The Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf
is described by the brand as a ‘Bold, extremely robust and shock resistant’, ‘pilots’ watch prepared for adventures well below the ocean’s surface (up to 300 bars – 3000m)’. While we absolutely agree with the brand that the watch is extremely robust, considering its size, we can’t help but to applaud the marketeer or copywriter’s dark humor with the latter line. After all, which pilot doesn’t dream of taking an adventure well below the ocean’s surface.
The Case and dial
The Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf is a big watch. While not Panerai Egiziano big, the Breitling measures 45mm in diameter and 18.39 mm in thickness. At this height, the Breitling is only 5 mm shy of wearing a ladies Rolex Datejust vertically, but thankfully, it has reason to be so. The 18.39 mm watch is water resistant to 300 bars or 3000m. That is a similar thickness to Rolex’s Deep Sea Sea Dweller which can dive 3900m underwater.
For a watch this size, it is expectedly sturdy and is touted as a watch that can be worn and operated even with gloves on. The dial is a bright yellow, which continues the line of Avenger Seawolf models that the brand has made for many years.
The yellow is striking on land, and perhaps in the air, but it is a curious color choice for a dial underwater. It is the third color to be absorbed completely underwater, between 35-45ft. This means, that the yellow dial will become a dull grey or black as the watch dives. Perhaps the dial disappearance serves as a ‘depth indicator’, or perhaps it is really more a cosmetic choice.
Not as much depth as the case, the Avenger Seawolf is fit with a Caliber Breitling 17, the brand’s COSC ETA 2824-2. The movement bears the standard performance of the ETA, with 38 hours power reserve, and a 28,800 vph rate.
We get the tool watch image, the robust, 3000m water resistance and the loud statement size and color of the watch. But it’s clearly a dive watch with a case that resembles the older generation Superocean Steelfish and not so much an aviation watch. Perhaps while the brand is adding new collections, the product lines are starting to overlap and its product stories become less convincing. And while the Avenger Seawolf is a really tough watch, with a 3000m water resistance, it is not the most impressive timepiece at a US$ 3975 pre-tax price tag.
If one wants a Breitling, he should consider something more iconic like the Navitimer. And the latest re-edition from the brand is a limited edition to 1959 pieces and uses an in-house chronograph movement. At US $8,600, it is about twice the price of the Avenger, but is a way more significant Breitling. For a similarly priced alternative, the Breitling Aviator Super 8 B20 automatic 46 would be a better choice to the Avenger. It has a modern in-house 70 hours power reserve chronometer movement. It has a unique case design and more character than the Avenger Seawolf and is priced at US$5000. But if one really wants a dive watch, and dislikes Seiko, wants an automatic, but can’t get a Rolex; they should consider the Omega Seamaster, or Tudor Pelagos which are better alternatives that offer a lot more than a yellow dial.