About 10 years ago, the Breitling Avenger II Seawolf was what I referred to as my grail. These days, I do not have a grail, as that term is just overused in my opinion, but at the time, it was just that. Through the years though, my tastes changed a lot, (or at least I thought they did) and this watch was nothing but a distant memory. Flash forward to a few months ago, and I decided it was time for a Breitling and after looking at all the models available, I decided to go with the Seawolf. It is large, chunky, has a lot of text on the dial, and a helium release valve; basically a watch that I thought I would never wear these days. Yet here we are. I took the plunge and spoiler alert- I love it.
Breitling Avenger II Seawolf Specifications
- 45mm Stainless Steel Case
- 55mm Lug to Lug
- 22mm Lug Width
- 18.4mm Thick
- Sapphire Crystal (Domed and Double AR Coated)
- Caliber 17 Automatic Movement (Base Eta 2824)
- 3000m Water Resistant
- Pro III Rubber Strap with Dive Clasp
Retail Price $4125 (on Rubber)
This watch was purchased from Govberg Jewelers, an Authorized Breitling Dealer. Check out their site if you would like to buy from them as well, email or call and ask for Peter Bell.
I feel telling you I love this Breitling Avenger II Seawolf is an important caveat; I mean, I purchased the watch over it being sent to me for review like many watches regularly are. I researched the watch just like anyone else would and decided to take the plunge. I was also familiar with the watch before as friends of mine over the years have owned them, though never on the Pro III rubber strap. This may sound weird to say on a watch review site, but I have always said that reviews have a bias. It is impossible not to, and I while I definitely did not come at this review with blinders on, I think it is important to state that right up front.
It is hard to not notice the massive size of the Avenger II Seawolf, so I figured I would start there. Unlike the latest SuperOcean lineup, which comes in about 5 different sizes I believe, the Seawolf is a beast at 45mm and 55m in length. Not only that, but it is just over 18mm thick and all those measurements are what kept this watch off my wrist for the many years. Unlike a lot of watches with these dimensions, the Seawolf really does wear smaller, and also more comfortable. I know, that has been said many times, and let us make no bones about it, this is a large watch and will get noticed. But when properly fitted to your wrist, it really is a dream to wear, and nothing like I thought it would be, at least for my 7 1/2 inch wrist.
The reason for that is the severely angled lugs. If the lugs did not do this, this watch would fit me and many others very differently and would make it very uncomfortable. Another part of the comfort is the rubber strap and dive buckle, but we will get to that. When it comes to the thickness of this watch, it is definitely the tallest watch I have worn in years, especially on a regular basis. Fortunately, because of the separation of the mid-case, bezel, and case back, it does not wear like a thick puck on the wrist, and while it is definitely 18.4mm, it does not feel as such. This is coming from somebody that for the most part wore 43mm watches that topped out at 15mm for the past few years, and if it was not comfortable, I would not wear it. One big reason for the thickness is the whopping 3000 meters of water-resistant, which if I am being honest, this watch will probably never see 20 meters if that.
When it comes to the dial, I think if you are familiar with Breitling, you are familiar with the stencil dial. Breitling makes the Seawolf with another dial as well, dubbed the baton dial, and it is a much cleaner looking version fo this watch, and also has more lume. Much like the struggle over whether to get the bracelet or the rubber strap, I debated for a long time as to which dial to choose. In the end, this stencil dial just looks more “Breitling” to me, if that makes any sense at all. I just need numbers on the dial, and with the crazy amounts of text already, it does make for a busier dial, somehow it just all works for me. Because of the dual AR coating (top and underside), it can make it hard to see the true color of this dial at times, which Breitling refers to as Anthracite grey. Also, available in the in your face yellow and a striking jet black. I am a sucker for a grey dial though, and just the way the dial plays off the applied logo (white gold by the way) and the indices, made it an easy decision.
For many watch enthusiasts, when they purchase a watch that costs as much as this, they want either a highly modified movement or one that is in house. The Breitling Avenger II Seawolf has the Breitling Caliber B17, which is based on the ETA 2824 and is COSC Certified. Breitling does make their own manufacture movements, but they start at double the price of this model. Unfortunately, Breitling is somewhat tight-lipped about what tuning they do to their movements, but it is believed they are using many premium parts and assembling them and then they are sent off for certification. If you do a little googling, you can read about it more in detail. I think this is my biggest pet peeve of watch brands. I wish they would be more forthcoming when using a branded caliber as to what they really do. As far as accuracy, I have not put it on a timegrapher, but it seems to be around -3 seconds per day, which is right in line with the COSC daily rate.
I have to admit, it was a hard decision on whether to get the bracelet or rubber strap. As you can see, I ultimately did go with the Pro III Rubber, and even though I may get the bracelet for this one day, I did go that route for a reason, and it had nothing do with price. It had to do with adjustability. If you take a look at the Breitling Pro III Stainless bracelet, it has a fairly simple clasp, with a few pinhole micro-adjustments and really no half links to speak of. On the other hand, the rubber strap with this dive buckle makes on the fly adjustments easy. Yes, you will have to cut the rubber strap initially, but as I talk about in the video, you have some room for error. Without a doubt, the Breitling Avenger II Seawolf on the rubber strap is one of the most comfortable watches I have worn.
Breitling Avenger II Seawolf Lume
The Breitling Avenger II Seawolf is an iconic piece for me. It is one of my favorite models from Breitling and makes me want to add a few more to my collection. With these specs, it is obvious this watch can be used by a serious diver, but all the high polish, the massive size, and the below-average amount of lume, I am not sure who is really going deep diving with this piece. I have talked ad nauseam about my distaste for watches with helium release valves, and it is unfortunate that many watches that I do fall in love with are dive watches that want to keep adding this gimmick to them. I hope one day that trend stops. That and pickle pizza. They both can go and I will not lose one ounce of sleep over it.
The Breitling Avenger II Seawolf is definitely a watch that will stay in my collection for a long time, and one that does live up to that entry-level luxury watch status. It looks and feels the part, and I am glad I finally got around to buying one. For many, this watch will be over-sized, garish, unnecessary and any other negative you want to throw at it. For many years, I felt the same. Sometimes things can not be explained, maybe this is one of them, but every time I put it on my wrist, a smile appears on my face. The rider tab stainless bezel clicks with authority and precision, the massive crown is easy to use as it should be, and there is not one rough edge on this entire watch. I will say, as much as I love the rubber strap, I still wish you didn’t have to cut it, and I would love to see a titanium three-hander again beside the Blackbird model. I think my best advice from this review though, is do not be afraid of specifications. Whether you like this Breitling model or not, try watches on as much as possible or do as much research as you can. You might be surprised what watch you are sporting soon, and it may be one you fall in love with.