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Breitling Transocean

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Chrono24's Breitling Expert
Kleen Edelmetalen
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Breitling Transocean: The Retro Collection

The Breitling Transocean is this Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's classic series. Vintage designs and polished bezels characterize this line, which contains some of Breitling's most intricate watches.

Highlights

  • Vintage design
  • COSC-certified in-house caliber
  • Special limited editions
  • Intricate watches with chronograph and world time functions
  • Women's and men's watches

Classic Designs Meet Modern Technology

The wristwatches in the Breitling Transocean collection pay homage to the legendary timepieces from the manufacturer based in Grenchen, Switzerland. Breitling connects the models in this series with the success of their own company history. Take the Transocean Chronograph 1915, for example. In 1915, the watch manufacturer developed the first independent chronograph push-piece at two o'clock. Back then, it was common for the stopwatch controls - start, stop, and reset - to be integrated into the crown. The next step in separating the stopwatch functions and the crown came in 1934: Breitling, chronograph specialists, added a second push-piece at four o'clock. This innovation allowed you to stop timing and start again later. Previously, there was only a single push-piece for starting, stopping, and resetting.
The Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime also had a predecessor that was technologically advanced. At the beginning of the 1950s, Breitling presented the first Unitime; at that time, it didn't feature a stopwatch function. The watch had a world time function which the wearer could set with the riffled bezel. The inner ring was labeled with the names of 24 cities. In order to use the feature, the wearer had to set the reference city for the current time zone to the 12 o'clock position. The 24-hour ring then displayed the time around the world. The three hands for hour, minutes, and seconds indicated local time. The caliber Felsa 711 also featured a date display.

Buying Advice

Are you searching for a Breitling watch with a vintage look? The Transocean collection has the right watch for you. A pre-owned watch with three hands and a date display costs around 3,000 euros. New day/date models cost around 3,300 euros. A 38-mm Transocean chronograph costs about 4,000 euros. The 43-mm version is a bit more expensive at 4,800 euros. If you're interested in the world time watch Transocean Unitime, then you should plan on spending at least 7,000 euros for a pre-owned model. The limited edition Transocean Chronograph 1915 is a bit less expensive. It had a limited run of 1,915 pieces, has one push-piece, and costs around 6,000 euros. One of the most sophisticated watches in this collection is the Transocean Chronograph 1461. It features a stopwatch function, moon phase display, and a leap year calendar. It only requires manual correction every four years, as it doesn't register February 29th in a leap year. Four years is equal to 1,461 days, which is where this chronograph gets its name. You'll need to budget around 6,500 euros for this intricate timepiece.

A Retro Chronograph

The design of the Breitling Transocean Chronograph is reminiscent of the chronographs from the 1950s and 1960s. At this time, Heuer's (now TAG Heuer) Carrera was the most famous and highly sought-after chronograph. It was especially beloved by auto racers. The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch was the first watch to reach the Moon. On July 21, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was the second person to step foot on the Moon, the Speedmaster Professional on his wrist. Seven years earlier, on May 24th, 1962, Scott Carpenter became the second American in orbit. A Navitimer Cosmonaute was with him on board. The first wristwatch chronograph in space was thus a Breitling.
The Breitling Transocean Chronograph has a distinctive V-shaped subdial layout known as tricompax. The small seconds is located at nine o'clock, the 30-minute counter at three o'clock, and 12-hour counter at six o'clock; all are set somewhat deeper into the dial, creating a three-dimensional effect. Heuer utilized this look in their first Carrera models from the 1960s as well. The tachymetric scale on the edge of the dial is used to calculate speed over a certain distance and is a characteristic feature of chronographs; the Speedmaster Professional has one on the bezel. This Breitling chronograph has a polished bezel.
The automatic in-house caliber B01 powers the Breitling Transocean Chronograph. With a power reserve lasting over 70 hours, you can take the watch off over the weekend and it will be running perfectly on Monday. A certificate from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, (COSC) confirms this movement's incredible precision. According to COSC criteria, a mechanical caliber can only deviate from the correct time a maximum of +6 or -4 seconds a day.
You have the choice between a stainless steel, bicolor steel and red gold, or red gold case. Models are also available with diamond-set bezels. The dial is available in black or silver. You have more options when it comes to the strap. Leather straps in different colors are available, as are rubber and textile straps. Breitling rounds off the selection with a stainless steel bracelet.

Features

  • In-house caliber B01 with a stopwatch function
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Certified chronometer
  • Vintage 1950s/60s look

Breitling Transocean 38: For Men and Women

With its 38-mm diameter, the Breitling Transocean 38 is well suited for almost every wrist; it looks great on both men and women. A highlight of this three-hand watch is its large twin-aperture calendar under 12 o'clock. A decentralized seconds is located at six o'clock.
The watch features a chamfered bezel and curved lugs. The case is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar). The sapphire glass is domed and glareproof on both sides, which reduces reflection and improves legibility. The case is made of stainless steel and you have the option of a diamond-set bezel. Breitling offers a black or silver dial as well as one made of mother of pearl with diamond indices.
Orange, pink, fuchsia, and red leather straps are available and particularly appealing for women. There are also different shades of brown, blue, and black on offer. The stainless steel bracelets, however, are the real eye-catchers. Breitling offers the Transocean 38 with a fine mesh stainless steel bracelet. A polished racing band with large holes is another option.
The caliber B16 powers the Transocean 38. It's based on the ETA 2892-A2 and has a power reserve of at least 42 hours. Breitling has had this watch chronometer-certified by the COSC.

Features

  • Case diameter: 38 mm
  • Available as a men's and women's watch
  • COSC-certified automatic calibers
  • Leather strap in various colors available

Breitling Transocean Unitime: World Time Chronograph

The current Breitling Transocean Unitime has a stopwatch and world time function. When the Unitime was first introduced in 1951, it was not yet a chronograph. The wearer set the time zone via a rotatable bezel. There was an inner ring with the names of 24 cities, one for each time zone. To display the current time, the wearer would set the city corresponding to his time zone to 12 o'clock. The second inner ring had a 24-hour scale and rotated the opposite direction of the movement. This way, the 24-hour ring could display all the time zones on Earth.
The caliber B05 powers this timepiece. If you want to change time zones, you pull out the crown to the first position and turn it in either direction. This corrects the hour hand, the 24-hour ring, and the city ring. The date changes automatically. If you set the crown to the second position, the hour and minute hands as well as the 24-hour ring move. The set time zone, corresponding to the city at 12 o'clock, remains the same. You use this method to set the watch for the first time and when the watch stops moving.
The in-house caliber B05 has a power reserve of at least 70 hours. The push-piece at two o'clock allows you to start and stop the stopwatch. You can reset it using the second push-piece located at four o'clock.
The case of this timepiece is made of either stainless steel or red gold. The dial is available in black or white. You have the choice of a mesh stainless steel bracelet, different leather straps, rubber straps, and textile straps.

Features

  • Stopwatch and world time functions
  • In-house caliber B05 with a 70-hour power reserve
  • COSC-certified chronometer
  • 46-mm stainless steel or rose gold case