Watch-off | Breitling Transocean Chronograph vs. Rolex Genève Cellini

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Baton down the hatches it’s time for another watch-off between two Titans. This time it’s one of the original pioneers, Breitling, locking horns with another one of the original powerhouses, Rolex.

Dedicated to surpassing our expectations, Rolex has adopted a more classical approach with their refined Cellini Date Model, driven by a perpetual movement. Aside from the date display, the aesthetic focuses on subtle detail, as opposed to bold, garish statements. The 18ct rounded, ever-rose gold casing gleams with a polished finish and seems to ease down the slender lugs, attached to a stylish black leather strap. If you look closely you can see faint indices cut like slants of sunlight, which circle the black guilloche dial. Also, note the fine gold applique hour markers, an indication of their desire to revert back to the elegance of traditional watches. The reputation Rolex has acquired over the years is perpetuated by their rich heritage and intrinsic connection with watch history. Keeping this in mind, it seems this retro instalment has been crafted to pay tribute to the earliest facets of watchmaking tradition. This would explain the refined lines and intimate artistic detail, revealing the makers as adherents of minimalism. As for the name, that was inspired by esteemed Renaissance goldsmith and sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini.


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The Breitling Transocean Chronograph takes the cool design of the ‘50s and ‘60s chronographs and gives it a contemporary twist. The understated dial shines with subtle silver detailing and is uncluttered so as to improve readability. Evidently Breitling chose to emphasise clarity, using refined touches like silvered hour-markers and recessed and snailed counters. At the same time they also made the effort to include a few finishing touches that really complete the watch face. Note the application of an 18ct gold B initial – a tribute to the old Breitling brand symbol. It is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement that can be viewed through the transparent sapphire caseback. The dial is also protected by convex sapphire crystal, which is glare-proof on both sides. In addition, this reinvented classic features a robust steel case, complemented by a leather strap, and is water resistant to 100m.


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So now we’ve given you a brief overview of what to expect from the Breitling Transocean Chronograph (bottom) and Rolex Genève Cellini (top), but the question still remains, which one do you prefer?