Review: Breitling Transocean Chronograph

Breitling_Transocean_Chronograph_Stainless_Steel_Gem_set_Bezel
Movement
Breitling Manufacture Calibre 01
Case
Stainless steel or Rose Gold
Strap
Rubber, Leather or Stainless Steel
Dial
Black, blue or white
Lens
Convex, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with double sided anti-glare
Water Resistance
< 100 metres
Lume
Yes
Dimensions
43mm
Crown
Set steel crown with dual pushers
Warranty
5 years
Price
£4,500 - 28,000

Léon Breitling established Breitling in St. Imier in Switzerland in 1884 shortly after he had been motivated by a concept to reevaluate how time is calculated, interpreted and studied. 1958 was the year the company introduced the Breitling Transocean—a simple but large watch that was shock-resistant, anti-magnetic and had a tight automatic chronometer.

Years after, the company is paying homage to its exceptional history in watchmaking by releasing a modern Transocean line that takes inspiration from the earliest Transocean chronograph. The new Breitling Transocean line blends modernity with the classic style of the 1950s to design an outstanding piece of elegance and grandeur.

Right from its beginning, Breitling has been testing the restrictions of the watchmaking business, thereby establishing an automatic chronograph technology. It was the first in the industry to launch two autonomous push-pieces in watches. The Swiss luxury watchmaker preserves its knowledge of invention through the Breitling Chronométrie workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds till this day. Breitling has a solid reputation for making chronographs that are accurate and strong, without jeopardising on design.

A common collection among extravagant aviation timepieces, Breitling has a deep history of being the desirable timepiece for aviators which proves the quality and high-functionality of its timepieces. Breitling moves beyond aviation. The brand also prides itself on producing enduring and active watches for divers, explorers, and even astronauts. Here is one of the most elegant watches selected from the Breitling Transocean line.

Dial

Breitling’s reasons for the Transocean Chronograph are apparent with the ‘B’ logo motif, which refers back to the classic Breitling logo. It lays the idea for the entire design, which copies so much from the original Breitling Transocean from the 1950s. The influence is reimagined through the structure and design of the case, likewise the fashion of the dial, which adopts from classic Breitlings of multiple diverse variants.

The earliest Transocean had large dauphine hands, but the slender sword-shaped hands selected by Breitling is suitable for the long, slim markers. Only 2,000 pieces produced, this limited-edition piece delivers a sense of elegance upon any gentleman.

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Breitling Transocean Chronograph Stainless Steel (White Dial)

The black or white dial features a small but very satisfying detail appearance of stretched hash indications on the minutes subdial for the chronograph at the three-, five-, six- and nine-minute marks, which lets the watch be used as a regatta timer. The dial exhibits authentic performance and readability, and even under enlargement, the completion of the hands, used markers and other dial signs are flawless and very sharp. The extremely reflective hands make sure the timepiece is easy to read under low-light settings, helped further by the application of considerably meaning amounts of Luminova.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph Stainless Steel Gem-set (Black Dial)

It has chronograph pushers on the stiff side, working. This is most likely an intentional decision on Breitling’s part as it helps make sure that the chronograph will not by chance be started or stopped. The pusher touch runs through the start, stop and reset, with tight pressure meeting with a fresh release that provides distinct physical feedback.

Case

At 43mm in diameter, the Transocean Chronograph is not a reminiscence of its older generation. Though we do wish it were a little smaller, the size is suitable for contemporary preferences. We are convinced this might have been put into consideration because the movement is robust enough to fully capture the case diameter and also to provide the chronograph sub-dials a unified arrangement on the dial. It refrains from the “cross-eyed chronograph” sensation that can happen as a result of using a tiny chronograph movement in a larger case.

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Breitling Transocean Chronograph Rose Gold Rubber strap

The Transocean Chronograph case is available in stainless steel, stainless steel with a gem-set bezel or an 18k rose-gold variant. This watch does, however, lack the Haute Horlogerie hand-finishing methods like black polishing of steel parts. The level of finish is appealing and reasonable to the price of the watch. The movement can be seen through the sapphire crystal case-back. The Transocean watch is water-resistant to an available 100 metres.

This watch is driven by the Breitling in-house automatic chronograph calibre 01, which has an incredible 70-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800vph — at the high end of the normal range for contemporary timepieces. The Calibre 01 is a column-wheel design with a vertical clutch. This chunky, functional design features a structure that self-centres the chronograph reset hammers, likewise the unique pattern of the column-wheel teeth which are not regularly wide, solid and level. This movement provides the watch with a hitch-free function. It does not take time to service and is COSC chronometer certified.

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Breitling Transocean Chronograph Steel Black Dial

The escapement applies a flat hairspring with a regular index regulator system. It features a micrometric system that is known for accurate regulation, which helps secure, stable rate support by reducing drift of the regulator during operation.

The movement possesses 47 jewels, a high count even for a self-winding chronograph, and the utilisation of ruby jewels for pivots consists of both the automatic-winding train and the chronograph train. The Calibre 01 is completed to notable excellence, with brisk, neat perimeters and finely finished sunray brushing on the rotor, and Genèva stripes on the movement bridges.

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Wearability

The Transocean Chronograph is a deserving follow-up to the Breitling pilot’s chronographs of the golden age of aviation. It has a strong presence on the wrist and a solid tractor of a movement within.

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Breitling Transocean Chronograph Rose Gold (Blue Dial)

The Transocean is equipped with what Breitling labels the “Ocean Classic” steel mesh bracelet, which only comes with the steel model. It is flexible, very cosy, and a suitable match for the watch. This bracelet bolsters both its relaxed classical feel and its husky modernity. The bracelet can be fixed to fit the wearer’s wrist with the loose spring bar on the flip-lock clasp due to the capability to takeout or use up to twelve links. The bracelet can be replaced with/changed to the padded leather strap, or the black or blue rubber aero classic straps.

Price

The Breitling Transocean Chronograph is fascinating in its own right and suitable for the price point of the watch. Prices for the base steel model with a rubber strap and black dial start from £4,500 ( €4,975 or $5,570).

Breitling_Transocean_Chronograph_Rose_Gold_and_Gold_Bracelet
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Rose Gold and Gold Bracelet

The higher jewellery steel gem-set bezel model of the watch is from around £9,000 (€9,955 or $11,100), while the top range 18K gold case and gold (air-racer) bracelet model is available from £28,050 (€31,020 or $34,700).

Review: Breitling Transocean Chronograph
Final Thoughts
Bringing back the classic style of the 1950s and '60s, this Breitling Transocean automatic chronograph is designed for precision and sophistication. Its clean and elegant design makes it easy to read at a glance. A good size with a rugged case means this take on a classic piece should certainly be in your dressing room.
Dial
Case
Wearability
Price
Positives
Not overtly vintage
Good readability with chronograph
Strong and reliable
Lume availability
Negatives
Large size
Might be complicated for some
4.2
Editor's Score
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