By Nirja Dutt
Coloured dials have been a trend for a while now, but most brands go safe with their choices, Breitling and TAG Heuer on the other hand have made it a point to stand out, but for all the right reasons.
Let’s start with the basics, if you like color and chronographs this is the right place to start. All you need to know now is which one is for you. While there are endless others in the market, the synchronization of these timepieces in terms of function and color that just hits the nail.
For an otherwise aviation brand, the Breitling’s journey with diving watches began in the 60s. The original SuperOcean eliminated any superfluous features that didn’t support the lifesaving needs of divers underwater. Strike one was a high-contrast dial ring, strike two was chunky luminescent batons for easy readability, and finally strike three was the doing away with the seconds hand, since divers didn’t really need it. In its place came a revolutionary minutes-based chronograph, dubbed the ‘Slow Motion’ because it takes an hour to make a full rotation of the dial. But the new version takes the best of this iconic model and upgrades it to match the modern lifestyle of today.
The new Superocean is not strictly a diving watch anymore, the appeal and function transcends beyond, lending itself as a perfect companion to swim with, surf with or even hit the bar with and don’t fret, it has a seconds hand.
In the words of Georges Kern, CEO, Breitling, “There’s a certain sameness to the look of most dive watches, but the Slow Motion always stood out from the crowd. We’re so pleased to introduce our modern take on this classic, the all-new Superocean”
The line is available in four tempting dial sizes—46, 44, 42, and 36 mm allowing you to pick one that truly hugs you in any material you would think it should exist in, yes, you read that right it comes in steel, steel-gold, and bronze. But it doesn’t stop there, it comes with a rubber strap and a metal strap both with folding clasps that allow a 15cm adjustment allowing you to make it as sung or loose as you would like, depending on what you are wearing it for.
Now that we know that they can truly be made your own, what lies within you ask? The timepiece is powered by the Breitling Caliber 17 which is shock and sand resistant with a water resistance of up to 300m (1000 ft). With a 38 hour power reserve, the automatic movement comes with a two-year warranty and exceptional readability that can be credited to the Super Lumi-Nova that emblazons the indexes and hands. For safety, the bezel is unidirectional on most sizes and bidirectional with a patented lock on the 46mm. For those who appreciate reminiscent details, watch out for the distinctive square minute hand and a circle near the tip of the second hand both inspired by the original Slow Motion.
TAG Heuer Formula 1
The first ever TAG Heuer Formula 1 came out in 1986, marking Heuer’s historic acquisition by Techniques d’Avant Garde (“TAG”) and was popularly known for its easy quartz-only mechanism available in bright fiberglass and stainless steel cases at a very tempting price. Embodying that same spirit from almost three decades ago, the latest rendition of the TAG Heuer chronograph series comes in three energetic colors that are the perfect segway into the brand. Ideal for the maximal power minimal upkeep, the 43-mm dial watches are crafted in fine-brushed stainless steel with push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock and a strong black PVD steel fixed tachymeter-scale bezel.
Chronographs are notoriously known to have an instant ‘wow’ effect, and this rendition does just that with its three shades echoing the race car colors that have been synonymous with the motosports for decades—green, red and yellow. To harmonize each reference features subtle details that uplift the color story and design ideolity of the Formula 1 series.
Right off the bat, the sunray finished dial is unmissable as it galvanizes the chronograph sub-counters with its radiating effect and emulates the ‘azurage’ with texture and depth. The angled date window along with Super Lumi-Nova hands and hour markers allow immaculate legibility at high speed. The screw-down steel case back reveals a checkered flag motif, sign of a successfully completed race.
Both completely different variants with purposes that supersede their innate functions, the beauty of these watches is that there is so much more than what meets the eye. So when you pick your watch, go beyond its look and function, see the purpose that fits you, the shade that speaks to you, the concept that reaches out to you and then make a choice.
Last but not least, the price of the Breitling Superocean starts at $4,600 (INR 3,81,042 approximately) for the 36mm and tops out at about $6700 (INR 5,49,969 approximately) for the rose gold variant. As for the TAG Heuer Formula 1 which is priced at a much more competitive INR 1,53,000. In terms of true brand identity, each watch is rightfully bang on the buck, the Breitling is a good place to start for those who want to buy into the brand or perhaps even add to their collection, and the TAG Heuer stays true to what the Formula 1 line stands for—an easy way to enter the world of TAG Heuer and revel in it while being easy on pocket.
While some would argue that age could play a factor in your choice, here in the world of horology we never judge a watch by its price or color, mostly it’s about what it means to you. So no matter what you pick to make yours, make sure it’s an extension of your personality.