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Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Highlands Watch Review

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard

When they launched it back in 2020, the Superocean Heritage ’57 quickly became my favourite modern Breitling. I don’t just mean of the year; with its perfectly retro good looks and the fantastic rainbow indexes of the limited edition, it made for a fun, funky diver that broke out of the usual mould dictated by tool watch practicality. I loved it. Then it just kind of coasted for a few years. Nothing quite captured the fun surfer vibes of the original. Even the steel and rose gold Outerknown collab didn’t really make an impact for me. Well, impact is not something the new Superocean Heritage ’57 Highlands sub-collection lacks.

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard
Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard

Their capsule comprises of four different watches, some more familiar in their colourways than others. The blue and brown dials we’ve seen before, but seeing Breitling’s signature dark green on a ’57 is more than welcome. It’s about bloody time. And yet the highlight is, without a doubt, the orange.

Breitling seem to be calling the colour mustard for some reason; it’s not. I’m not sure what kind of mustard they’ve been eating but this is very distinctly orange. The kind of orange I’d have more expected to see on a Zodiac than a Breitling. I mean that as a compliment – Zodiac have been nailing it with their sun-suffused, beach-ready cool for the past year or so, and this fits that whole vibe perfectly.

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard

What makes the Heritage ’57 unique however is that bezel. It’s a little hard to see in images, but on the wrist the concave shape, sloping in towards the dial, is much more dramatic. Rather than the usual tone-on-tone with the dial though, the orange ceramic actually has a slight tonal difference, opting for something approaching peach rather than orange. Still no mustard. It almost looks faded slightly, in a charming, sepia-drenched way, with the rose gold rim blending in.

The bezel is also one of the more satisfying to use. It’s unidirectional, so not particularly useful for professional diving – if it gets nudged the wrong way you could be in trouble – but it has a smooth slide backwards or forwards and is easy to operate with its overhang on all sides. That bidirectionality doesn’t really matter either; with 100m of water resistance, it’s already not a professional diver, despite the Superocean moniker.

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard
Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard

As the name suggests, the collection is ostensibly inspired by the Scottish coast. I’m not sure what the surfing is like up there, but it doesn’t really have the sunny, Beach Boys vibe I’ve come to expect from the Superocean Heritage ’57. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m struggling to find out what’s particularly Scottish about the four-piece collection other than an optional tweed (inspired) strap. As I opted for the bracelet version on a gorgeous mesh number, even that hint’s just not there – and I imagine most people will go for the same.

On the wrist, it feels great. At 38mm it’s smaller than the majority of the Superocean Heritage collection as a whole, feeding into the retro feel it’s squarely aiming at. Like any decent mesh bracelet, this one’s comfortable and while it’s still frigid here (or as frigid as it gets in the UK) it undoubtedly makes for a great summer option. Being able to take out links from it rather than having to cut it’s also a substantial point in its favour.

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard

The movement inside is nothing new, which isn’t a bad thing. The Breitling Calibre 10 is COSC certified and while there are higher power reserves knocking about in this price point these days, 42-hours is at least acceptable. There’s no exhibition caseback here so I can’t comment on the finishing, though I actually like a solid caseback for the Superocean Heritage ’57. It hammers home the vintage roots and the engraved caseback’s pretty cool, even if the OCD in me wishes it was centred.

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard
Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard

Sure, the Superocean Heritage ’57 Highlands has some odd quirks, predominantly what it’s not: mustard or particularly Scottish. But what it does have is what the retro flavoured side of the collection has been missing since its initial, breathless launch nearly four years ago: personality. The orange stands out from a pack that’s otherwise much more classical.

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands Mustard

This is a capsule collection, so it’s not like it can be too readily expanded. But I’m still holding out hope that Breitling can bring yet more funky colours to bear – maybe George Kern’s favourite pistachio or a pool blue (not Tiffany). £5,000 might seem like a big price to pay for a fun summer watch, but given the build quality and COSC certification, it’s justifiable, if not exactly a steal. The bottom line is that if you like retro cool and a bright splash of orange, you won’t regret it.

Price and Specs:

Model: Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Highlands
Ref: U10340281I1A1
Case: 38mm diameter x 9.3mm thickness, stainless steel & 18k red gold
Dial: Mustard orange
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Breitling calibre 10, automatic, 25 jewels, COSC-certified
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Stainless steel mesh bracelet
Price: £5,000

More details at Breitling.

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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