Watches | December 17, 2020 7:27 am

Breitling’s New Superocean Heritage ‘57 Is the Definitive “Surfing Watch”

The CV will tell you it’s a diver, but in spirit it’s made for a different kind of sportsman

Breitling’s New Superocean Heritage ‘57
Breitling’s New Superocean Heritage ‘57
Breitling

For a brand most associated with aviation, Breitling also offers some outstanding watches designed for what could be considered the polar opposite of that pursuit: diving. The brand’s now-legendary SuperOcean debuted in 1957, designed for the needs of professional and military divers and meant to compete directly with Rolex’s Submariner, which had been released three years prior. Breitling’s latest offering is the Superocean Heritage ‘57 Outerknown, a collaboration between the Swiss watchmaker and Outerknown, the eco-conscious lifestyle brand cofounded by legendary surfer Kelly Slater.

The standard Superocean Heritage ‘57, introduced by Breitling earlier this year, was already a killer watch. A tasteful throwback to the very first SuperOcean, the Heritage ‘57 featured a signature concave bidirectional bezel, now in ceramic, and updated versions of the hot-rod inspired “Christmas tree” hands and “oven dial” hour markers at 3, 6, 9 and 12. It’s housed in a nicely proportioned 38mm case with extremely thin lugs, while that ever-so-fun to twist-knurled saucer-like bezel protrudes out to a just less than overpowering 42mm. Nothing about it is too busy or cluttered, and unlike many heritage inspired watches from competing brands, it looks exactly like a vintage style timepiece should. From the get-go, Breitling aimed to associate the Heritage ‘57 with the surf culture of the late ’50s and early ’60s in Hawaii and Southern California, and the word “Diver” is nary to be found in any of the official marketing materials. By partnering with Slater and the team at Outerknown, the watch receives a serious dose of surfing credibility, along with some tasteful visual updates. 

The Superocean Heritage ‘57 Outerknown is available in two guises, one in all stainless steel with matching accents, and a more luxe version limited to just 500 pieces, which features an 18k red gold outer bezel with similarly colored accents in the hands, hour markers and bezel hashes. Both models feature a handsome bronze dial which comes alive in the summer sun, and as part of the commitment of both Outerknown and Breitling to cleaner oceans, the brown NATO strap is made of Outerknown’s trademarked ECONYL, a material partially repurposed from abandoned fishing nets that would otherwise pose a threat to aquatic life. 

Priced at $4,380 in stainless steel or $5,225 in the limited edition red gold, the Breitling Superocean Heritage 57 Outerknown nails a very coveted aesthetic. Like those Pinterest favorite images of surfracks atop weathered old Rolls Royces or 911 Targas, these watches proclaim “I may no longer be a beach bum, but that doesn’t mean the spirit isn’t still in me.”