Breitling Transocean: Retro Dress Watches
The retro watches in the Transocean collection feature classic designs. Defining features include polished cases and bezels. Top models come in 18-karat gold and combine a chronogaph with a perpetual calendar.
Tradition Since 1958
The intercontinental aviation industry was booming in the 1950s. Ever more people could afford flights to and from the United States. Recognizing a potential audience with serious buying power, Swiss watch manufacturer Breitling launched the Transocean in 1958. Unlike the company's professional pilot's watches in the Chronomat and Navitimer collections, the Transocean has a much more classic design.
Polished cases and bezels define the newer models that have been in production since 2010. Top watches boast practical functions such as chronographs, calendars, or world time displays. What's more, the movements in this generation are all certified chronometers.
The Breitling Transocean Chronograph QP Limited Edition is the collection's highlight. Each version is limited to a run of 25 pieces and features both a chronograph and a perpetual calendar, making this one of Breitling's most complicated models. Be sure to have around 57,500 USD on hand for this timepiece.
Chronographs with the in-house caliber B01 and a 70-hour power reserve are markedly more affordable. This stainless steel watch costs about 4,700 USD used and 5,700 USD in mint condition. Design elements include a 43-mm case, tachymeter scale around the dial's outer edge, and a generous coating of luminous material on the hands and indices.
5 Reasons to Buy a Breitling Transocean
- Dress watches with retro designs
- Top models with a chronograph and perpetual calendar or world time function
- Limited editions for collectors
- Chronometer-certified calibers
- In-house calibers with a 70-hour power reserve
Prices at a Glance: Breitling Transocean
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, diameter, function(s)|
|Transocean Chronograph QP Limited Edition, R2931012||57,500 USD||Rose gold, 43 mm, chronograph, perpetual calendar|
|Transocean Chronograph, RB015212||13,000 USD||Rose gold, 43 mm, chronograph|
|Transocean Chronograph Unitime, AB0510U4||7,300 USD||Stainless steel, 46 mm, chronograph, world time|
|Transocean Chronograph 1461, A1931012||7,200 USD||Stainless steel, 43 mm, chronograph, semi-perpetual calendar|
|Transocean Chronograph 38, A4131012||5,200 USD||Stainless steel, 38 mm, chronograph|
|Transocean Chronograph 1915, AB141112||5,100 USD||Stainless steel, 43 mm, monopusher chronograph|
|Transocean Day & Date, A4531012||4,200 USD||Stainless steel, 43 mm, day-date|
|Transocean 38, A1631012||4,200 USD||Stainless steel, 38 mm, small seconds, oversized date|
How much does a Breitling Transocean cost?
Depending on its condition, you can purchase a Breitling Transocean from the 1950s or 60s for as little as 1,200 USD. However, gold editions can cost upwards of 3,400 USD. More recent three-hand watches like the Breitling Transocean Day & Date ref. A4531012 change hands for roughly 3,000 USD pre-owned and 3,900 USD new.
Prices for a mint-condition Breitling Transocean Chronograph in 18-karat gold sit around 13,000 USD. You can save several hundred dollars by purchasing a used watch instead. Collectors and fans of the brand should take a closer look at the limited edition from 2010, i.e., the watch that resurrected this collection. Breitling produced 2,000 copies in stainless steel and another 200 in rose gold. The rarer gold edition sells for about 10,500 USD, while the stainless steel edition costs only 4,700 USD.
Frequent travelers should appreciate the practicality of the Breitling Transocean Chronograph. Its movement, the B04, is based on the B01 and has a 70-hour power reserve. An additional central hand points to the 24-hour scale to display the time in a second time zone. This stainless steel watch will set you back approximately 6,800 USD new. Pre-owned watches are much more affordable at roughly 4,400 USD.
Transocean Chronograph Unitime With a World Time Function
The Transocean Chronograph Unitime is one of the collection's top models and among Breitling's most complicated timepieces. This watch boasts a world time function in addition to its chronograph. This means it can display the time in 24 time zones at once, making it the perfect choice for globetrotters and international businesspeople. Breitling introduced this 46-mm model in 2012.
The dial of the Transocean Chronograph Unitime has subdials at 3, 6, and 9 and two discs around its outer edge: one for the cities and another for the 24-hour scale. The 24 cities each represent one of the full-hour time zones. You can easily and quickly set the local time using the crown. Simply pull it out to its middle position and turn the city disc until the city representing your current time zone sits at 12 o'clock. The hour hand adjusts automatically. This is especially practical when traveling between time zones. If the watch stops running, you can reset the local time conventionally by pulling the crown out to its furthest position. Perhaps the Transocean Chronograph Unitime's most notable feature is the globe in the middle of its dial. A date display between 4 and 5 o'clock completes the look.
Breitling equips this watch with the in-house caliber B05. Like the GMT caliber B04, this movement is based on the B01. You can use the push-pieces at 2 and 4 o'clock to start, stop, and reset the chronograph.
Be sure to have around 7,300 USD for a never-worn edition of this world time watch. Pre-owned, this model demands about 5,800 USD.
Features of the Transocean Chronograph Unitime
- Stopwatch and world time functions
- In-house caliber B05
- 46 mm in diameter
- Dial with a globe in the middle
A Chronograph With a Semi-Perpetual Calendar
The Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1461 is yet another interesting model, as it combines a chronograph with a semi-perpetual calendar. This rare calendar type cannot account for leap years with a 29th of February. The calendar gives the model name its number, as it only requires manual correction once every 1,461 days at the leap year. A moon phase display completes this watch.
The source of all this functionality, the caliber B19, sits within the 43-mm case. Based on the ETA 2892-A2, this movement has a 42-hour power reserve.
A Transocean Chronograph 1461 will set you back around 7,200 USD in mint condition and 6,800 USD pre-owned. The same watch is available as a limited edition in 18-karat rose gold (ref. R1931012). This version sells for about 18,500 USD.
Transocean 1915: A Monopusher Chronograph
In 2015, Breitling celebrated 100 years since the debut of the first independent chronograph push-piece with the release of the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915. Before Breitling developed this mechanism, the push-piece for starting, stopping, and resetting the chronograph was always integrated into the crown. When designing the Transocean Chronograph 1915, the manufacturer looked to the original chronograph from 1915 and placed the push-piece at 2 o'clock. The modern watch also has a 43-mm case, retro Arabic numerals filled with luminous material, a date at 6 o'clock, and a silver dial. There's also a small seconds at 9 and a 30-minute counter at 3.
Breitling outfits this model with the manual in-house caliber B14. This movement also has a 70-hour power reserve.
Fittingly, the Transocean Chronograph 1915 was limited to a run of 1,915 pieces. Prices for this watch fall between 3,900 USD used and 5,100 USD new.
Features of the Transocean Chronograph 1915
- Manual in-house caliber B14
- Monopusher chronograph with an independent push-piece at 2 o'clock
- Limited run of 1,915 pieces
- 43 mm in diameter
38-mm Three-Hand Models
At 38 mm in diameter, the Breitling Transocean 38 looks good on almost every wrist. It is a fantastic choice for men and women alike. A highlight of this three-hand watch is its large twin-aperture calendar below 12 o'clock. It also has a small seconds dial at 6.
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 crystal has an anti-reflective coating on both sides for enhanced readability. Breitling offers versions with black, silver, and mother-of-pearl dials. Those with mother-of-pearl dials also feature diamond indices. Plan to spend about 4,200 USD for a classic and simple model with a white dial and brown crocodile leather strap.
In keeping with Breitling tradition, the Transocean 38 is also available as a chronograph. These models use 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. These watches demand roughly 5,200 USD new and 3,800 USD pre-owned.