A vintage dive watch inspired by hiking across the misty hills of Scotland might sound like a strange concept, but that’s exactly the direction Breitling is headed with its latest timepiece.
The new Heritage ‘57 Highlands is a series of four watches that act as a capsule collection and sit within Breitling's larger Superocean dive watch portfolio.
There are four dial and bezel colours to pick from, and the watches can be bought with either a stainless steel mesh bracelet or a tweed strap that will likely go well with your Highland hiking attire.
Speaking about the unusual new watches, Breitling boss Georges Kern said: “We wanted to evoke a very specific feeling of walking in the Scottish Highlands…From the moment you set out in a tweed jacket and wool sweater, to a day spent roaming windswept cliffs, to that welcome return home to warm up by a crackling fire, dog at your side.”
The dive-style watch has a 38mm case diameter and a bidirectional rotating bezel with 18K red gold detailing and a ceramic insert that matches the colour of the dial. Colour options include blue, green, mustard and beige. All four come with the steel mesh-style bracelet, plus a tweed strap in green and two shades of brown; a blue tweed strap option is available to purchase separately, pictured above.
The dial is protected by a cambered sapphire crystal, plus there’s a screw-down case back and a crown at the three o’clock position. The crown does not screw into place, however, limiting water resistance to 100 metres and emphasising this particular watch’s preference for hiking over diving.
Inside, the Superocean Heritage ‘57 Highlands is fitted with Breitling’s own Calibre 10 automatic movement, which has a fairly modest 42 hours of power reserve.
I must admit I’m not entirely sold on this watch. I love the picture described by Kern, of hiking across the Scottish Highlands on a bleak winter’s day, dressed for the occasion, and I like how the watch matches this scene with a tweed strap. It looks good and I bet it wears comfortably. But it seems at odds with the diving aesthetic of the Superocean, and especially strange is the inability for this diving watch to dive much below the surface.
That said, I quite enjoy pairing my Tudor Black Bay dive watch with a mesh strap and wearing it for winter strolls, complete with a chunky jumper and Barbour jacket combo. Maybe Breitling is onto something here, and perhaps we need a fresh vocabulary for describing a dive watch that has found a new home on dry land.