- Wrist Game or Crying Shame
- Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks
Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks Would you take advantage of a steep discount on this €14,513 chrono? by Michael Stockton June 24, 2020 MIN READWrist Game or Crying Shame: Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks Wrist Game Crying Shame
It’s time for Wrist Game or Crying Shame, the weekly series that lets you stop or start your chronograph. This week, we’ll discuss a unique blip on the Breitling radar with the Superocean Heritage Chronoworks. But first…
Last week, I did my best to take you back to the era of Boyz II Men with a look at the TAG Heuer Link chronograph. Sadly, it was the end of the road for this ornate sports watch as it fell to a crushing 68% crying shame loss. Let’s see if today’s watch can bring some of that Motown Philly magic because our Breitling Superocean Chronoworks happens to sit in a showcase near the City of Brotherly Love.
Pricey cars and such
I’m not sure why high-end watches drive so many automotive comparisons, but here comes another. I’ve always been a car nut and absolutely devour info on the newest models. During my spell on this planet I’ve witnessed many an auto company release a special edition vehicle with incredibly high prices. Just name the high end brand and they’ve all preyed upon their deep-pocketed clientele with something limited. Aside from a few brands, though, these types of vehicles typically suffer massive depreciation within only a couple short years. This creates a real opportunity for those who prefer to wait things out, but it’s also risky. After all, these cars are often filled with unique trim and tech that can make a grownup cry if a problem occurs. The Breitling Superocean Chronoworks is my horological analogy.
Back to 2016 with the Breitling Chronoworks
Travel back to Baselworld in 2016 to the Breitling booth if you would. More specifically, this was 2016 B.K. (aka Before Kern) and Breitling was firmly entrenched in its mission to create massive watches. I visited the booth with my Dutch colleagues and sat across from our then contacts to look at the novelties. I remember some super heroes because the Avengers were tied into an incredibly massive carbon chronograph. There were some other things, but then there was the Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks.
The Chronoworks was a skunkworks
After seeing so much brawn and bulk, the Breitling folks introduced us to the Superocean Heritage Chronoworks. The intent of what ultimately became a short-lived campaign was to allow us common folk to get our hands on a bit of the high tech wizardry being developed within the la-Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture. We were being allowed to pass into the skunkworks. The Superocean Chronoworks brought some pretty serious tech.
Some serious innovation
Firstly, the Superocean Heritage Chronoworks had a ceramic baseplate and gear-train bridges. This allowed Breitling to reduce friction inside the movement. Lightweight silicon wheels were added and this reduced the amount energy needed to restart the watch. A silicon escapement was added, which was over 40% more efficient than versions with traditional materials. A variable-inertia balance was added and constructed of materials able to work with temperature variances. Finally, elastic toothing was used on the vertical clutch to aid in energy loss issues. All these enhancements helped improve power reserve on the B01 from 70 to 100 hours. There was damn serious innovation here and the press noted this. However, there were some problems.
Super expensive Superocean
There’s no getting around the fact that the Superocean Chronoworks was brutally expensive. How expensive? Soul-crushing expensive to the tune of — here we go — $39,295. And Breilting wanted to sell 100 of these. The other killer here was the use of a 46mm case. Granted, the case was carbon, but that’s massive. Others also decried the use of a rubber strap on such a pricey beast. Needless to say, the Chronoworks wasn’t a sales hit and this subline of watches quietly disappeared.
Not all is lost
Now, what would you say if I told you that the Chronoworks is now a serious deal? Well, it’s a serious deal if you can pull off a 46mm watch and can measure depreciation. Just like those fancy luxury sports cars, this Breitling has taken a real hit. On the positive front, would be buyers are getting something seriously rare, still innovative, and kinda stealthy (again, forget the size). It even looks a lot like the current Superocean Heritage models. I must admit that I have no idea how this movement wears over time, but its basic premise is that it shouldn’t.
A serious deal awaits
Today’s Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks comes in at €14,513, which comes to a whopping 60-odd percent price drop! The watch, by the way, is on Chrono24 courtesy of Watchbox near Philadelphia. Now, you may want to pick on this Breitling for its gargantuan drop in resale value, but I see it as a real positive. At this price level, you’re within spitting distance of a lot of current high-end chronographs. Here, though, you have something truly unique with loads of watchmaking chops thrown in for good measure. But the question is whether you’re up for spending this amount of money to get something that originally cost much, much more.
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Wrist Game or Crying Shame
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Reference 145.012-67 by Robert-Jan Broer September 11, 2018
by Robert-Jan Broer July 10, 2018
About the author
Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became… read more
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