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View Full Version : Comparative review: BREITLING SFSO vs. Ω OMEGA Planet Ocean "UPO"



By-Tor
07-16-2007, 05:20 AM
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/title-1.jpg

I finally purchased Breitling Steelfish SuperOcean, the "Super rep" that I absolutely needed to have since the day it came out.

I was really late with this model, and Seadweller 4000 already managed to write an amazing review (http://www.rwg.cc/members/index.php?showtopic=23638) of this watch. So I decided to do something different. Well, not completely "different" since I already did another similar comparative review of arguably the two best replica sports chronographs of last year. You can read the outcome HERE. (http://www.rwg.cc/members/Omega-Seamaster-Chrono-Vs-Tag-Link-Chronograph-t15282.html)

The idea of a comparative review isn't mine, it has been widely used in the genuine watch forums. John Holmbrook (a TZ regular) once made a Broad Arrow vs. Daytona comparative review, and I pretty much "borrowed" his system.

Since replicas have become so good, these watches actually do compete between eachother (just like their genuine counterparts). So I thought this kind of review and "reference guide" would serve the community better. And besides, Seadweller's review was so detailed and complete... I couldn't have matched against it anyway.

He pointed out the flaws of the SuperOcean very accurately, I just try to concentrate on comparing these two "super reps" together. I also used larger pictures in this review for the first time. Perhaps they're not ideal from the "editorial" point of view, but they give better view of the watches.


Breitling Steelfish SuperOcean is the newer model of these two. It surfaced this year, while "UPO" (commonly used abbreviation for "Ultimate Planet Ocean") came out in the end of 2006. SuperOcean is available in blue, black and white versions.

It measures at 43mm, but it doesn't really feel much smaller than the UPO, due to the heavy weight (about 230 grams) and huge thickness (16.5mm). My version is the ETA model, which has the strong double-sided AR coating. There's also a "Lite" version available. "Lite" refers to cheaper price, Asian movement and only one-sided AR.

Pugwash made an excellent pictorial of the white version HERE. (http://www.rwg.cc/members/Breitling-Aeromarine-Superocean-Steelfish-t23128.html)

The white (especially with the brown strap) is the "gentleman" version of the SFSO, while black and blue versions probably attract people who like more of that "rough sports watch look". Personally, blue was the only color I even considered. The blue dial is amazing.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/3.jpg

The 45.5mm Ultimate Planet Ocean aka "UPO" doesn't need any more introductions. I wrote a complete review of this watch when it surfaced. You can view it HERE. (http://www.rwg.cc/members/Review-Of-The-ultimate-Planet-Ocean-45mm-t18161.html)

It's huge, bulky and design-wise it's more "basic" than the Breitling. Very classic Omega look, and the design pays a tribute to the vintage Seamaster. The 45mm is available in orange, black and black/orange. Also, the very much anticipated rep rubber strap has finally arrived, and many members have upgraded their UPOs with it. This watch has already become a community classic and it must be one of the most popular rep models ever. It weighs around 230 grams with all links intact, so both watches are around the same weight.

Just like SFSO, UPO is also available in "Lite" version. You can read Andreww's excellent review of the "Ultimate Lite" HERE. (http://www.rwg.cc/members/Review-Of-45mm-Planet-Ocean-ultimate-Lite-t21351.html)


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/1a.jpg




Ok, let the battle begin...

1. ANTIREFLECTIVE COATING

Breitling has two-sided AR, as per genuine. The coating is very strong and impressive, and it really makes the crystal "disappear", just like Pugwash stated in his review. Some people aren't too crazy about the double-sided AR, which is prone to scratches and makes the crystal show fingerprints and dirt very clearly. Personally, I'm not too obsessive about the AR, either. But since this review is about accuracy I have no other option but give Breitling the full 10 points.

POINTS: 10


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/2.jpg

Omega has only one-sided AR which isn't as apparent. The genuine Planet Ocean is famous of its strong blue "tint", so the rep isn't as accurate in that regard. However, some people have removed their "upper AR" from their genuine Planet Oceans due to the major crystal/AR scratches they have received.

The PO AR is strongly visible in only certain lighting and angle (as the picture demonstrates).

POINTS: 8


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/big_ar.jpg

WINNER: BREITLING
No contest here, the AR on Steelfish SuperOcean is the best I've seen on any replica watch.



2. BRACELET & CLASP

Omega uses a push-button type of clasp, which is accurately designed on the rep. It works like a charm and the engravings look excellent. Breitling utilizes the "Rolex Oyster-type" fliplock clasp. I find nothing to complain about the functionality and design, either.

Both bracelets are brushed stainless steel and they're very well finished. The resizing method is quite different though: Omega uses pins and tubes, while Breitling uses two small stopper screws and the typical Breitling "U-bars", which have to be removed completely during the resizing. People who have owned Navitimers are familiar with this method.

Both bracelets have small annoyances while resizing. Omega pins are the tightest I've ever encountered on any watch. You need patience and even some strength to get them out properly. I found out that the small screws on my Breitling were loose, so I highly recommend using Loctite with them (or at least checking and tightening them properly before wearing the watch).

POINTS: BREITLING 8, OMEGA 9


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/clasps.jpg

WINNER: OMEGA
Simply because of the obvious lack of QC on the small Breitling bracelet screws. And because the Omega bracelets always feel superior to almost anything else, gen or rep.



3. DIAL, BEZEL, PEARL:

Breitling dial is amazing. It's the most beautifully designed rep dial I've ever seen. It has a small "stripe" pattern on it, which is really difficult to see with naked eye. It's easy to capture with a camera though. You can see the more detailed "macro" view HERE. (http://anonym.to/?http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/pattern.jpg)

However... some people have complained about how the hour markers and lume don't necessarily look 100% accurate on the Breitling. Also the 12' bezel marker (where the pearl is on) is a bit misaligned. Very difficult to notice though. Pearl looks good, but its luminous ability isn't quite as good as it should.

POINTS: 8


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/dial.jpg

There's nothing really spectacular on the Omega dial, since the watch is more "basic design", as stated earlier. There has been a lot of talk about the misaligned Omega logo and the crooked 12', 3', 6' and 9' markers. At some point the misaligned Omega logo was only tied to the orange rep version. The dial quality varies probably between the new and old "batches". The Omega logo itself has too skinny legs (the rep PO uses the older type of logo), but that goes to "anal department", imho.

The pearl is decent, but it has a weak lume and you can see from zoomed pictures that it's a bit "twisted" down. The lume on both watches is typical good replica lume, but can't be compared to superlume.

POINTS: 7


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/dial2.jpg

WINNER: BREITLING
Very tight, since the misaligned 12'bezel marker drops Breitlings points. But the quality problems of the UPO dial drop the points even more. Breitling dial is simply amazing (at least by the rep standards). Impossible to not give Breitling the nod here.

4. CASEBACK, CROWN:

Both watches have very accurate looking casebacks and screwdown crowns.

The crown on Breitling is extremely tight, and difficult to screw open. Perhaps it'll get looser by time.

My Omega crown is a pleasure to use. It opens and closes easily and firmly. But this is another weak QC link of the UPO. Many members have suffered from damaged crowns. Some members haven't been able to screw it in anymore, and from some members the crown has completely dropped off! I've heard this is due the soft and weak metal used on the threads of the crown tube. My crown has been functioning without any problems, but maybe it's only a matter of time when it breaks. Fortunately the replacement tube & crown are easy to source.

POINTS: N/A
I can't really pick up a winner here since the Breitling crown functionality hasn't been proved yet, long term. Both are visually excellent... and we don't know for certain if all UPO crowns are bad (or only the select reps of a certain factory batch).



5. OVERALL DESIGN:

Breitling has been advertised as a "Super Rep". The QC is supposedly superior over the "standard" reps. The factories also advertise the watch being waterproof to ridiculous depths. I'd take those comments with a grain of salt, but it's true that the rep feels massive and impressive. However the loose bracelet screws and the misaligned 12' bezel marker don't really draw a great picture of the real QC. Both of these problems are fixable though (and very minor annoyances).

Omega UPO has suffered from numerous QC problems as well. Bad crowns and misaligned markers (as mentioned earlier) have been the most common. But if you get a "good one" I think it's just as good replica, except for the lack of double-sided AR. We also have to consider that PO is most likely much easier watch to replicate. SuperOcean has numerous tricky details to take in consideration. But that's not what we're comparing here. The main point is that the PO doesn't really feel inferior to the SuperOcean in any shape or form.

POINTS: BREITLING: 9, OMEGA: 8,5

WINNER: BREITLING
I think the heavy anti-reflective coating pushes Breitling's overall appearance over Omega. But the margin is very small. They're both excellent replicas, and most likely the "final" and best versions of these models.



6. STATUS, PRESTIGE:


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/bre_wrist.jpg

It might sound a bit ridiculous to compare "status" of two replica watches. But people buy reps people also for the status, whether they want to admit it or not.

Breitling is a brand that barely gets recognized outside the WIS circles. It's an injustice, since Breitling makes lots of fantastic watches. SuperOcean isn't even one of the most recognizable Breitlings, and nowhere near the popularity of the Navitimer, which is hands down Breitling's most famous model.

But good news is that Breitlings popularity has increased in Europe lately, and it enjoys huge respect inside the WIS circles. As a brand, Breitling has just as deep and glorious history as Rolex and Omega.

POINTS: 7


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/IMG_4747.jpg

In the old days Rolex was about the only watch brand that people bought when they wanted to "show off". Lately, due to aggressive marketing and models like PO, Omega has become a serious alternative to many Rolex buyers. It has more "youthful" image and unlike Rolex it isn't synonymous with ostentation.

That being said, average people don't necessarily consider Omega a "super expensive" watch. But it doesn't have the "fake watch" label, either. Rolex probably never admits it, but that also might play part in Omegas increased popularity.

POINTS: 9

WINNER: OMEGA
Omega wins this comparison hands down. After Rolex, it's probably the most recognizable luxury watch brand in the world. The huge amounts of money they use to promote this watch in the Bond movies is bound to raise the desirability and popularity of the Planet Ocean as well.



TOTAL POINTS:

BREITLING: 42

OMEGA: 41,5

It was very tight, and it's debatable if the last section (status) points should be added to the overall points at all. If you count them away, Breitling wins 35 against 32,5.

I just discussed with Pugwash via PM about the SuperOcean, and he thinks it might be the best replica ever. Difficult to say, because I haven't seen the new IWC Cousteau and the Chronomat Evolution "in the flesh". I think it's amazing, at least as good as the TAG Link Chronograph... but as a watch SuperOcean is even more impressive (imho).

From purely personal point of view I prefer the Breitling. Maybe partly because it's a new watch for me, but also because I actually think 42mm Planet Ocean is the better looking version of the PO. The UPO feels almost too big at times. Steelfish SuperOcean is huge but it doesn't give the "hockey puck" feel and look. Strange words from a known Omega fanatic, but the SFSO is just so damn impressive. Perhaps I should jump on the bandwagon and install the new rubber strap on my UPO as well. I think it'd make it look smaller and more balanced. That being said, both of these watches are most likely permanent keepers for me, and excellent additions to anyone's rep collection.

SuperOcean Steelfish is about $100 more expensive than the UPO. That's a lot of money for AR coating. Perhaps the manufacturing costs are higher too (due to more complex design). I always take the QC and waterproof claims with a grain of salt, so in my eyes those won't justify any extra costs. It has been proved many times that claims like these are usually just marketing nonsense from the factories. Some members have tested their SFSO with excellent results though. But rep is a rep... I wouldn't dive with it.

The fact remains that they're both very good replicas without any real difference in "feel" and overall design. Both have excellent, reliable ETA workhorses in them. I can't comment the manufacturing costs because I have no idea. How much in the SFSO price is just hype... that you have to decide for yourself... until Ziggy gets one of these and performs his famous "breakdown".


Last: I want to thank for ***TWP (The Watch Prince)***, a US-based RWI dealer, for my new SuperOcean Steelfish. All about the transaction was excellent: Communication, price, product and shipping. Thanks TWP, much appreciated!

Also thanks to Porcupine Tree, Neal Morse, Mars Volta and Rush for the background music (while writing this up). And my fiancee for staying away from my sight when I'm doing the "more important" things. :lol: I hope the members at TRC, RWG and RWI will find this comparative review useful, and enjoyed the new (bigger sized) pictures.



http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/bre_ending.jpg

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/big_boy_2.jpg

macscac
09-24-2007, 06:54 AM
thanks for a great comparison. i think i may have a love affair for the PO

J-C
09-24-2007, 07:00 AM
Battle of the Heavy Weights - this is one of my favorite BT reviews.

Mr.RadioActive
09-25-2007, 06:56 AM
this review is the reason i have a blue steelfish at vacs right now getting lumed!

Kollektor
09-25-2007, 08:19 AM
Awesome review. Personally, I think the PO has far better lume than the SOSF. Also, for whatever reason, Breitling always stood out to me as a more elite and exotic brand than Omega. This, despite the fact that the gen PO probably costs more than the SF. Again, great job as always BT. Photography is amazing.

By-Tor
09-26-2007, 07:49 PM
Awesome review. Personally, I think the PO has far better lume than the SOSF. Also, for whatever reason, Breitling always stood out to me as a more elite and exotic brand than Omega. This, despite the fact that the gen PO probably costs more than the SF. Again, great job as always BT. Photography is amazing.

Thanks man.

Yeah I agree Breitling is more "exotic" brand for us WIS... but for the general public it's rather unknown. (Almost) everybody recognize Omega as a good watch, but don't necessarily think it's very expensive. But I believe things have changed a bit lately.

Strange that TAG Heuer has very luxurious reputation among the non-WIS people too... at least here in Europe. If you asked the average guy on the street to name two luxury watch brands that come to mind first, he'd probably name TAG and Rolex. Well... maybe Omega too, but definitely not Breitling.

This could be different in the US.

PS: I'm a huge Breitling and Omega fan. I don't really favor either brand over another, but Omega probably has more models that I like. It's close though...

By-Tor
09-26-2007, 07:54 PM
Battle of the Heavy Weights - this is one of my favorite BT reviews.

Thanks mate. Yeah, I had a lot of fun parsing this one together back then.

My initial impression hasn't changed. I still prefer the SFSO a little bit over the PO. Both are obvious keepers though.

2tailfins
09-26-2007, 09:56 PM
Great comparison. The closeup picture of the Breitling- while showing some minor flaws, Was beautiful!

Thanks for the review.

Brucelles
10-29-2007, 01:31 PM
Hmm! I think I need a Steelfish on my wrist.

hoochman
10-29-2007, 04:19 PM
Now that I own both these watches. I would conclude they are very close.

Bracelet / Clasp: UPO > SFSO

AR: SFSO>>>>UPO

Dial, bezel, pearl: SFSO>UPO (close)


I think the AR puts this rep over the top for me.

Blobe
01-28-2008, 09:29 PM
you know what, i'll get both :D

to add my pinch of salt, in my eyes breitling is MUCH more valuable than omega, as a brand. Breitling are pionners in this industry and have a long, long history.
Anyway, i'll get theml both as i said :-)

P.T.R.
01-28-2008, 10:03 PM
I think in the US for the average joe, breitling is about as common as omega, if not a little more so. I see lots of BCEs and colts around.
Great Review.

masterVip
01-31-2008, 12:45 PM
nice omega! is perfect

johnM
09-02-2008, 09:00 PM
I saw 2 versions of SFSO on our trusted dealers' sites. One has eta 2836-2, the other 2824. Which one is more accurate? Regarding reliability, which movement is better? Thx.

tolis
02-28-2012, 07:06 PM
i have the UPO!GREAT!

richtree
03-05-2012, 06:25 PM
Just want to say thanks for your reviews !

Lenny63
08-23-2012, 03:35 AM
Great review - owning both if these reps they each have ther own appeal ! On bracelet , I would rate the Breitling as the best every day watch - with the omega having slightly more prestige for more formal occasions

doubledown
08-31-2012, 09:24 AM
Just ordered the V2 with the infamously incorrect, yet gorgeous, blue dial. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review!