BREITLING Superocean Steelfish A17390 was produced circa in 2005-2012 being a representative model of this line that was introduced in 1957. Its dial actually combines design features from two different 1960s vintage models, the “slow motion” ref.2005 and ref.3865, thus is a “near-heritage” brand model. This is my personal review in 08/2023 referring to a watch of 2005 meaning 18 years old.
It is equipped with automatic Cal.B-17 that is a chronometer grade ETA-2824 movement. It is noted that the chronometer certificate is not issued by COSC, but by Breitling on the account of COSC, and that the certificate does not refer to the movement number, but to the watch serial number. The same number is engraved on the movement for identification purposes (normally the engraved number on COSC movements has nothing to do with the watch serial number). This particular note does not imply that Breitling COSC certificates are not valid, but certainly differ from the standard practice. Overall this is a very good quality movement, perhaps the best ETA-2824 caliber version ever presented in the market.
The case is circa 44 x 15 mm stainless steel and it is very heavy. The watch weight with rubber strap is more than 150gr whereas it exceeds 210gr with bracelet. Its theoretical water resistance is 2000m and it is equipped with automatic helium valve. The sapphire crystal is supposed to be 4mm thick, and the turning bezel is massive steel, screwed not pressed, with excellent feeling (not the best choice for diving). The screw-in crown is big enough easily used with excellent feeling. The screw back requires special opening key. The lugs are 22mm and could easily host any kind of strap. Finally, the superb design of the watch makes it very wearable and comfortable hiding its very big dimensions (it is not for small wrists). Photos of the watch on 200mm wrist.
DIAL & HANDS (6/6)
Top quality including luminosity, easily readable in all usual conditions. Without available information, it is expected that the dial is made of brass and the hands are made of steel.
All factory alternatives from the purchase date (2005) meaning the metal bracelet (micro-adjustment), the leather strap and the rubber strap are of top quality. The watch with bracelet is too heavy. The leather strap has minimum use, and the rubber strap has been used for 18 years (rare use 1-2 months per hear including sea water contact) without being essentially affected by the normal wear and tear (photos).
FINAL EVALUATION (18/20)
This watch deserves an extra point due to the design and overall case quality, thus the total rating is 17+1=18 meaning it is a VERY GOOD casual-sport watch. Considering the fact that its mechanism is serviceable by the majority of independent watch technicians, it is a top selection among the relatively affordable pre-owned luxury sport models in the market. Excluding perhaps the Avenger and Heritage lines, and expressing my very personal opinion, the quality of this model is better than the successive brand sport models.