Breitling - The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: Circa 1960
    Reference No: 1004
    Case No: 645'631
    Model Name: Super-Ocean
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 125, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    As recreational scuba diving became more and more popular as a hobby in the 1950s, Breitling devised a timepiece specifically crafted for divers: the Super-Ocean.

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.”

While the popularity of this model is arguably less than that of its contemporary peers (such as the Rolex Submariner or the Blancpain 50 Fathoms), the Super-Ocean represents a hidden gem in the panorama of early diver’s wristwatch. Produced in very scarce numbers, its rarity matches the superlative looks of the piece.

    The watch is dominated by the large concave revolving bezel - a “must” feature of most if not all diver’s wristwatch models - but the dial as well is a masterpiece of industrial design: the large dagger luminous numerals are eminently readable in all conditions, and the addition of applied metal numerals cutting through round luminous markers at 3, 6, 9 and 12 add enormous flair and character.
Finding a Super-Ocean in such superb condition as the present model is truly an outstandingly rare occurrence which makes the present lot a true hidden gem for the savvy collector of rare vintage timepieces.

  • 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, attractive and extremely well preserved stainless steel diver's wristwatch with center seconds, black gloss luminous dial and revolving bezel

Circa 1960
39mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for CHF36,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019