Of all the collections on offer from Breitling, it is the Transocean which could come closest to being called ‘ordinary’. That is not a slight on the collection in any way, and in fact is intended as a compliment, because ‘ordinary’ is magenta, ‘ordinary’ is neutral and ‘ordinary’ does not offend the senses, so instead of being a derisory term to approach a watch review with, ‘ordinary’ is a good thing which pleases most palettes. And so, as it happens is Breitling’s new Transocean 38 model.
The new Breitling Transocean 38 is one of those pieces which is right for almost any occasion; its style, like its peers the Omega Aqua Terra or three-hand versions of the TAG Heuer Carrera, is classic and functional and it carries off its heavyweight brand name with quiet confidence.
Breitling Transocean 38 – An old lady comes back
Introduced more than 55 years ago, the Transocean was aimed at the first generation of ocean-hopping long haul travellers, a glamorous style-conscious set with a sexy and aspirational image, and with Breitling’s association to aviation the original Transocean was an irresistible lure to its catchment, and so a successful model was born.
The new Transocean 38 tastefully recalls that period in design and is every bit as stylish as its ancestors. The round 38mm stainless steel case has been polished throughout and features a sapphire crystal, bevelled bezel and signed push-in crown. At the rear, the screw down caseback bears the famous Breitling motif which has been engraved into the solid steel.
The black dial is simple and unfussy, and with only two hands and the small seconds, which are in a printed cross-hair display at the 6, plus large dual date apertures below the 12, it is functional and easy to read. Keeping true to the 1958 original, the Breitling wings have been replaced with the stylised ‘B’ in gold, right at the 12 o’clock position.
The long straight edged hands with luminous inlay are authoritive, and compliment the long applied baton hour markers and the luminous accents around the edge of the dial where they interrupt the minutes ring. The result is a display which is as clearly legible in normal daylight as it is in reduced light conditions.
Breitling Transocean 38 – One for two
A steel mesh bracelet sets the polished stainless steel case and the black dial off to a tee, and in this writer’s opinion is the best looking option, because it is not the only configuration available, and herein lies another interesting aspect to the Transocean 38. At 38mm, it is a man’s watch first and foremost, but not in the sense that there is testosterone straining to burst out at every opportunity, and so here is an automatic Breitling with full COSC chronometer certification which is actually equally suited for both genders.
To further accentuate this dual gender appeal, the Transocean 38 is available to order with mother of pearl dial option, with diamond hour markers if desired, and with a wide range of leather straps in a variety of colours, Breitling might just have opened their doors for business with the other half of civilisation, although it will no doubt be marketed at a male market, and that other half might have to dig a little to discover it. Price: 5660 euros.