Diving slightly deeper than Breitling’s entry-level automatic Colt sport watches, the 1000m-rated Superocean II watches deliver the full suite of modern features that many luxury tool watch fans crave, while dialing back the ultra-macho, military-inspired aesthetic that defines the Avenger range of aviation replica watches.
While Breitling replica still insists on calling the Superocean II an “ocean pilot,” the Breitling Superocean 44 Special is anything but. Apart from checking off the aforementioned requisite features for a diver of this ilk, the Special differentiates itself from the standard Superocean II by going with a matte steel case finish, a more minimalist dial with square applied indices instead of the busy Arabic numerals, and a solid, ceramic bezel characterized by its singularly smooth surface and extremely sharp, grippy serrations.
Said ceramic bezel isn’t new technology for the replica Breitling, as we’ve already seen the black variant on the first Blacksteel 44 Special, and a similar version of the deep, matte blue introduced on this Boutique-Edition Chronoliner. Generally speaking, the singular color of the bezel looks great here, but it remains to be seen whether or not a ceramic bezel (usually the first errant contact point for a dive watch against a boat gunwale, dive ladder, or door frame) will stand up to the frequent impacts that characterize the life of a well-worn tool watch.
Traditional dive replica watch bezels shrug off these bumps and dings by utilizing a solid metal bezel with a replaceable insert containing the numbered demarcations glued in. So while this might be an aesthetic design choice rather than a functional one, we’ll be the first to admit both ceramic color options are the perfect fit to contrast the steely aesthetic on the new 44 Special, and one that we’re looking forward to seeing on the wrist.
Compared to the standard Superocean II, the cheap Breitling Superocean 44 Special is much more austere in its execution, putting it in league with the Tudor Pelagos, both of which are equally clinical in their application of contrast and texture. The added contrast of the new stainless steel case finish is a welcome one, as the previous Blacksteel edition tended to overwhelm the wrist, as most all-black watches tend to do. As mentioned previously, the end result is one of the more cohesive, purpose-built divers in the fake Breitling catalog, but one that is altogether modern and masculine without appearing to be making great pains to remind you.