OMEGA Seamaster and Breitling Superocean

Ask a Watch Expert: OMEGA Seamaster and Breitling Superocean

Welcome back to our Ask an Expert series. Join our watch specialist, Scott, as he talks about the OMEGA Seamaster and Breitling Superocean. From what activities they’re suitable for, to their movements and everything else in between, here’s what he has to say.

25 July 2022 Scott Gibson - Ernest Jones Watch Specialist

Luxury watches are set apart from the rest due to their exceptional craftsmanship and outstanding features. We have a dedicated team that knows everything there is to know about our range of luxury watches, including our watch expert, Scott, who knows a thing or two about the technical wizardry and artistry behind these timepieces. For the second in the series of Ask an Expert, we’ve asked Scott to give us the low down on the OMEGA Seamaster and Breitling Superocean.

OMEGA Seamaster

What’s the best feature of an OMEGA Seamaster?

The OMEGA Seamaster as we know it today features the iconic ‘wave’ patterned dial, now also released in ceramic to give the watch a unique look. This pattern has been captivating the watch market since 1995 and was sorely missed when it was removed a few years ago, only to make a triumphant return on the latest models. The dial is just one part of this watch's appeal. With the rest of its purposeful look revealing its true purpose as a professional diver’s watch, it has 300 metres of water resistance, a highly legible face and a ceramic diving bezel.

Which type of movement powers the OMEGA Seamaster?

When British watchmaker George Daniels introduced the Co-axial escapement movements, he probably didn’t foresee his design making it into the movements of one of the biggest watchmakers in the world. Now manufactured in-house by OMEGA, the Co-axial automatic calibres in the Seamaster range are immensely accurate, achieving Master Chronometer status across the range. Daniels' escapement design reduces friction, meaning fewer oils are needed in the movement and a longer service interval to boot. Add into that the beautiful, intricate decoration Omega undertakes to each movement which is then displayed beautifully through the case back, these really are industry-leading calibres.

What is the OMEGA Seamaster suitable for?

The name Seamaster tells you what you need to know about the intention of this watch - this is truly a dive watch first and foremost. However, there is a big caveat, and his name is Bond. James Bond. The OMEGA Seamaster watch has adorned 007’s wrist since 1995’s Goldeneye, being worn by both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Bond famously sports a tuxedo or suit more often than not and his trusty Seamaster pairs up beautifully whatever attire Bond is in - heavy tactical gear or shirt sleeves.

What makes an OMEGA Seamaster a must-have for watch enthusiasts?

If 007 isn't enough to inspire you, the Seamaster is an icon in its own right. It has appeared in many guises since the 40s, but the Bond-inspired 90s redesign has propelled it into the kind of popularity few watches can achieve. OMEGA has also expanded the range over the years, introducing a whole host of pieces such as the Aqua Terra or the Planet Ocean range of deep diving watches. There’s a Seamaster for everyone and every occasion.

What’s the best way to care for your OMEGA watch?

The Co-Axial movement means that the Seamaster doesn’t need as much maintenance as it used to, with a 5-year guarantee and extended service intervals being the biggest advantages of this. If you do use one for diving, make sure to screw the crown all the way in, and make use of the helium escape valve when you surface, much in the same way divers take care of themselves to avoid the bends.

What’s your favourite OMEGA Seamaster design?

While the OMEGA Seamaster 300m Professional is the watch that is so often in the limelight, the slightly more subtle and vintage-inspired 300 would be my pick from the range. Its lollipop hand and aged luminosity give it a warm, comforting feel on the wrist. It’s also not as big as the professional, so is more suitable for smaller wrists. The Aqua Terra is also a great pick, serving as an excellent looking go-anywhere-do-anything watch. Whichever model you go for, we love the bracelet strap – they're known for being super comfortable and very robust to boot.

Breitling Superocean

What’s the best feature of a Breitling Superocean?

The clue is in the name when it comes to this watch. The Breitling Superocean is a divers watch and has the levels of water resistance needed to easily tackle this job. Most of the range is certified up to 500 metres, a depth only fully qualified divers would ever get close to. The movement being protected by such heavy water resistance is fully chronometer-certified for accuracy, a technical feature Breitling prides itself on. Couple this with a highly legible dial and bezel and you have one of the most capable diving watches out there.

Which type of movement powers the Breitling Superocean?

Breitling is famous for its chronometer-certified automatic movements and the Superocean range is no different. The automatic calibre 17 is a very capable and robust movement, while the B01 automatic that features in the heritage chronographs is an industry-leading movement developed in-house by Breitling. With a 70-hour power reserve, impressive in a chronograph, and the obligatory chronometer certification, there are few movements out there that can match the B01.

What is the Breitling Superocean suitable for?

Breitling has never been shy about watch design. The often oversized pieces have a presence on the wrist few others can manage and the Breitling Superocean watch is not an exception to this, especially in its 44mm guise. Most suited for diving, the Superocean is also a very capable daily wearer, most at home with a T-shirt and jeans. While it could be worn with a suit, I would recommend picking one of the more subtle dial colours, the blue or blacks of the range, if you were to go down that route as something like the yellow has the potential to clash. For those of you who prefer something with a bit of a vintage flair to it, the heritage models in the collection offer a design language that harks back to the '50s and '60s dive watches that just say 'retro-cool'.

What makes a Breitling Superocean a must-have for watch enthusiasts?

Breitling's horological history is sold short. A true powerhouse in the industry, the Superocean range represents both the historical brand through the Heritage models as well as the modern brand. If history is important to you in your choice of watch, the chronograph models would be of special interest as Breitling has been at the forefront of chronograph design since the early 1900s, introducing the blueprint for the modern chronograph in 1915 and inventing the twin pusher chronograph in 1934. The Breitling tagline 'Instruments for Professionals' always rings true and professional divers, and the general public alike can agree that the Superocean meets these strict criteria.

What’s the best way to care for your Breitling watch?

Breitling Superocean watches are known for being robust – usually due to their size but also thanks to the excellent attention to detail in the manufacturing process. As with any dive watch, if you're using it underwater always make sure the crown is screwed in properly before you submerge the watch. Do that and the water-resistance the Superocean offers will do the rest.

What’s your favourite Breitling Superocean design?

Breitling watches are crafted to make a statement, so the louder the colours the better in our opinion. The white dial model with the contrasting blue numerals and bezel certainly ticks that box. The deep blue makes the stark white dial pop and stand out in a world of darker colours. If you really want to stand out, the yellow and orange options are even more noticeable at a distance. The heritage models tend to stick to more subtle colours, but don’t discount them, especially as they come fitted with the excellent mesh-style bracelet for extra comfort. The rubber strap options Breitling offers are also tremendous and are worth having for something a bit different.

More from our experts

Join us for our next Ask the Expert series coming shortly, where Scott talks more about luxury watch brands and why he loves them.

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