Breitling Transocean: Dress Watches with Retro Charm
The Breitling Transocean is the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's classic series, featuring retro designs and polished bezels. Highlights include limited editions such as the Transocean QP with a moon phase display and perpetual calendar.
5 Reasons to Buy a Breitling Transocean
- Vintage and retro models
- COSC-certified in-house calibers
- Special limited editions
- Intricate watches with chronograph and world time functions
- Women's and men's watches
The First Chronograph on a Wrist in Space
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Breitling has been producing the Transocean line since 1958. While its look has changed over time, it's always maintained a certain retro charm. The Transocean was initially a three-hand watch, though chronograph models would eventually be added to the series. Breitling chronographs have made their mark in the history of spaceflight. Scott Carpenter became the second American in orbit on May 24th, 1962. A Navitimer Cosmonaute accompanied Carpenter during his flight, making a Breitling the first wristwatch chronograph in space. This was seven years before Buzz Aldrin wore his Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch when he stepped onto the lunar surface on July 21, 1969.
The design of the Breitling Transocean Chronograph is reminiscent of chronographs from the 1950s and 1960s. The three-hand models also draw inspiration from this era. The dials have relatively tame designs compared to other Breitling models. A black, white, or blue color scheme, baton indices, and polished bezels give these timepieces their elegant touch. There is also a wide variety of bands to choose from: from leather straps in various colors to rubber and textile straps all the way to stainless steel bracelets. What's more, Breitling has had the calibers powering these watches certified by COSC (the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute). This guarantees the precision and quality of both the mechanical and quartz movements.
Prices for a Breitling Transocean
|Transocean QP||53,100 USD||Automatic|
|Transocean Unitimer||23,600 USD||Automatic|
|Transocean 1461||7,700 USD||Automatic|
|Transocean 1915||7,100 USD||Manual|
|Transocean Chronograph 38||6,100 USD||Automatic|
|Transocean 38||4,400 USD||Automatic|
|Transocean Day-Date||3,400 USD||Automatic|
|Transocean Chronograph||3,100 USD||Manual|
|Transocean Chronograph||1,400 USD||Quartz|
How much does a Breitling Transocean cost?
The entry-level models in the Transocean line feature quartz movements. Plan to spend around 1,400 USD for one of these Breitling Transocean Chronographs in very good condition. Most of these pieces were made in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This is apparent in their designs: The relatively wide bezel with a minute scale, bezel rider tabs, and inner compass scale give these chronographs an especially retro feel. You can choose from Arabic numerals or indices for the hour markers. The subdials are located at 2, 6, and 11 o'clock, and the date display sits between 4 and 5 o'clock.
Breitling Transocean Chronographs from the 1970s also reflect their heritage: Dark blue and orange elements on the dial lend these timepieces their sporty look. The tachymeter scale helps fans of motorsport calculate speeds. The manual Valjoux caliber 7740 ticks away inside these luxury watches and comes with a chronograph function and date display. You can purchase an example in good condition for about 3,100 USD.
Three-hand vintage models with a date display are simpler and much more elegant. You can purchase a 35-mm Breitling Transocean in stainless steel from the 60s in very good condition for as little as 2,000 USD. A similar model with a yellow gold case costs around 3,500 USD. If you're looking for a model with an additional day display, take a look at the Transocean Day-Date in stainless steel on a braided stainless steel bracelet. As a part of the newer generation, this timepiece goes for 3,400 USD in very good condition.
A Chronograph with a 70-Hour Power Reserve
The Breitling Transocean Chronograph has a distinctive V-shaped subdial layout known as tri-compax. The small seconds dial is located at 9 o'clock, the 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock, and 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock; all are set somewhat deeper into the dial, creating a three-dimensional effect. TAG Heuer utilized this look in their first Carrera models from the 1960s as well. A tachymeter scale on the edge of the dial is another characteristic feature of chronographs; the Speedmaster Professional also has one on its polished bezel.
The automatic in-house caliber B01 ticks away inside the Breitling Transocean Chronograph . With a 70-hour power reserve, you can take this watch off and set it aside over the weekend. The case comes in stainless steel, red gold, or a bicolor version in stainless steel and red gold. A stainless steel model with a black dial costs around 5,900 USD new. A new bicolor model with a blue dial goes for about 17,700 USD. The dial also comes in silver or brown.
The Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1461 has a 42-hour power reserve and features a moon phase display and a semi-perpetual calendar. The calendar is what gives the name its number: The calendar only needs to be corrected once every 1,461 days at the leap year. Plan to spend 7,700 USD on one of these models. The 43-mm case comes in stainless steel and is combined with a black or white dial.
On the other hand, the limited edition Breitling Transocean QP comes with a perpetual calendar. This type of calendar won't need to be corrected until 2100 as long as it keeps running, so be sure to wear it regularly or store it in a watch winder. Each dial color—blue, brown, and black—is limited to a run of 25 pieces, and you can choose between red or rose gold for the case. This luxury watch costs around 53,200 USD.
38-mm Case – the Collection's Unisex Watch
With its 38-mm diameter, the Breitling Transocean 38 is well suited to almost every wrist; it looks great on both men and women. A highlight of this three-hand watch is its large twin-aperture calendar beneath 12 o'clock. A small seconds dial is located at 6 o'clock.
A chamfered bezel and curved lugs characterize this wristwatch. Its stainless steel case is water resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), and some models come with diamond-studded bezels. The domed sapphire glass has an anti-reflective coating on both dials, which improves readability. Breitling offers dials in black or silver as well as versions made of mother-of-pearl. The latter features diamond indices. Plan to spend about 4,400 USD for a classic and simple model without diamonds with a white dial and brown crocodile leather strap.
In keeping with Breitling tradition, the Transocean 38 is also available as a chronograph. It is powered by the caliber B41 with a 42-hour power reserve. The Transocean Chronograph 38 has a date display at 6 o'clock and subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock. Models with diamonds on the bezel and a white dial demand around 6,100 USD. Combined with a braided stainless steel bracelet, these chronographs feel particularly elegant.
World Time Watch and Chronograph
The current Breitling Transocean Unitime has both stopwatch and world time functionality. When the Unitime was first introduced in 1951, it was not yet a chronograph and 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 your Transocean Unitime stops moving.The in-house caliber B05 has a power reserve of at least 70 hours. The push-piece at 2 o'clock allows you to start and stop the stopwatch. You can reset it using the second push-piece located at 4 o'clock.
A stainless steel Transocean Unitime costs about 5,900 USD, while a bicolor model with a rose gold bezel comes in at around 9,500 USD. The Transocean Unitime in rose gold demands 23,600 USD. Elegant bands of braided stainless steel or crocodile leather match perfectly to these models. Those made of rubber or cow leather are a bit sportier.
Transocean 1915: An Hommage to Breitling's Pusher Innovation
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 2 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 4 o'clock. This innovation allowed you to stop timing and start again later. You can purchase the duo-pusher Transocean 1915 chronograph with the manually wound caliber B14 for about 7,100 USD.