BREITLING 1969 TRANSOCEAN
Be ahead of the game with the vintage Transocean !
As with the Rolex GMT-Master, the Breitling Navitimer was the watch of choice for many civil & military aviation pilots. The Breitling Transocean, which was introduced in 1958, was an evolution of the Navitimer to become direct competition with the Rolex GMT Master.
In 1969, Breitling launched their new Transocean model, fitted with the Valjoux 7740 movement. This is a unique looking watch, large and chunky, in line with the latest fashion which would last out the 1970s. This watch certainly set the style of the coming decade, with a marriage of dark blue and bright orange.
This watch was perfect accessory for the fashion conscious pilot of the day, worn famously by the actor, John Travolta. The Transocean has a particularly legible dial, with chronograph indication and multiple scales. To many vintage watch addicts, it is the wonderfully unusual dial layout (allowed by the 7740 movement) that sets this Transocean aside as a very special watch.
Item description: This stunning close to new old stock example dates from 1969, and used the highly regarded Valjoux 7740 chronograph movements. The Transocean with 7740 movement would only last a couple of years before the new calibre 12 was installed. The watch with typical stainless steel case with brushed surfaces and polished back. The dial in deep blue, and with triple sub-registers, along with the Breitling logo and name.
The dial has the calender at the 4.00 position. For quick checking, the dial has a bright orange sweep seconds, and two bright orange sub-register hands (the 60 second register with black hand. The stainless steel bracelet is of brick style. Screw-on case-back with full Breitling name, along with reference number 7102. Inside of case-back stamped with the Breitling name. The watch equiped with the Valjoux 7740 manual chronograph movement. The watch comes in a modern black Breitling service return case.
Case size: 42mm x 42mm
Condition report: New old stock condition. Storage age only. Case in close to mine condition, with just a few storage use scratches visible. Beautiful original dial with light aging to the luminous hour battons. Movement functioning. Sweep seconds fly-back to 12.00 position correctly. The timepiece may have been opened, so it should not be used near moisture or water without being checked by a qualified watchmaker. This example of a Breitling Transocean 7740, is undoubtedly one of the best and most original examples on the market today.
Background to the Breitling Transocean: In 1952, the very first Navitimer (model 806) adorned with the “Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association” (AOPA) emblem on its dial (the typical double-wing logo) was launched. This led to a long cooperation with the AOPA by 1960, and with Breitling producing many of the clocks for civil aircraft.
The very first Breitling Transocean was released in 1958, following in the footsteps of the Navitimer, but to be more suited to direct competition with the Rolex GMT Master. Breitling came up with the name ‘Transocean’ to reflect the spirit of the 1950s & 1960s, this being the golden age of transcontinental flights. In 1969, a new version of the Transocean was introduced utilising the Valjoux 7740 movement. All of the new 1969 Transocean had an integrated brick style stainless steel bracelet. Theer were two dial types. The all blue dial, and the silver & blue dial. Omega also entered the arena in 1969, bringing out their Flightmaster model.
Background to Breitling: Breitling SA was founded in Saint-Imier, Bernese Jura by Léon Breitling in 1884. By the 1940s, Breitling, similar to Heuer, were well known for their range of chronograph, special function watches. It was during the 1940s that Breitling first added a circular slide rule to the bezel of one of their chronograph models for use by aircraft pilots. This was to become the famous Navitimer model. In 1961, Scott Carpenter, one of the original astronauts in the Mercury space program, approached Breitling with idea of incorporating a 24 hour dial instead of the normal 12 hour dial.
This was needed because of the lack of day and night during space travel. Breitling agreed to produce a 24 hour dial, which became known as the 24-hour Navitimer. Carpenter wore one of these on his 1962 space flight. Breitling later went on to produce the 24-hour version as the so-called Cosmonaut Navitimer.
During the 1970s, and as the quartz revolution was hitting many tradition mechanical lead watch producers, Breitling were totally unprepared. This led to the company being sold off in 1978 to Ernst Schneider, the owner of the Sicura brand of watches. Schneider decided that there was more long term potential in the Breitling name, as opposed to his Sicura name, and as such dissolved the Sicura name to the benefit of Breitling.
Special notes: The 1969 Transocean with 7740 movement is regarded as one of the most rare and desirable of the Transocean series. And most certainly the best looking of the series. This version only lasted a couple of years before the 7740 movement was superseded by the calibre 12.
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