This vintage diver may well be the rarest of them all. Not only is it the rarest Breitling timepiece ever produced, but with fewer than a dozen known to have survived, it may also be the most elusive reference among all diving watches.
In a late 1950s Breitling advertisement, it was stated that the company supplied 25 leading airlines and aircraft companies, and now offers the same precision for deep sea exploration and underwater sports with the Super Ocean 20 atmos (600 feet) created for this purpose. While not as well-known as other iconic dive watches such as the Rolex Submariner, JLC Deep Sea, or Blancpain 50 Fathoms, the Super Ocean was produced in much smaller quantities, making it a rare and obscure treasure.
As a vintage dive watch enthusiast, I'm intrigued by the various bezel designs from the late 1950s and '60s. Breitling's SuperOcean is a notable mention in any bezel discussion. The reference 1004, which launched the line in 1957, was Breitling's answer to the dive watch craze, featuring a bold concave Bakelite bezel and dagger-shaped luminous markers on the dial. The bezel not only adds to the watch's aesthetics but also protects the domed acrylic crystal and original radium black dial.
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Year: Circa 1959
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 38mm diameter; 12mm thickness
Crystal: Original vintage Plexiglass
Lume: Yes, Radium
Caliber: Automatic, cal. B125, 17 jewels
Bracelet/Strap: 1960s Stainless steel later mesh bracelet UK.PAT.NO. 1095455
Lug width: 19mm