Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
1957 marked the beginning of a period of extraterrestrial exploration that would culminate in the Moon Landing in July 1969. The launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik I—the first man-made satellite to successfully orbit the planet—ignited a decades-long race between the world's most powerful nations. As mankind sought to “slip the surly bonds of Earth,” the importance of exploring and charting the depths of the planet’s oceans.
That year, American oceanographic cartographers Bruce Heezen and Marie Tharp published a map that would shape the science of undersea exploration and our understanding of the Earth’s surface.
For Tharp—a native of Ypsilanti, Michigan—her love of earth science had roots as deep as the Marianas Trench. She received inspiration early on from her father, who drafted soil classification maps for the USDA. Though Tharp initially studied English and music at Ohio State, she could not resist the magnetic pull of geology, attaining a master’s in that subject from the University of Michigan.
After the Second World War, Tharp took a job at the Lamont Geological Laboratory as a general drafter. It was there she met Bruce Heezen, a fellow Midwesterner. Their first project together was to locate downed WWII aircraft using photographic data.
Soon after, they undertook the daunting task of mapping the vast hills and canyons under the ocean’s surface.
For eighteen years, Heezen travelled aboard the RS Vema, collecting samples of seawater and sediment cores; measuring currents; and photographing the ocean floors. Back in New York City, Tharp (barred by her sex from working aboard the ship) used the data to draft maps. Supplementing that information with data collected from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s ship Atlantis, Tharp and Heezen discovered that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge was seismologically active.
It was this discovery that led to the acceptance of the theory of seafloor spreading and later, continental drift, a science which would blossom into the modern study of plate tectonics.
The same year that Heezen and Tharp published their map, Breitling released their first dive watch—the SuperOcean.
Breitling had long been purveyor of chronographs to pilots, but the popularity of dive watches like the Rolex Submariner and Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms pushed Breitling to enter that race. The SuperOcean, with its gilt dial, shares similar aesthetics to early Submariners, and the concave bezel is reminiscent of Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms. Yet the SuperOcean is a creature unto itself, with as impressive a pedigree of its own, enough to ensure its presence in Breitling’s catalogs to this day.
We can’t exaggerate the rarity of early SuperOceans—we’ve seen perhaps half a dozen appear on the vintage watch market. This example has a stunning gloss gilt dial, with the sharp spine-shaped indices aged to a gorgeous creamy hue, and the bezel has likewise ghosted to a handsome grey. On its original shark mesh bracelet, this is a creature of the deep, as elusive as the Giant Squid, and an important artifact from an era of underwater exploration.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.