Breitling - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: Circa 1959
    Reference No: 1004
    Case No: 890'149
    Model Name: SuperOcean
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. B125, 17 jewels
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel later mesh bracelet measuring 215mm. max.
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case signed on the outside, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Breitling’s long history in aviation has overshadowed its venture into dive watches in the late 1950s with the superb SuperOcean timepieces.

    A Breitling advertisement from the late 1950s states: “Breitling had the honor of supplying 25 of the world’s leading airlines and aircraft companies. From now on, Breitling offers you the same vital precision under the sea: the new Super Ocean 20 atmos (600 feet) was specially created by Breitling for deep sea exploration and to cater for the fast growing popularity of underwater sports.”

    Lesser known than other legendary dive models from the era including Rolex Submariner, JLC Deep Sea or Blancpain 50 Fathoms just to name a few, the Super Ocean was made in much smaller quantities than any of those famous models from the same period, making it a little known but über rare gem.

    The overall design is also quite radical with its large convex bezel indented to protect the large domed crystal and a black dial, accented with dagger shaped luminous markers for all hours other than 12, 3, 6 and 9, and large round luminous markers underneath applied dagger indexes for the latter providing for a visually arresting result.

    The winding rotor of the present lot is stamped “Transocean”, another timepiece launched by Breitling at the same time, and is consistent with other SuperOcean models known.

    Finding a vintage Breitling SuperOcean from the early production years is quite a challenge. Finding one in such outstanding condition as that of the present lot is therefore extremely difficult. Combined with its outstanding state of preservation, the present lot is a superb example of the SuperOcean, and is a wonderful addition to any collection.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1884

    The firm started by Leon Breitling in 1884 is best known for its technical aviation and oceanic watches. Today, all models are outfitted with certified chronometer movements, used for accurate timing. Early aviation pioneers in specialized chronograph timepieces, Breitling introduced the circular slide rule to watches in the 1940s for use by pilots. The firm’s most iconic chronograph, the Navitimer, was introduced in 1954 and continues to be manufactured today. Another key model is the Duograph, a split-seconds chronograph that was Breitling's most prestigious wristwatch during the 1940s through '60s. Their watches are built on their reputation for precision and sturdiness.

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Ref. 1004
A very rare and attractive stainless steel divers wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet

Circa 1959
38mm. Diameter
Case signed on the outside, dial and movement signed

CHF10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for CHF27,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017