronze) and dial colours.

The new Superocean collection.

The scratchproof ceramic-inlayed bezel means it will never wear or fade. For safety, the bezel is unidirectional on most sizes and bidirectional with a patented lock on the 46mm steel versions with a black or blue dial.

The 44mm and 42mm bronze models respectively boast a brown and green dial. The alloy is resistant to corrosion but will still develop a subtle patina over time that makes each watch even more unique.

The 42mm steel and red gold rendition is paired with a classic black face.

The palette also include funky hues such as turquoise splashed on the dial of the 44mm and 36mm steel timepieces, and orange that blazes on the 36mm steel watch as well as the Superocean Automatic 42 Kelly Slater Limited Edition matched with a military-green rubber strap.

The chronographs can be worn with a rubber strap or a new three-row metal bracelet featuring a folding clasp that allows for micro-adjustments of up to 15mm for easy wear over rashies and dive suits.

The 44mm and 42mm bronze Superocean Automatic models boast a brown and green dial.

Water resistant to 300m, the Superocean models are also resistant to shock, sand and saltwater while the automatic Breitling Caliber 17 provides a power reserve of approximately 38 hours.

Based in Grenchen, the independent brand produces its own movements, whose quality is confirmed by their status as a COSC-certified chronometer.

Breitling has introduced several squads covering different areas of activity linked to its thematic worlds: air, sea and land. Its Surfer Squad members Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons are back as the faces behind the new Superocean collection.

The local campaign is fronted by singer and DJ Note Panayanggool, actor Awat Ratanapintha and lawyer/underwater artist Akraphak Phaisitpornpol, with the images shot by photographer and artist Kanachai Bencharongkul.

The local Superocean campaign is fronted by Awat Ratanapintha, Akrapak Phaisitpornpol and Note Panayanggool. 

The redesign with the SuperOcean Slow Motion's distinctive square minute hand and high-contrast minute scale.

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