Tudor Submariner Gilt Dial
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
The success of Operation Sunshine, undertaken by the USS Nautilus in 1958, prompted Congress to order more nuclear submarines.
Though many of these were designated as attack submarines, there was one whose purpose was more covert.
The keel of the USS Halibut was laid on April 11, 1957. Though initially a diesel-electric submarine, after the voyage of the Nautilus, she was completed as a nuclear-powered submarine. More than that, the Halibut would be the first submarine in the U.S. Navy designed to launch guided missiles, which she would do successfully in March 1960.
In 1965, the Halibut sailed into the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for an overhaul. She was fitted with side-look sonar, a mainframe computer, and recording and video equipment. Though the Halibut did in fact carry other specialized oceanographic equipment (including an underwater search vehicle or “fish”), her true mission was revealed in 1968, when she would be used to locate the wreckage of the K-129, a Soviet submarine.
But it was in 1971 that the Halibut was used to her fullest potential. The previous year, the United States learned of the existence of a Soviet undersea communications cable in the Sea of Okhtosk, which connected the Soviet naval base at Petropavlovsk to the Fleet’s headquarters in Vladivostok. To the United States, the potential of tapping that cable and learning Soviet state secrets was too great to ignore.
The Halibut was sent deep into the Sea of Okhtosk, below the sound detection devices that the Soviets had installed to deter intruders. The mission was so secret that most of the boat’s crew lacked the proper clearance, and so a cover mission was devised: to recover debris from missiles launched during Soviet naval demonstrations. As far as the Halibut’s true mission, it was a resounding success. So confident were the Soviets of the security of their cable that most of the conversations made over it were unencrypted, allowing the U.S. to keep tabs on the operations of the Soviet Pacific Fleet. More taps were installed, and more nuclear-powered submarines followed in the Halibut’s wake until the end of the Cold War.
In 1954, the year the Nautilus was christened, Tudor would introduce the Submariner.
Originally produced by Rolex to respond to a growing base of sports watch consumers, Tudor was conceived as a more economic way to buy a quality diver. This was achieved by using generic ETA Swiss movements and housing them in Oyster cases with typical Rolex-signed crowns, crystals, and bracelets. In short, the Tudor Submariners of the 1960s and 70s had all the look of their Rolex brethren with guts that were simpler, more common and easier to service.
While the Submariners from the 1970s and 1980s, with their trademark “snowflake” hands, are the most desirable, the Submariners from the early 1960s are worthy of praise.
This particular Submariner is a Reference 7928 dating from 1965, the year the keel of the Halibut was laid. The early gilt dial (with radium indices and an outer chapter ring) has aged to a gorgeous patina, and the case is strong, with signs of light but careful wear. A Submariner of a different kind, the Tudor Submariner was mean to dive, and dive deep, like the Nautilus and the Halibut.
Whether you're engaged in nautical pursuits (or a little undersea wire-tapping), the 7928 is the perfect daily companion.
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.
Tudor Submariner Gilt Dial