As I mentioned in my recent review of the Breitling Transocean 38 watch, Breitling was not really a brand that I found myself drawn to, as they felt overly-complicated for my own daily use and preferences. The Breitling Transocean collection, however, shows a slice of their lineup that takes things in a different (and dare I say, cleaner) direction. It is in this collection that we find an homage to the first chronograph with an independent pushpiece, in the form of the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915.
I have to say, I was surprised by how much I liked this watch. I mean, yes, there was a lot to like with it’s relatively clean dial, and plenty of vintage cues, including a domed (and raised) sapphire crystal which gives the sense of the high-rise acrylic crystals of the past. It is also a chronograph, however, which is a complication that I, frankly, have not found a lot of utility for in my life. As such, the design seemed to not sit well with me. While the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 is not making me rethink that stance, it is one that I was happy to spend time with.
First and foremost, I think it is due to the monopusher design, which is right up at the 2 o’clock position. So, not only have we dropped one of the pushers that would normally flank the crown, we also have a different shape, curving gracefully up from the side of the case. Actually, if you look below the crown, you can see the horn shape actually starts there, with the line continuing through the crown. Yes, it is a little odd to see something jutting out from the case like the pusher does, but I appreciate the design they created here. Also of note? The pusher is nicely rounded off, so I did not experience any issues with it getting caught on a shirt cuff, or even feeling like it dug into my wrist.
Secondly, the almost monotone vintage-inspired dial helps the sub-registers blend in quite nicely. Overall, I would call the tone a champagne color (not overly yellowed, thankfully) with a lume hue on the numerals and in the hands that gives that aged feel. I will not pretend that the subdials disappear, which they don’t. You have them set slightly Swiss replica uk watches lower than the main surface of the dial, so there is a crisp delineation around the subseconds (at 9 o’clock) and chrono minutes (at 3 o’clock), along with them having a slightly darker shade. It still worked to make it so it was not screaming that it’s a chronograph at you, and that is something I liked.
I have reviewed other watches with numerals cut off, and of course, read reviews of watches with that styling, as well as comments about those watches. While it has been a polarizing design direction (at least it seems that way to me), it was something here that, on the Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915, finally got stuck in my teeth. Perhaps that was its destiny, given that the Transocean lineup finally has me warming up to Breitling. That, or I finally just reached the tipping point on this, and that particular switch has flipped for me to set another preference that has formed from the watches crossing my desk.
I think I have pretty well-covered the dial side of the watch, so let’s buy Breitling watches flip it over. Here, we see through a fairly large sapphire crystal the new Breitling B14 manually-wound double column-wheel movement. This is not, perhaps, the most stunning movement that I have ever seen, but it is well-finished (to my untrained eye), and it is interesting to watch those column wheels in action when you kick the chronograph off. Realistically, when you are looking at a movement like this, unless you are really into the intricacies, you are looking for the kinetic bits – the balance wheel and then pieces related to the chronograph. So, in that regard, it’s well done. I am also of a mind to equate it to what we are seeing on the dial – understated, and supremely functional.